Political BODMAS: Subtracted From The Power Equation, Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Abubakar Funtua, Learns Hard Lessons

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Political BODMAS: Subtracted From The Power Equation, Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Abubakar Funtua, Learns Hard Lessons

Political BODMAS: Subtracted From The Power Equation, Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Abubakar Funtua, Learns Hard Lessons
September 12
16:23 2021

How his father, Ismaila Funtua’s death, became his reality check

The death of Ismaila Isa Funtua was a rude shock to his loved ones, especially Abubakar, his son. At his father’s death, Abubakar instantly lost worth, like all man-made deities. He stopped resembling a ‘god’ or something like one.

Since his father’s demise, the latter has been forced to retreat where all upstarts loiter at the base of the political totem pole. Despite his stupendous wealth, he has diminished in worth.

Until his father died, about a year ago, Abubakar leveraged on the former’s esteemed position as one of a trio of power-brokers, who had the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari – the other two are Mamman Daura and the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

Within a few years of Buhari’s ascent to power, his company, Bulet International Construction Company, grew from insolvency to reap profits via multi-billion naira contracts thrown its way. Many national assets ended up in his kitty, and he had Nigeria’s economic and political levers firmly in his hands.

As the elderly Funtua attained greater power and fortune by his closeness to President Buhari, his son, Abubakar reaped immense profit of his own.

The suave, soft-spoken Abu, as his friends call him, became one of the wealthiest and most powerful young men in Abuja. One of his closest friends was Yusuf, the President’s son. In what was deemed a very smart move, Abubakar leveraged his friendship with Yusuf and married the latter’s sister and fifth daughter of Mr. President, Safinatu. By his marriage to Safinatu, he supposedly consolidated his place in Nigeria’s power equation.

Having secured his place in high society’s power circuit, Abubakar became cocksure and belligerent towards perceived minions. Like a human giraffe, sniffing down his nostril at mortals beneath his gaze, he affected the poise of a dandy groom and love interest of a legion of women. He paraded himself as the nearest thing beyond a tin-god so much so that friends, political associates worshipped the ground upon which he walked; albeit reluctantly.

Abubakar entered national consciousness in 2019, when he imported by air, a Lamborghini Aventador, valued at over $400, 000 on an Emirates flight from Dubai. Dubai has been described as his second home where he reportedly lives and spends like a billionaire oil sheikh.

Despite the uproar the car generated, neither father nor son flinched or broke a sweat. They were accustomed to living large and loud, and could not fathom why buying a car would generate so much noise. The car further emphasised his affluence and those who understood Aso Rock power play bowed and kowtowed before him that he might guarantee them lucrative oil deals and facilitate their access to Aso Rock.

His home in a highbrow area of Abuja became a meeting point for favour seekers comprising billionaire magnates, political jobbers and juggernauts.

Everybody that was somebody curried his favour.

Though in his mid-30s, Abubakar was reportedly on first name terms with a lot of powerful Nigerians. He was so powerful that he aspired to govern Katsina in the last election but lost at the primaries to the incumbent.

Then, his father died. Isa-Funtua, a Federal Minister in the Second Republic, allegedly died of cardiac arrest in July 2020 in Abuja.

From the moment his father died, Abubakar became a pariah in powerful circles. Those who looked up to him began to stare him down. The sycophants who made him believe that the sun set and rose from his side of the world no longer returned his calls. He was no longer the powerful man of yesterday. Even in circles where his voice boomed the loudest, it has now become muffled and restrained. Abubakar is not broke, far from it. But the power he wielded until a year ago has now diminished.

Not even his marriage to the President’s daughter has made things any different. It must have now dawned on him that power is, indeed, transient and that no one is guaranteed tomorrow. If he had any inkling that tables would turn so suddenly perhaps, a source said, he would have been calmer and more circumspect.

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