On May 30, 2018, middle and upper level administrators in the American University of Nigeria Yola got an email that their May salaries will be “delayed” as it was in March. Since the Intels bubble bursted, there has been several indicators that all is not well with the Atiku business empire.
The salaries of his domestic employees at his Yola and Abuja houses have been epileptic since the Intels bubble bursted. Same for the Gotel employees. This is not surprising to anyone who follows money and wealth creation in Nigeria. The era of hardworking business men are long gone.
What we have are government beneficiaries who feed fat on our commonwealth, exploit loopholes to milk Nigerians, supported by government to create monopolies or oligopolies, granted fee hand to plunder our natural resources or create unstable internal investment climate by getting import waivers or licenses to the detriment of indigenous business concerns.
Atiku’s business empire is a cesspool. An investigation into labor practices and tax issues will yield a treasure. His expatriates have always exceeded lawful quota and no government in Nigeria ever checked his expat quota. Despite the huge unemployment in the land, our labor system and administration has been a huge joke and ready tools of exploitation for the likes of Atiku.
He seem to be having his comeuppance though as expatriates at his university in Yola are presently using their long vacation to source for new employment as many of them will not return to Yola in August. His empire is crumbling on all fronts and he is crawling on all fours financially.
He, and his foot soldiers are banking on the Presidency in 2019 to prop his finances. That is why he has chosen Port Harcourt as his locus for the declaration of his ambition He wants Nyesom Wike to do for him what Amaechi did for Buhari in 2015. Governor Wike is the only and surest moneybag he has on his side.
As 2019 approaches, the stakes are never higher! The calculation in his closet is that once Atiku gets the ticket of a major party, his bevy of media aides will unleash a barrage of sustained media offensive on Buhari’s ailments and frailties that would dampen the minds of Nigerians and pull the psychological credit towards Atiku as the ‘rescuer’.
The politics of 2019 will be interesting. The waters will get murky. Look out for a dark horse.