After what seemed like an endless process, the 2019 election season finally came to an end. In its wake are the newly-elected political gladiators, most of whom are already used to the game and others, not so much. In retrospect, we look back at the election, with special focus on some of the business executives who ventured into politics by running for various political posts.
Recall that last year during the peak of the electioneering campaigns, Nairametrics did an article which basically introduced the billionaire businessmen seeking to change Nigerian politics. Months afterwards, this follow-up piece will examine those who actually succeeded in their political aspiration, and those who may have to try again in four years’ time.
Now, let’s get to it; shall we? First, the winners…
Abdullahi Sule, former GM of Dangote Sugar and Governor-Elect of Nasarawa State
Out of all the former business executives who ran for various elective positions during the recently-held elections, Mr Sule is the one who won the most; arguably. This is despite the fact that his foray into politics had taken many people by surprise.
He resigned his MD position around September last year – Until his expression of interest to run for the post of Governor, and subsequent emergence as the APC gubernatorial flag-bearer in Nasarawa State, he served as the Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refineries Plc. As expected, he resigned his position as the company’s MD, last year, in order to focus on his campaigns. And right now, he has a bigger task at hand – governing the people of Nasarawa State.
Hopefully, he brings his experience to bear – Abdullahi Sule is an accomplished business executive with years of professional experience to his credit. He is a graduate of the Indiana State University in the United States of America where he studied Mechanical Engineering (Bsc.) and Technology (Msc.) respectively.
Akin Alabi, former CEO of Nairabet and winner, Federal House of Reps
His success didn’t happen overnight – Mr Alabi’s rise to prominence as as a business mogul didn’t happen overnight. It took hard work and dedication for him to build Nairabet into one of the biggest sports-betting companies in the world. Indeed, his determination is one that could inspire anyone. Little wonder when he announced his political aspiration, many people were quick to believe in him.
Hopefully, he will make a good representative for his people – In 2018, he was selected by his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), to run for the House of Representatives. And now, he has been elected to represent his constituency, the Egbeda Ona-Ara Federal Constituency.
Mr Alabi was born in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, where he lived throughout most of his childhood and early adulthood. He later studied at the Polytechnic Ibadan, before proceeding to the University of Liverpool where he obtained a master’s degree in Marketing. He is also an alumnus of Harvard University.
Shina Peller, Founder of Quilox Night Club and newly-elected Lawmaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Mr Peller is one of Nigeria’s youngest billionaires. He built his net worth from the many businesses he has established, including Aquila Oil and Gas, as well as Quilox Night Club, which can best be described as Lagos’ Celebrity Nest.
His huge success as a businessman aside, Mr Peller also decided to venture into politics. That decision paid off because in February, he emerged winner of the Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Iwajowa and Kajola Federal Constitunecy seat in Oyo State, under the APC.