Over time, businessmen have been involved in government at various levels, tagging it as “corporate social responsibility”. However, behind this intention, it can be said that there’s an ulterior motive to milk the available resources in the state in other to expand their conglomerate.
Reports made available from a reliable source who is a chieftain in one of the prominent political parties in Nigeria reveals that this practice is on the high side in the Eastern part of Nigeria, most especially in Anambra where there’s a massive concentration of business moguls who are ‘financially endowed’.
It was disclosed that business tycoons like Emeka Offor, Ben Okoye, Chris Ubah are major sponsors of political aspirants in Anambra state and other states alike. These Anambra powers dole out money to sponsor gubernatorial candidates in states with high concentration of natural resources which will be instrumental to the expansion of their businesses. Our source expressed this explicitly as “it is only in Anambra state that we have such people that can bring out money, not because they want to be Governors” but the underlying intent is in the state’s natural resources by way of enriching themselves.
These practices have been visible in states like Bauchi, Nassarawa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Abia and a host of others. Insider sources noted that these bigwigs are known to go to any length to sponsor these political candidates as long as it plays in their favor. As this is the case of the Governor of Ebonyi state, Umahi; Ibeto single-handedly sponsored 80% of his campaign because of his interests in Nkalagu cement. But if an event proves otherwise, trouble is imminent for their beneficiaries. This is seen with Abia state Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as he has suffered many pressures and troubles from one of the business tycoons, who allegedly bankrolled his election in 2015.
However, these actions by these business moguls have in one way or the other resulted into crisis in Anambra state political parties especially in PDP as they sometimes work against gubernatorial candidates of other states that won’t serve their interest. An example is how their actions affected Imo state elections as the businessmen joined forces to work against any PDP candidates regardless of what that cost them.
More so, it was disclosed that these business moguls are already working with the state Governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano, to take them to major powers in the All Progressive Congress (APC) that would create more business opportunities for them and they in return sponsor their elections giving an upper hand to APC in Anambra state during the presidential election. This simply implies that businessmen would always be businessmen. As long as these step they are taking is profitable to them, they shoot for it regardless of its detriment to other people.