By Kolawole Ojebisi
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has denied endorsing Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, for a second term.
Speaking through Anthony Chiejina, Group Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the Dangote Group, Dangote described the reports that he endorsed the governor as outright falsehood.
Chiejina made the statement in reaction to a report in an online news platform that Dangote told newsmen in Abuja that he “shall continue to support his good and reliable friend, Mr Godwin Obaseki known to have handled stocks and investment portfolios for the Dangote group.”
Chiejina said as a business leader, his focus is on development, job creation and philanthropy, not politics.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to an online publication titled: ‘Edo Guber: Dangote endorses Godwin Obaseki for second tenure.”
“This is the first time that I have seen people publicly campaign for electoral office using the name of my Boss and I have to stop it immediately so that others will not try it in future”.
“The said interview allegedly granted by Aliko Dangote in Abuja is an outright falsehood, a malicious, irresponsible and mischievous act aimed at tarnishing my boss’s reputation.
“Aliko Dangote has not travelled out of Lagos since March 19, 2020.”
He warned politicians against using Dangote’s name and personality to gain political mileage.
“In fact, he said he has not crossed the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge since that date. His name and personality should not be drawn into any political campaign.”
“Aliko Dangote is an entrepreneur and business leader whose focus is on development, job creation and philanthropy. He has not endorsed anyone for electoral positions in Edo or any other state of Nigeria.
“We caution the public to ignore claims from any quarter that associate the Dangote name or brand with partisan politics,” Chiejina added.
Obaseki, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, will face Osagie Ize-Iyamu, All Progressives Congress (APC) standardbearer at the Edo governorship election scheduled for September 19.