Who Will Zenith Bank Chairman, Jim Ovia Support Between Tinubu or Atiku…As Emefiele Withdraws
As the date for the 2023 presidential elections shuffles closer, more drama is being unveiled in the higher levels of Nigeria’s political and corporate realms.
It is not often that these realms meet and mix, but this is one of those times. Personalities like Zenith Back founder, Jim Ovia, have naturally been drawn into the political game. The question now is what someone like Ovia will do in the face of so many alternatives.
At the start of the year 2022, there were less than a dozen individuals who had publicly declared their intentions to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari. However, this is only the month of May, 4 months down the line, and there are dozens of presidential hopefuls. Moreover, the opinions of corporate giants like Zenith Bank’s Ovia have never been so important.
Ovia has become one of the fulcrums to decide whether or not to commit resources to the aspiration of presidential aspirants, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar. According to those in the know, Ovia has a working business relationship with both of these great men, so in the face of their presidential aspirations, he might have to ditch one for the other.
Ovia’s choice has not been made public. In fact, it is not even certain that he has made a choice. What is sure is that one of the routes he might have taken so that he wouldn’t offend Tinubu or Abubakar has been closed. This route is the presidential ambition of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele. Ovia could have supported Emefiele without fear of condemnation since Emefiele is cut from the same corporate cloth as he. Alas, Emefiele withdrew his interest.
So, Ovia is not having it easy right now, according to those that have a secret ear for these things. In fact, there is speculation that Ovia is more likely to take the side of Tinubu than Abubakar, but there has been no announcement to this effect. In fact, if Ovia is half the strategist that businessmen like Aliko Dangote and AbdulSamad Rabiu are, he would support both Tinubu and Atiku with his resources, and watch them decide the outcome between themselves.