No Nigerian can become the president of Nigeria without the endorsement of ten powerful Nigerians, Dr Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation magazine and former presidential candidate has said.

Nigerians have always fancied a group of persons secretly united in a plot to perpetuate power using a person who has either been persuaded or blackmailed to benefit their interests. In Nigerian speak, they are called the cabal or more narrowly, the power brokers or kingmakers.  If there is any doubt that such a group of persons exist, Dr. Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation Magazine and former presidential candidate in the 2011 presidential election, has tried to erase such doubt.

Speaking as a special guest of popular Diaspora Yoruba language Yoruba Gbode Program last Sunday, Momodu said in very clear terms that there are unseen hands behind the curtains moving puppets around in Nigeria melodramatic political scene.

“No Nigerian”, he said, “can become President without the absolute endorsement of ten powerful Nigerians.” According to the Ovation Magazine publisher, the ten men, mostly self-servicing and corrupt, sometimes disagree among themselves, but getting the support of seven or so of them may signal victory for any presidential aspirant.

The Ovation publisher made this claim while speaking during the weekly Yoruba Gbode Radio Program that airs via zoom from the United States between 3-6 pm Eastern time and in Nigeria between 9-12 Midnight

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Chief Dele Momodu during the Yoruba Gbode Program

Yoruba Gbode is a chit-chat musical/guest program in Yoruba which focuses on Yoruba language and pop culture. It is hosted by veteran broadcaster Sola Yusuf Aiwinnilomo (OYO and BCOS of old) and produced by Abolaji Ayobami.

Momodu did not list names of the cabal members but alluded to them been mostly from Nigeria’s military complex. He said, “This military complex denied Abiola his mandate, but they made former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, President. They made late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua President. Of course, we know Musa Yar’Adua was brother of the late powerful military man, Shehu Yar’Adua. Wise providence and the circumstance of the times made Goodluck Jonathan president. President Muhammadu Buhari would not become president until he bowed to these supreme kingmakers.”

I was almost assaulted at the airport here (London) because of this. But remember President Buhari was sold to us as the better of two evils, as Mr. incorruptible. Majority of Nigerians including me bought into that. The mood of the nation in 2015 was such that it’s anybody but Jonathan or PDP. Nigerians were tired of the PDP corruption and we all saw Buhari as the man who would stop corruption. Buhari enjoyed unbelievable goodwill but he quickly exhausted that goodwill.

On accusations of selling President Buhari to Nigerians in 2015

The project for Nigerians in 2015 was to remove Jonathan and the PDP from power, and many Nigerians including me subscribed to project- We just wanted PDP out, so it wasn’t so much that I was selling Buhari, it was like trying to get of the other party while appearing to project Buhari.

On the S1 millions Ghana imposed on Nigerian traders
First, the $1 million trade levy and other regulations imposed on Nigerian traders in Ghana is a clear message that Ghanaians are tired of Nigerians and want us to leave. There is no country in the world where such levies are imposed on foreigners starting a new business, yet Ghana did it to us. There is no two ways of reading this other than they want us to leave. They are simply telling us to go back home.

The time is now for Nigerians to leave Ghana. I have already stopped my own businesses in Ghana. I stopped my newspaper and restaurant businesses among others. The maltreatment of Nigerians is getting unbearable, more so this coming from within Ecowas. We must leave and go back home to invest.

And to correct one misconception, it was Ghana that first sent Nigerians packing from their country in 1969. Then Nigeria sent Ghanaians home in 1983. So, we didn’t do it first.

On Nigeria’s membership of Ecowas
I have been saying this for a long time, Nigeria should leave Ecowas. I would remove Nigeria from Ecowas today if I were President. Nigerians are daily been mistreated across many Ecowas countries. There is just no love for Nigerians within Ecowas countries. Nigerians can’t move freely within Ecowas, we are regularly been delayed at border posts to fill unnecessary forms. Ecowas is completely useless to Nigeria in my opinion.

On Nigeria breaking up
I subscribe to Nigeria remaining one country.

On relationship with Late MKO Abiola and working at Concord Newspapers
I wanted to be a teacher when I graduated from University, but I didn’t get a teaching position early enough. My very good friend at the time suggested to me that undergraduate degree in Yoruba and my graduate degree in English Literature sets me up perfectly for a career in writing. So, I started writing articles for the Guardian and was barely paid enough to survive. I then moved to Lagos at the suggestion of another friend. I went to Guardian, but they didn’t hire even though I thought I would be hired automatically having previously written for them part time.

A cross-section of the Yoruba Gbode participants

My exclusive interview with Mrs Laide Soyinka, ex-wife of Prof. Wole Soyinka was the first cover story of Weekend Concord. It catapulted me within the Concord Newspapers hierarchy and at this point Chief Abiola started noticing. So Chief Abiola wanted to host the national football team and wished that Sir Shina Peters, a very popular musician at the time play at the occasion. I was tasked to get Shina Peters to play at the occasion. And yes, I got Chief Abiola his man. He was so impressed he gave me a wonderful gold wristwatch. This started my very close relationship with Chief MKO Abiola.

Chief Abiola liked me very much and was very good to me, very gracious in every way. He sponsored my wedding and advanced me in many ways.