OYO INSIGHT can authoritatively report that Ayo Karim, is not one of the 8 All Progressives Congress,APC, governorship aspirants that purchased nomination forms as at the end of the activities last week, ahead of the 2019 elections in the state.
While others, including those who obtained and submitted nomination forms have temporarily stopped erecting billboards, Karim’s billboards, in big size, have continued to spring up in strategic places across the state. A trip to major streets in Ibadan, the state capital, will lead you to his beautiful billboards.
Though unconfirmed reports have it that Governor Abiola Ajimobi has extra forms in his kitty, it is unsure whether Karim is one of the persons the governor is reserving the forms for.
With his ‘Ayo Ni O’ slogan, Karim, the chief executive officer of Costain (West Africa) Plc, is one of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party, has been preaching a message of quality representation and a brighter future for all and sundry.
Since he joined the race, he has also been a subject of media propaganda. Not long ago, a story of how he purportedly double-crossed his older brother, Kola, the wealthy Group Managing Director/CEO Shoreline Energy International, in the quest to govern their beloved Oyo State, which had purportedly polarised the family.
According to a source close to the influential Karim family, “Nothing can be further from the truth. Of course, we also have heard and read several of such puerile reports on the alleged rift between Ayo and Kola. It is laughable to us and to the brothers too. Those who know them know that from their childhood days, they have always been close and Ayo would never do anything without Kola and vice versa. Ayo didn’t wake up to say he just wanted to rule Oyo State. He had, and still has, the full backing of Kola.”
The source further disclosed that Kola, an international businessman rated by the influential financial magazine, Forbes, in 2014, as one of the ten most powerful men in Africa, did not at any point discuss a political move with the family. “Kola is an intensely private man who would rather be behind the scene, helping his brother achieve his promises to the people than put himself out there. There is no iota of truth to the rumours because both of them know that they are the pivot on which the entire family rests and that the success of one is the success of the other,” the source concluded.
One of Kola’s associates, who should know said for a man that runs an international conglomerate, which interests span oil and gas, power, trade and investment and construction among other lucrative pies, to jettison all of that to rule Oyo State, “is a risk that Kola would not take because his temperament and style do not suit the Nigerian political system. So, knowing Kola, and from our past discussions, his vote and money are on Ayo. There is no issue of double-crossing between them. The brothers are at peace and jointly working towards taking Oyo State to a level that would make even Governor Ajimobi proud of his choice as a successor.”
A close source who preferred anonymity however told OYO INSIGHT that what Karim is up to would be revealed in the few days time.