Nigerians angry with Buhari over ownership of Etisalat, Keystone Bank

Nigerians are angry with President Muhammadu Buhari for ‘deceiving them with an austere lifestyle while he is a man of immense wealth.’

Their anger is linked to allegations by the opposition’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that family members of the president were used to acquire shares in Etisalat and Keystone Bank.

The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has called for the probe into the ownership of the two companies.

Atiku, in a statement by a spokesperson, Phrank Shaibu, said the call was necessary “in view of reports that members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s family now own substantial share in Etisalat Nigeria which has an estimated $2 billion (about N727 billion at 360 per dollar) of its estimated $20 billion global net worth.”

The report seems to have infuriated many Nigerians who said the president lacks the moral right to fight corruption.

Chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Buba Galadima, had in an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunrisedaily, Tuseday said that he knows many who are close associates of the president who were barely scrapping by before 2015 but are now owners of luxurious estates in the country.

Galadima said Buhari has zero integrity and cautioned that he does not want hear anyone call the president Mr. Integrity anymore.

Many Nigerians have backed the call for a probe by Atiku. They say if the allegations are true, it means that the fight against corruption has become hogwash.

Keystone Bank was acquired in 2011 by Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) under the Bridge Bank mechanism. It was formerly known as Bank PHB. It comprised of Platinum Bank and Habib Bank.

There has been a speculation that the core investors in the bank had over the years refused to sell it to anyone who is not a northerner.

In July 2017, Etisalat divested from Etisalat Nigeria now 9mobile which has been in the market shopping for new investors.

Neither the presidency, Etisalat nor Keystone Bank has reacted to the allegation.

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