If you have recently driven by the uppity multipurpose Galleria building along Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, you would have noticed the makeover by showbiz promoter and politician, Ben Murray Bruce.
After deciding he is not running again for the Senate, Bruce appears to have decided to spend more time on his business, instead of chaperoning Senate President Bukola Saraki around town. Interview Confidential (IC) was reliably informed that the makeover of Galleria Victoria Island is the first step before possible sale.
And the asking price is N25bn! We’re keeping a close watch on the bids, especially since everyone knows that Galleria is also a business of interest to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)!
Kashamu Buruji, SAS Of The South
The factional leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State and official governorship candidate of the party, His Excellency, Dr., Professor, Engineer, Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Kashamu Buruji, is probably Nigeria’s most understated politician.
Yet, his gift of survival and his spirit of defiance are legendary. Insiders told IC that a major secret of Buruji’s survival is his ability to adjust his sails to wind. Like the other political cat with nine lives and former Borno State Governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Buruji’s immortality is beyond question.
Abuja forces are playing Buruji as the wild card in the Ogun governorship election. They’re using him to block the son of the multimillionaire, PDP’s Oladipupo Adebutu; and also, the Amosun-favoured APC’s Adekunle Akinlade, in exchange for a soft-landing for his potential extradition to the US on drug-related crimes.
The hope is that Buruji’s emergence would not only scupper the chances of the two other contenders, but that it would also pave the way for the pro-Oshiomhole candidate, Dapo Abiodun. It’s high-stakes politics, with most betting people casting their lot with Buruji. If Abidoun wins, he gets amnesty; and if, on the other hand, he (Buruji) wins, he gets immunity for four years! It’s SAS redux!
Big Brother, Big Misery
The scandal surrounding the latest audition for Big Brother Naija, is a prize winner in its own right. From the pre-auditioning videos that went viral on Friday, Multichoice can select winners for the 2019 edition of BBNaija and award cash prizes without packing inmates in a house and feeding them on a fantasy diet of lust and gossips for three months.
The auditioning arrangements were a shambles. IC gathered that in Abuja, for example, candidates massed around Multichoice Maitama office as earlier as 4am. When officials turned up at dawn, they tore up the list of those who had been on the queue and pepper-sprayed hundreds of weary folks.
The result of the strong-arm crowd control in Maitama as in other auditioning centres across the country was chaos. Anyone who has conducted an interview even for corner-shop sales clerks in Nigeria, knows that an open invitation comes with waves of desperate applicants.
How Multichoice failed to get that and to adopt a robust and efficient screening process should be the subject of another reality TV show, which we may title, “#BBNaija Misery.” Shame!
Special Traffic Cameras, No More ‘Show Me Your Patikolas?’
There’s word making the rounds that the Lagos State government has started an experiment with vehicle licence renewal that may put bribe-hungry police officers and traffic officials out of business. IC gathered that special cameras have been installed in the Alausa business district area of Lagos to capture the licence plates of vehicles with expired number plates.
In the exercise, which is still in its trial phase, the camera will match the number plate with the car owner’s database and send the fine by text to the car owner’s phone. If the owner fails to pay the fine within seven days the vehicle may be impounded, with a fine of up to N20,000 for recovery.
If the Alausa experiments works, the special cameras could be extended to more parts of Lagos before the end of the year. Apart from making more money for Lagos, this experiment could also free the police for more useful, productive work.