Obasanjo's Heartbeat

Amoo- Olowe’s DREAM DINNER AT DOWNING STREET By Alaba Yusuf

To dine and wine in Whitehall, especially at Number 10 or 11 Downing Street, is, surely, the next best thing to having tea with Her Royal Majesty the Queen in Buckingham Palace.

So when the ruling Labour Party’s head of finance, Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of Exchequer, recently called a cocktail for business bigwigs in Britain, only the best hundred could pass through the needle’s eye!

Among them were two Asians and four Blacks! And amazingly TWO Nigerians made the noble billing! The Finance Minister’s powerhouse party for prominent people had a towering guest in Victor Adebowale, Director of Centre point, Princess Diana’s favourite charity, for Homeless People in Britain.

Osun State born Yemi Amoo-Olowe, and his dutiful wife, Bisi, was also in attendance. They were the only all Black couple at the reception. In fact, the publicity shy Amoos virtually refused to talk about their pride of place in the ‘Millionaires circle’, where talks centred on big business. There, Nigerians were told to purchase equity shares in Shell BP so that they too can sit at the Oil Company’s policy-making board. ‘Only then can your people help direct the affairs of Shell’ said a concerned participant to the Nigerian team.

But insiders disclosed that the slim-built Yemi Amoo, a lawyer, fashion designer and now the only African running a pets, aquatic and horticulture outfit in the UK, is an enterprising and unassuming gentleman, with a passion for doing good.

‘I am an ordinary folk. Far from being a millionaire, but I am equally blessed and privileged to know pe0ple of all sorts’, he pointed out While sipping red Cassandra wine, in front of his self-built fountain, seated n a moderately furnished London home that he shares with his wife and four kids.

Even though the amiable Amoo would 00t volunteer any information on his family tie with one of Britain’s most valuable politician, Gordon Brown, sources say that Bisi Amoo and her children often make the honour’s list of the Exchequer’s receptions and activities. And there are pictures to proof this.

‘I am sorry I cannot tell you anything, please respect my privacy’ intoned the soft-spoken Bisi, a devout Christian busy housewife and a school governor.

However, high level report from the inner caucus dinner confirmed that Amoo though not a confessed politician yet his business acumen and perfectionist instinct makes him a darling of many associations and clubs.

According to sources, Opposition Party leader, William Hague of the Conservative Tory has also written to Amoo, to see reason with his party, by becoming a member of the cross racial Tory Top 1000 Club! Of this letter, Amoo mused: ‘It’s a challenge to be recognised by people of repute but I will always remain a simple man’, he added.

Besides, workaholic Yemi Amoo is also a member of several Black, African and Nigerian organizations. As treasurer to Nigerian Forum, an assembly of Nigerian professionals and business class in the UK, Mr. Amoo and his group have played hosts to leading Nigerian politicians and bureaucrats. They once hosted Senator Florence Ita-Giwa at the Regents Park Hilton International; Governor Lam Adesinsa of Oyo State at the Fratelli Plaza, Maida Vale; and Ondo State Governor, Chief Ade Adefarati, at the Riyald House, Sussex Gardens, all in posh London locations.

Notwithstanding, Amoo-Olowe remains unassuming: ‘lam a principled man. That was why I supported Bashorun Abiola’s bid to become Nigerian president in 1993. I am really determined to ensure the development and liberation of my country. I hope to utilise my skill and contacts. in concert with all well meaning Nigerians and foreigners alike, to make Nigeria great again’, vowed the very down to earth tycoon, who first met MKO Abiola during his graduation at the Wolverhampton University, in the Midlands, where he studied law.

Finally, when asked to analyse the state of the Nigerian nation bearing in mind president
Obasanjo’s attempt systematic restructure of the country. Amoo smiled, saying:

‘I think the president is doing the right thing for now, and he needs all the support he can muster from all and sundry. And it is my wish that he would tap on the human and other resources available to Nigeria world wide.

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