Suave and soft-spoken, Abu, as his friends call him, was one of the wealthiest and most powerful young men in Abuja.
Until about a year ago, life was good; very good and rosy for Abubakar Isa-Funtua. His father, Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua, was one of a trio of power brokers who were so close to President Muhammadu Buhari. The other two are Mamman Daura and the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari. Whatever Ismaila wanted, Ismaila got in the Buhari government, according to The Capital NG.
Within a few years of Buhari’s ascent to power, his company, Bulet International Construction Company, grew from insolvency to robust buoyancy with multi-billion naira contracts thrown its way.
Many national assets ended up in his kitty. And he had Nigeria’s economic and political levers firmly in his hands. It was a no-brainer, therefore, that his son, Abubakar, would live it up.
Suave and soft-spoken, Abu, as his friends call him, was one of the wealthiest and most powerful young men in Abuja. One of his closest friends is Yusuf, the only son of the President.
The smart-alec then married Safinat, the fifth daughter of President Buhari with his first wife Hajiya Safinatu, further solidifying his place in the power equation.
However, he entered the national consciousness in 2019 when he flew in a Lamborghini Aventador valued at over $400, 000 on an Emirates flight from Dubai. Dubai is described as his second home and he reportedly lives like an oil sheikh there.
Despite the uproar the car generated, neither father nor son flinched or broke a sweat. Living large and loud was what they had become used to and could not fathom why buying a car would generate so much noise.
If the car announced Abu to the social media crowd, those who understand Aso Rock power play bowed and kowtowed before him to facilitate deals or access Aso Rock.
His home in a highbrow area of Abuja was a Mecca of sorts for favour seekers, political jobbers and juggernauts and prominent businessmen. Everybody that was somebody curried his favour.
Though in his mid-30s, Abu was on first name terms with a lot of powerful Nigerians. He was so powerful that he aspired to govern Katsina in the last election but lost at the primaries to the incumbent. Then, his father died. Isa-Funtua, a Federal Minister in the Second Republic, allegedly died of cardiac arrest in July 2020 in Abuja.
From the moment his father died, Abubakar became a pariah in powerful circles. Those who looked up to him began to stare him down. Sycophants who made him believe that the sun set and rose from his side of the world no longer returned his calls.
He was no longer the powerful man of yesterday. Even in circles where his voice boomed the loudest, it has now become muffled and restrained. Abu is not broke, far from it. But the power he wielded until a year ago has now diminished. Not even being married to the President’s daughter has made things any different.
It must have now dawned on him that power is, indeed, transient and that no one is guaranteed tomorrow. If he had any inkling that tables would turn so suddenly perhaps, a source said, he would have been calmer and more circumspect.
Ask the people involved in Keystone bank and 9mobile deals, or CBN top dogs they would confirm this.
The Capital NG