Petrolex, Adebutu and a season of politically motivated media attacks

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The Adebutus are one of the most influential families in Ogun State, and indeed, Southwest Nigeria, yet they have also been one of the most envied.  In recent times the Adebutu family has been hit with a barrage of media attacks containing damaging allegations and malicious tales of nasty incidents that are now threatening to tarnish their reputation.

A key member of the family, Segun Adebutu, one of Sir Kessington Adebutu’s sons who is a foremost industrialist and CEO of Petrolex, an oil and gas conglomerate is also under attack. Segun has been insulted and all manner of false, malicious allegations thrown at him and his company; from accusations of contract scam by Petrolex to allegations of drug abuse and sexual misconduct. These reports are fraught with inconsistencies wrong information contained therein, are emanating from online gossip tabloids.

Further investigation on the issue has revealed that these attacks are most likely emanating from political detractors who will stop at nothing to bring down the Adebutu family. The reason is not farfetched; another key member of the family and Segun’s brother, honourable Ladi Adebutu who is a member of the Federal House of Representatives has indicated interest in running for the state governorship under the umbrella of the PDP. Simply by his indication of interest, Ladi seems to have automatically made enemies who have consistently attacked his reputation and that of his honourable family, including his brother, Segun Adebutu.

It appears that the attack is coming from within the party and there is good reason to suspect so. Ladi’s emergence as a major force within the party in Ogun state may have dislodged some principalities who had hitherto held sway as garrison commanders in the state. This case has shown that the typical Nigerian politician will stop at nothing to use whatever is at his disposal to attack the reputation of his perceived opponent.

As a result of this development, Segun Adebutu has been unwittingly dragged into the murky waters of politics as a victim of political mudslinging, simply because he has a brother who is an aspirant. Yet Segun Adebutu has never shown interest in politics, but his ambitions lie principally in the business terrain. In an interview with the African Business Magazine, published on Feb 22, 2018, he revealed that he wants to build an oil and gas company to compete with the global international oil companies and outlive him. His business exploits in the past two years are a testament to his ambitions. Petrolex has made indelible contributions to Ogun state, and Nigeria as a whole. Besides completion of the 300 million litre tank farm which is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, Petrolex is building a 250,000-barrel refinery that will be the second largest.

The attacks on the Adebutu family indicates the extent to which some Nigerian politicians can go in their desperation to destroy those whom they have labelled as their enemies. It is saddening that detractors will callously attempt to destroy a company that has contributed immensely to the country and is set to achieve much more in the future.  The willingness of the black man to pull another black man down, even if it means doing it to the detriment of millions of innocent people who will be affected negatively is confounding. It is will be in the interest of everybody involved, including those behind the attacks if this careless mudslinging is stopped and peace is given a chance.

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