Tony and Ndudi Elumelu: Moral Narratives of Two Brothers
By Kparobo Ehvwubare
The duo of Dr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman of United Bank for Africa, UBA and Hon. Godwin Ndudi Elumelu, the current Miniority leader in the House of Representatives needs no formal introduction.
The Jos-born Elumelu brothers are powerful forces in their respective career paths. While Tony went the way of business, of entrepreneurship, Ndudi went the way of politics. And both men have, without doubt, successfully hustled their way from the ground to the apex of their fields.
Tony Elumelu began his career as an entry level analyst at All states Trust Bank. And because of his resilient and brilliant work spirit, after twelve months of employment, he was promoted to the position of branch manager, making him the youngest branch manager at the time. He was 27. Tony was born with a drive, a passion to not stop his climb on the hills, but on the mountains after the hills.
The higher he climbed, the more he noticed higher grounds to conquer. After years of working as the branch manager at All states Trust bank, he approached his bosses and told them he was resigning.
He wanted to start his own bank. With his savings and truck load of experience, he left with their blessings. In 1997, Tony led a small group of investors to acquiring a small, struggling commercial bank in Lagos.
The bank was known as Crystal Bank, and, after the acquisition, changed its name to Standard Trust Bank. Within a few years, with Tony’s expertise, ST bank turned profitable. Afterwards, he acquired the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and initiated a merger of ST bank and UBA, which has remained one of the biggest mergers in the history of Nigeria’s Capital markets.
This banking group, over the years, transformed to a Pan-African bank, with subsidiaries in 20 African countries, in the US and UK. And in 2010, Tony Elumelu retired from UBA, founded Heirs Holdings where he focused on investments in different sectors. Then he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation in his bid to give back to the society and nurture future successful businesses out of Africa.
Tony Elumelu credited his success to hardwork, resilience, long-term vision, and, most importantly, luck. In 2014, he made the Forbes billionaires list and has, till date, remained one of the richest men from Africa.
Ndudi Elumelu, who is the immediate younger brother to Tony, came into the political limelight with his win for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2007.
He made history in the House when he, as a first time member of the house, emerged as the Chairman of Grade A committee (House of Committee on Power). This is yet to be repeated by another legislator.
Ndudi, representing the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal constituency, because of his progressive and outstanding performance, was re-elected again in 2019, and he became the Minority Leader. This upset many people who tried to snatch the position from him. But because of his good work and the support of those who appreciated his progressiveness, he remained the minority leader.
He went on to chair other committees and was a member of several, adding value and growth to each and every one of them. Last year, 2019, he was awarded Legislator of the Year by the Nigeria Festival of Awards magazine. And like his brother Tony Elumelu, he has received numerous accolades from many institutions.
In a bid to unmasked the fraud behind the Power sector in 2008, Mr. Ndudi was arrested by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over alleged bribery allegations.
In a frantic efforts for those who want the immediate stop to the Power probe then, fed Dr. Tony Elumelu with false information that instead of Ndudi depositing the said money into his (Tony) UBA bank, Ndudi deposited it into Jim Ovia Zenith bank and Zenith bank was said to be the closest rival of UBA bank.
Aghast by that singular reason, Tony Elumelu deliberately refused to see Ndudi Elumelu in EFCC custody.
Later, Prof. Syvester Monye visited Ndudi in EFCC custody where he told Ndudi the rationale why his brother, Tony had not come to see him. Ndudi was shocked with his reason, he took time to explained to Prof. Monye. On leaving Ndudi, Monye went straight to see Tony and explained Ndudi version to him and immediately Tony swung into action that led to the release of Ndudi Elumelu. The duo are brothers that love themselves. Tony and Godwin Ndudi Elumelu were born to the family of Dominic and Susan Elumelu of Onicha-Uku, Aniocha North LGA, Delta state.
The duo had and still making marks in their various field of endeavors. Indeed, Delta is grateful to have the Elumelus at this critical point in time.
Kparobo Ehvwubare is a journalist, Social commentator and Good Governance advocate writes from Delta. Could be reach at [email protected] or +2347067546856 (SMS only).
Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives.