JIMOH IBRAHIM: A Man with Rare Midas Touch


By ‘Káyọ̀dé Oyèró


According to Greek mythology, Midas was a king of Phrygia in eighth century B.C. He was very wealthy and had more gold than anyone in the world. But no matter how much gold Midas collected and put into his vaults, it was not enough. He always wanted more, and he spent much of his time dreaming about how to obtain more gold.

According to the legend, one day a creature dressed in white appeared to Midas and granted him a wish. The king instantly wished for the “golden touch”—that everything he touched would turn to gold.

The next morning when Midas woke up, he found that his plain linen bedcovers had been transformed into finely spun gold! He gasped with astonishment and jumped out of bed. Then he touched the bedpost, and it turned to gold.

“It’s true,” he cried. “I have the golden touch!”

He rushed through the palace, brushing against walls and furniture along the way, all of which turned to gold at his touch. Out in the garden, he went from bush to bush, touching roses and other flowers, smiling as they turned to gold.

Midas sat down to read while he waited for breakfast. But the book he picked up immediately turned to gold. Then when he tried to eat a peach, a spoonful of porridge, and a piece of bread, they each turned into hard golden lumps! Even the water in his cup turned to gold.

Just then, Midas’ daughter, Aurelia, came into the room. She was the only thing he had loved as much as his gold. Aurelia ran to her father, threw her arms around him, and kissed him. Much to Midas’ horror, she grew strangely still and turned from a loving, laughing little girl into a golden statue.

The king howled in anguish, overcome by the horror of what was happening before his very eyes. (Culled from “The Midas Touch” by Kenneth Hagin)

Just few days ago, the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the business tycoon, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim Folorunsho as the authentic candidate of the People’s Democratic Party for the forthcoming November 26 gubernatorial elections in Ondo state. Congrats to him but it is necessary to put some issues on the front-burner.

While Midas, the ancient kings of Phrygia touched things and they became gold instantly, even later to his peril, JIF, the PDP candidate of Ondo for the November 26 2016 governorship elections may otherwise have a touch that is very much different from that of Midas.

This is what I mean:

On June 2 2010, the 49-year-old barrister acquired Virgin Nigeria Airways which he renamed Air Nigeria only to cease its operations on September 10 2012.

Also, on May 8 2011, JIF purchased a 51% share of Newswatch Magazine, one of Nigeria’s foremost publications in investigative journalism making him the chairman, board of directors. He ran the 1985-born magazine aground few months later. Not only that, he also owed staff four months salaries before he closed off the magazine unceremoniously.

Same with Nicon Luxury Hotel formerly Le’ Meridien Hotel, Nicon Insurance Company Plc, Nicon Trustees Limited, Nigeria’s Stockbroker’s Limited, VGC communications, all of which he ran aground.

When he has not closed down the business he acquired, leaving thousands jobless, he either owes workers salaries for many months or in one legal suit that threatens to take-over his business as compensation for the debts he incurred one way or the other.

The thing is: when it comes to management, the Barrister is no good fit. JIF is wont to acquiring ailing companies promising to resurrect them but only to plunge them deeper into the abyss of unprecedented wreck. He is no doubt a skilled acquirer but not skilled at maintenance and sustenance.

Going by these antecedents of JIF’s business involvements, one would not be too wrong to warn the people of Ondo to be extra careful on his choice as governor for a whooping four years. It may means four years of debt, unpaid workers’ salaries, unimaginable catastrophe and total economic clamp down.

The people of the sunshine state, especially the civil servants in the state may need to think twice about the kind of ‘midas touch’ they want to thumb their votes for come the November 26 polls lest their shine dims, and everything turn to debt and ruin.


This piece is not sponsored; this is an objective opinion of a concerned Nigerian citizen who does not even hail from Ondo state. ‘Káyọ̀dé Oyèró writes from Lagos, South-West, Nigeria. He tweets @Imodoye_1