Katsina born Nigerian billionaire, Dahiru Mangal, has provoked curiousity with his alleged involvement in the presidential election of neighbouring Niger Republic.
The billionaire businessman and founder of Max Air is believed to be a major financier of one of the neighbouring country’s presidential candidates; a situation that has led many to wonder what his interests are.
A video obtained by PRNigeria showed Mangal presenting over 100 vehicles to Mohamed Bazoum in Maradi, a Niger-Nigeria border town.
Niger Republic’s presidential and national assembly elections are scheduled for December 27, 2020.
Mangal, who is friends with Niger president, Mahamadou Issoufou, reportedly made donations to the incumbent’s 2016 campaign. He is believed to worth about $765 million.
Bazoum is seen a protege of the incumbent president and the ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) candidate.
In his ambition to become Niger’s next president, he will have to battle it out with 29 other candidates, including Mahamane Ousmane, Niger President from 1993-1996 and Seini Oumarou, a former Prime Minister.
Hama Amadou, the runner-up in the last election, has been disqualified from running on account of a criminal conviction.
According to Niger’s electoral law, a second round will be held on February 21, 2021 if no presidential candidate receives above 50 per cent of total votes.
It will be Niger’s first democratic transition of power between democratically elected presidents since independence from France in 1960.
In recent times, there have been debates about the alleged “new love” between Nigeria and Niger.
The latest donation to a presidential election candidate in Niger by a Nigerian businessman has again stirred up that debate.
Only recently, President Muhammadu Buhari approved that a rail line be built to connect the two countries.
There were also reported plans by the Nigerian government to import fuel from Niger.
The President, who spoke when he received former Vice President Namadi Sambo, head of ECOWAS Election Mission, had said: “I come from Daura, a few kilometres from the Republic of Niger, so I should know a bit about that country.
“We share more than 1,400 kilometres of borders which can only be effectively supervised by God.”