Politics is ideally a way of serving the people and politicians ought to be role models for public service. But in many parts of Africa, Politicians are among the richest people. The richest politicians in Nigeria spread across religious and ethnic lines.
Although many politicians were wealthy even before then entered politics in Nigeria, politics has become an avenue to expand their influence and control of resources.
Like one Nigerian politician said, “what money cannot do, more money will do”. This perspective has become the best description of how politicians operate in Nigeria.
It is important to first find out whether it is morally right to talk about the richest politicians in Nigeria. In many parts of the world, politicians are highly disciplined people and they can be seen as statesmen who have the interest of the country at heart. But it is a very different scenario in Nigeria where avarice and craving for power are the driving force of many politicians.
Here is a list of the five richest politicians in Nigeria based on their influence in the political space and nearness to power.
1 Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Tinubu is the wealthiest and most powerful politician in the Southwest at the moment. His influence in politics covers both the federal and state government. Since his exit from power Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu continued to control power in Lagos state, the second largest state in Nigeria. He is reputed for his wealth. Tinubu has highhandedly imposed successive government in Lagos state and his wife has her place in the Nigerian senate sealed. He no doubts should be in number 1.
2 Atiku Abubakar
Nigeria’s former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar is a businessman with strings of companies. He hails from Adamawa state and he has repeatedly contested for the highest office in the land from 2007 to 2019. Atiku has also played a major role in funding his campaigns being a very wealthy politician. The former opposition party presidential aspirant still has his eyes on the 2023 and he has the financial capacity to do that again and again.
3 Sen David Mark
He was a top government official during the military regime. Since the return to democratic rule, Sen Mark has been hovering around the corridors of power even completing his term as a two-time senate president. He is also very rich and he is among the richest politicians in Nigeria. David Mark has donated church billions singlehandedly built by him to the Catholic Church in Benue state and he is seen as a viable presidential candidate for the north-central.
4 Gen TY Danjuma
The astute retired military General should not be missing in a list like this. Many politicians still envy the fine gentleman for being outspoken. The general is a role model for many people and he is very rich too. There are claims that he has many oil wells in the Niger Delta Region. Although he is not directly in politics he is considered an influential stakeholder that can influence where the political pendulum will swing.
5 Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
The leader of the national red cap group known as kwankwasiyya is a political force in the northern part of Nigeria. Aside from strings of support to the less privileged people, kwankwaso sponsors hundreds of youths overseas for education for free. He also has a keen interest in becoming Nigeria’s president. He is a two-time governor of Nigeria’s largest state in terms of population Kano and he also became a senator.