The Mutallabs: contrasting terror-bound son Farouk and business mogul father Umar.
By Chido Nwangwu
Alhaji (Dr.) Umar Mutallab is a man whose relatively mild-mannered public persona has been snatched from him; snatched by the most unlikely person: his own son, Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Farouk is the alleged terror-executor who reportedly fumbled his own plan to blow up a Delta-NorthWest Airlines flight 235 set to land in America’s troubled motor city, Detroit on Christmas Day December 25, 2009.
The events in Detroit merely played up, to a global canvas, the contrast of the two individuals.
The older Mutallab, a conservative Muslim was born born in 1939 in the northcentral state of Katsina (home of the current, ailing president of Nigeria Umar Ya’Adua).
USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine realistically count Umaru Mutallab as chairman of more than 36 blue-chip companies inside Nigeria and overseas.
But while the older Mutallab sought and gained multiple millions in rewards for his core, long-standing interests and skills in business especially in financial services, the younger Mutallab sought to be a foot soldier for bin-Laden’s troops.
Highly respected conservative Hausa man whose friends cut across states, religion and sex, he is soft spoken and very intelligent and industrious.
Having reported and followed key aspects Umaru Mutallab and other members of Nigeria’s military and civilian elite, I know that the older Mutallab benefitted from his deft positioning across an immense network of family, geo-ethnic and professional layers of interests. Consequently, the man has had a near permanent presence on Nigeria’s economic landscape as government official, banking investor, facilitator or shareholder — working the levers of power– all through civilian and military governments in Nigeria for more than 35 years.
Alhaji Mutallab is one of Nigeria’s most respected technocrats and administrators; havingalso served as a Federal Minister of Economic Development & Reconstruction. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (FCCA), Institute of the International Bankers Association (FIBA, USA), the Institute of Bankers and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA).
In mid-December 2009, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab after his massively rewarding decade at the helm of the First Bank Plc, fully retired as Chairman; and he was succeeded by Oba Otudeko, a billionaire, Chairman of the Honeywell Group of Companies and immediate past President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Mutallab was appointed director of First Bank on March 8, 1996 and became chairman of the Board on March 18, 1999.
Mutallab has been in strategic board positions of the banking sector for decades as CEO and/or Chairman of various financial institutions including United Bank for Africa (UBA). USAfricaonline.com bureau chief in Lagos, Obinwa Nnaji, notes that “the man is amiable and always at the forefront of any economic revival committees and boards of government, the alleged link of his son to the alleged terrorism plot left many of his friends and associates devastated. Other Nigerians still argue at their homes, various places and across USAfrica multimedia blogs that they still do not believe it to be a stock in trade of Nigerians to be found planting bombs in aircraft.”
The Alhaji, from some indications, has been concerned about his son’s radical Islam associates, including potentially violent views. He, reportedly visited the U.S embassy in Abuja (Nigeria) to alert its security of the son’s growing liason and engagement with al-Qaeda type characters, especially in the radicalized country of Yemen. In a December 12, 2001 exclusively commentary for USAfricaonline.com, I raised a red flag and forewarned in the critical insight which focused on Al-Qaeda, rag-tag Talibans and Nigeria’s security situation.
Farouk attended college to study engineering in London, and lived in a posh, upscale apartment paid for by his father.
But one of the areas where the older Mutallab’s skills and services did not yield much if any significant value for Nigerians was his tenure as chairman of the troubled and woeful former National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).
As a key member of the Nigerian ruling groups, he bagged the chairmanship of the Vision 2020 Business Support Group of Nigeria. He is a key shareholder and chairman of the very successful Spring Waters Nigeria (SWAN), and a host of other investments.
Evidently, even the luxury and resources amassed by the older Mutallab could not dissuade his 23 years-old son Farouk from being a jihadist and fighter for Islamic fundamentalism through the violent, toxic mechanisms of terrorism, as alleged from his actions on Christmas day December 25, 2009… minutes of a flight into America’s famous Motor City of Detroit.
Chido Nwangwu, honored by the Washington-D. C.based National Immigration Forum for utilizing multimedia to fight authoritarianism and foster freedom of expression, is the Founder & Publisher of first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com, The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine, PhotoWorks.TV, AchebeBooks.com, USAfrica.TV and several blogs. He served on the board of the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S., the NAACP Houston; publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009; served on Houston former Mayor Lee Brown’s international business advisory board (Africa), and has appeared as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, etc
President Obama, hate-mongers and mob cons. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, www.Achebebooks.com, CLASS magazine, The Black Business Journal, USAfrica.TV, and the largest digital images/pictorial events domain for Africans abroad www.PhotoWorks.TV
USAfricaonline.com goes richly interactive with new look, content….
By Alverna Johnson. Corporate Affairs, Houston:
On 10/10/09, the major redesign and addition of richly interactive options will go fully live on the award-winning web site of the first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet, www.USAfricaonline.com
“The importance of this latest interactive re-positioning of USAfricaonline.com is to fully tap into the advantages of the digital world to benefit our community and readers. Especially, the key issue and leverage is that we have and own unique content; and with this initiative, USAfrica advances, further, the immigrant African views and news into the international media and public policy mainstream. It leverages the global resources of USAfrica, again, into the electronic frontline of critically informed, responsible discourse and seasoned reportage of African and American interests as well as debating relevant issues of disagreement”, notes Chido Nwangwu, the Founder & Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, AchebeBooks.com, The Black Business Journal, USAfrica.TV and CLASSmagazine.
“Some of the new features on USAfricaonline.com have enabled for our readers and bloggers, the live texting of pages and page links to phones and other multimedia devices, instant sharing across all the leading social networks especially Facebook, Twitter, digg, myspace, Mixx, Technorati, LinkedIn, AIM, LiveJournal and Yigg.”
Chido Nwangwu, recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009 and analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, highlights other advantages as “live RSS feeds and e-syndication of the USAfrica reports and premium content. In terms of graphics and structure, the new USAfricaonline.com has visually refreshing headers and crisp pictures. We’ve also added more columnists, regional news correspondents and incisive special features writers. The site will be updated regularly, especially for significant breaking news.”
The flagship of the American media, The New York Times, several public policy, media and human rights organizations have assessed USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com as the most influential and largest multimedia networks covering the bi-continental interests of Africans and Americans. The first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; PhotoWorks.TV in 2005, and dozens of web sites and e-groups/blogs.
The Houston-based USAfrica has a formidable, experienced network of editors and correspondents across the U.S and Africa. Its Publisher served as adviser on Africa business/community to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. https://usafricaonline.com/chido.html
contact: Alverna Johnson (Corporate Affairs). USAfrica Inc. 8303 Southwest Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074
office:713-270-5500. wireLess: 832-45-CHIDO (24436) e-mail: News@USAfricaonline.com or Chido@USAfricaonline.com