Thursday, 10 September 2015

9 Shocking Things you don’t know about Late ‘Deinde Fernandez | + His disappointments with OBJ & Tinubu


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Fernandez inside Private Jet

The passing away of Ambassador Plenipotentiary Chief Oladeinde Fernandez on Tuesday September 1st, 2015 did not come as a big surprise to many who are close to the family and who knew his various health challenges in the last couple of years. He had been in and out of aliments which ordinarily would have taken his life but for God indeed, watchers believed it was only a matter of time before the inevitable would happen.
For the father of 9, who holds the traditional title of Garsan Fulanin Kano,  which means the defender of the  Fulanis’ (Given to him by late Emir Ado Bayero) life was meant to be lived to the fullest. And he did lived life to the tilt. He is on record for paying the highest alimony in British history to one of his former wives, Princess Aduke Olufunmilayo Fernandez. Today, your soar away Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog Asabeafrika brings you 9 shocking things you don’t know about the late BARON OF DUDLEY. Find a quite moment with your favorite drink and snacks as you enjoy the shocking side of Deinde Fernandez.

Ajinijini Ogun, Oladeiinde Fernandez
His Influence on Kano Society
 Unknown to many, his closeness to the late Emir of kano as well as his attributes that earned him the title Garsan Fulanin Kano meant that he was one of the senior title chiefs who held regular meetings with the late Emir at any time. He was the only non-indigene who had that kind of privilege. His contributions to the Kano Emirate during the short time he spent in Kano have continued to be a reference point. Despite his immense wealth, Fernandez was seriously averse to publicity. He shields away from it as much as possible. He once told a reporter that they were over a million people who were of his age outside there, with no homes and so if he is lucky to have a roof over his head that was no excuse to flaunt it despite his wealth. Also, he had his fears. Some of this arose over who were very close to him and why they were so close. These fears perhaps explained why he relocated from Nigeria and went back to Europe even after he had attempted to resettle back home.

“For instance, during a discussion with some guests some years back, one of the guests mentioned Morocco as his birthplace. At that point Fernandez reminiscenced how he had not visited his Moroccan home for over 20 years and wondered what was happening there”.

His “Snooping” Work habit
Fernandez had a habit that was not common. He gets to the office around one in the afternoon when he is early and at times as late as 4.00pm and may not leave until about 3.00am the next morning
He preferred working in the late evening to the early hours of the morning before dawn.
Fernandez's Yemoja Yatch
His Biggest Economic Loss & the Unpublished Biography
The Baron of Dudley suffered losses running into billions of Naira in the stock market crash that took place about six years ago as a major investor in many blue chip companies in Nigeria especially the banks. One thing he cherished was his relationship with some African leaders, dead or alive. he never boasted about it but if there was need for him to show you how close to them he was against the writing of his biography because according to him, he found a way to separate his love for his wives and ex-wives from what he had for all his children.
Yemoja's Family Room laced  with African Artifacts & Beautiful
How he gave sons aero planes as birthday gifts
He loved his children with passion. His first 2 sons once told this reporter in interviews published in City People years back that they learnt how to fly and had planes as their fourteenth birthday presents. He never looked down on any of his children’s dreams but encouraged them. No wonder one of his daughters is into pop music. He was one of the major bakers of the Buhari presidency and he was believed to have contributed immensely to the president’s acceptance by some black caucuses in some western countries by putting in a word for him as a changed man and a democrat.

“Fernandez said one of his reasons why his top aides were Caucasians was because over the years, he realized that they had problem accepting him and his wealth status. Based on this, what he did was to ensure that his aides were always around him when he attended top functions where there were Caucasians”.
The Yemoja @ Full Speed

His bickering with OBJ
He was being expected in Nigeria this September for meetings with the president over issues relating to his mining prospects which he abandoned during the Obasanjo years after he had labeled the former President as unserious. Sometimes around 2006, Obasanjo invited Fernandez and his wife Halima to the Presidential villa. They thought it was like the normal state dinners they attended abroad where major issues relating to business and economy would be discussed in a formal but cordial atmosphere. They were wrong; Obasanjo had just finished playing squash that day.
He attended the dinner in his track suit while his guests came for the event in the best money could buy attires and formally dressed and with briefs on what they wanted the government to do to encourage investments in the economy. Fernandez left disappointed. He hardly had a good regard for Nigerian government. His experience with them at various levels said it all. He spent hundred of millions of Naira bringing in specialists who prepared feasibility reports and investments templates on aspect of the  Nigerian economy he felt like investing in only for Obasanjo to ‘dismiss every thing with a wave of hand claiming to know it all’. He never forgot the former President for that. Then, there was also his attempt to reposition the Lagos State water situation.
The Ambassador Plenipotentiary with his good friend ex-US President George Bush Senior
Why his deal with ex-Gov. Tinubu didn’t fly
According to the late Billionaire, he discussed with former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu over his interest in repositioning the water situation in Lagos State so that at least this would no longer be a major challenge to the state Government. He claimed that before Tinubu got elected, he was very keen about the idea and they even arranged for the Consultant he brought who did mapping of the state for portable water even for areas that were yet to be developed but once the former Governor was sworn in and took over the reigns of government, the situation changed. Tinubu did not keep his own side of the bargain. The late Fernandez was very close to the former FCT Minister and incumbent Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el Rufia. His earliest contacts in the Obasanjo Government were facilitated by the former FCT minister and it is widely believed that Nasir El-Rufai also facilitated his contact with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ambassador Plenipotentiary with ex-UN Secretary General Kofi Anan with the former Prime Minister of Mozambique
How his Kano Dream died with Ado Bayero
But for traditions, the late Billionaire would have preferred the son of his equally late friend, the former Emir, Ado Bayero to succeed his father. He had built a strong bond with the late Emir’s son and to him, it was quite a big disappointment that he was not chosen to succeed his father.
Why he kept Caucasian aides
Despite living over sixty years with Caucasians, Ambassador Deinde Fernandez had reservations about some of them. According to him, they don’t have any regard for blacks. Fernandez said one of his reasons why his top aides were Caucasians was because over the years, he realized that they had problem accepting him and his wealth status. Based on this, what he did was to ensure that his aides were always around him when he attended top functions where there were Caucasians. He never compromised on that because according to him, they almost always looked down upon him until they knew him well.
Fernandez's House on New York Island
Why he abandoned some of his properties around the world
Because of the nature of his lifestyle, the late billionaire had homes scattered all over the world. Curiously, there were many he never visited for years. For instance, during a discussion with some guests some years back, one of the guests mentioned Morocco as his birthplace. At that point Fernandez reminiscenced how he had not visited his Moroccan home for over 20 years and wondered what was happening there.
 City people reliably gathered that there were homes he never visited like that for many years or maybe he would spend only a couple of weeks in three years. Take the Kano Mansion for instance, he left the place for over five years now and has not been there since. His Chateau in France is also believed to suffer the same fate as he spent the last couple of years around Belgium and the Americans. Born in 1929 to the famous Olumegbon family of Isale Eko Lagos, Deinde Fernandez carved a niche for himself in business and diplomacy as he amassed wealth while also using the wealth to build contacts in the diplomatic circles and making friends with the high and mighty. Not less than 10 African leaders were his closest associates. Among them were the late Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Late President Omar Bongo of Gabon, late President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo and  King Hassan of Morocco.
Fernandez's Avenue; An Insignia
Apart from these, he was also very close to President George Bush Senior as well as President Jimmy Carter both of the United States of America.
 For long he was a major lobbyist and influence on the African American Congressional Caucus. He died in a Brussels private hospital on Tuesday September 1st after suffering from some blood related aliments for over three years. The aliment had seen him move in and out of hospitals over the same period. One of the biggest projects he had ongoing was his Kano building which was to gulp over five billion but which he abandoned as a result of security issues in the city.
Fernandez; A white man ferries visitors from the helipad to house
Fernandez with Mobutu

(Culled from City People Magazine)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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