Two billionaire brothers. One bond. Two different fates. This isn’t the plot of yet another sequel to Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel, though it could very well be. For Kola Karim, the wealthy Group Managing Director/CEO of Shoreline Energy International, and his equally wealthy younger sibling, Ayodeji Karim, their family bond could be decoupling if the tales swirling around them are anything to go by. The Oyo State-born famous Karim brothers are said to be in a war of political supremacy and betrayal of trust that appears to be taking a dangerous dimension and urgently needs to be nipped in the bud.
Spotlight gathered from the grapevine that the cold war, which may ultimately destroy the family ties of the Karim, is not unconnected with the failed governorship ambition of the younger Karim, Ayo. It was alleged that Ayo is angry with Kola, who in spite of his strong financial base, was alleged to have snubbed and failed to support him in his push to get the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State. Ayo was to later become the target of sustained campaigns of calumny even from within his political family, the APC. Curiously, he was accused of betraying his elder brother, Kola, who was said to have initially showed interest in governing Oyo State. Sources close to the influential Karim family, have however described such report of his interest in politics as “puerile”. They described Kola as an alchemist in whose possession lies the much sought after elixir for success. To them, asides his passionate love for the game of Polo, Kola, an international businessman rated by the influential financial magazine, Forbes, in 2014, as one of the 10 most powerful men in Africa, is a private man who has always liked to operate behind the scenes. He is said to be more focused on running his international conglomerate, that span oil and gas, power, trade and investment and construction among other lucrative pies.
But the beef between the two brothers appeared to have melted when Kola hosted his annual New Year party in January with Ayo in attendance. Some key family members were said to have intervened and settled the rift between the two brothers. However, they reportedly relapsed into cold war with the recent series of bad press trailing Kola and his businesses. It was gathered that Kola was made to believe that his younger brother was the mastermind behind those ugly reports that trended both on the mainstream and social media a couple of weeks ago. And the recent unfolding development has allegedly forced the billionaire brothers to avoid seeing eye-to-eye.