This year was an important year in political activities in Nigeria due to the country’s general elections.
The highly anticipated and eagerly watched elections were surrounded by drama and controversy and much of that has remained throughout the year.
Here are the 10 most controversial politicians of 2015:
- Akinwunmi Ambode: The Lagos State Governor has been criticized by many who believe he isn’t living up to the legacyof his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola. Ambode was also blamed for the increased insecurity in the state and a worsening of the traffic situation. Lagosians also accused him of partying too much after he visited popular nightclub, Quilox.
- Ayo Fayose: The governor of Ekiti State has been very vocal in his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) both before and after the general elections. He has also not ceased to amuse the populace with his palm wine drinking, “okada” riding and “ponmo” and “fish” slicing antics.
- Babatunde Fashola: The former Lagos State Governor enjoyed a successful eight-year term in office but was plagued by allegations of corruption after his exit. Fashola was alleged to have spent N78 million on a website and N139 million on two boreholes. He however said that the accusations were being made in an attempt to prevent him from being appointed into a federal office. He is currently the minister of Power, Works and Housing.
- Bola Tinubu: The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the centre of attention in 2015 largely due to the massive victory his party enjoyed in the polls. Tinubu also faced criticism for allegedly attempting to interferewith the National Assembly elections.
- Bukola Saraki: The Senate President attracted controversy when he defied his party to emerge Senate President with the help of mostly opposition Senators. Saraki has also been facing a trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, a process which he blames on powerful persons who are unhappy with his occupancy of the position.
- Dino Melaye: The Kogi State Senator is currently at the middle of a plot to criminalize criticism of public officers on social media but earlier in the year had courted controversy with his displays of wealth and support of Saraki. He also came under fire for escorting Saraki’s wife to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when she was invited on allegations of money laundering.
- Femi Fani-Kayode: The former minister has, this year alone, accused Buhari of supporting Boko Haram, ISIS and thelegalization of gay marriage in Nigeria. He has also accused the president of witch-hunting members of the opposition among other things.
- Goodluck Jonathan: Nigeria’s former president was the subject of much discussion and argument during his last months in office. A large bulk of the populace believed that Jonathan had failed the nation by allowing corruption and Boko Haram take root. The disappointment of the citizens is believed to have led to his defeat in the presidential elections.
- Muhammadu Buhari: President Muhammadu Buhari has had several rumours spread about him in 2015. He has been accused of being a Boko Haram sympathizer, an ISIS beneficiary and a Western puppet among others. Buhari has also been the centre of controversy for what many see as a failure to speedily deliver on campaign promises.
- Rotimi Amaechi: Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi was one of the most discussed politicians in 2015 due especially to the drama which surrounded his ministerial nomination, screening and confirmation.