They have carved a niche for themselves in the political landscape of Nigeria and today, they are regarded as powerful in Nigeria’s political space. These politicians are well to do and have a lot of influence not only on the Yoruba speaking people but also in Nigeria.
These 10 influential politicians include:
Olusegun Obasanjo is perhaps the most influential Yoruba politician there is today. A former military head of state of Nigeria, he also served two terms as a civilian President of Nigeria. When he speaks, the people listen.
His current home is Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun State, where he is a nobleman as the holder of the chieftaincy titles of the Balogun of the Owu Lineage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland.
Bola Tinubu, popularly known as Jagaban was a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a governor of Lagos state. He’s also the 12th governor of The man with the title Asiwaju of Lagos and the Jagaban of Borgu kingdom in Niger state. He is often tagged the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) party with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo is the 14th Vice President of Nigeria, in office since 29 May 2015. He is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Professor of Law until his inauguration as Vice President, a Senior Partner with SimmonsCooper Partners, a commercial law practice. He’s also a pastor at the Redeeed Christian Church of God.
Peter Ayodele Fayose is the current governor of Ekiti State in Nigeria. He was governor from 29 May 2003 to 16 October 2006. He is very charismatic, outspoken and fearless. He’s regarded as controversial, nevertheless, his influence is highly felt in Yoruba land and in Nigeria at large.
Adewunmi Abdulateef Fani-Kayode is a Nigerian politician, essayist, poet and lawyer. He was a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was with the opposition’s All Progressive Congress (APC) until June 2014 when he returned to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
Fani-Kayode was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was appointed the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as the Minister of Aviation. He is an Ile-Ife chieftain of Yoruba descent.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN is Nigeria’s Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing and was Lagos State Governor from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015.As a candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Fashola succeeded Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on 14 April 2007, and was sworn in on 29 May 2007.
He was re-elected on 26 April 2011. His influence and popularity grew in Yoruba land and Nigeria at large due to his feat as Governor of Lagos. He promised the people a brighter, rewarding future and he delivered.
Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan is a British-trained Nigerian lawyer, industrialist, politician and traditional chieftain. He was appointed as interim president of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida on 26 August 1993. Babangida resigned under pressure to cede control to a democratic government.
Shonekan’s transitional administration only lasted three months, as a palace coup led by General Sani Abacha forcefully dismantled the remaining democratic institutions and brought the government back under military control on 17 November 1993. Prior to his political career, Shonekan was the chief executive of the United African Company of Nigeria PLC (UAC), a large Nigerian conglomerate.
Lai Mohammed is the current Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, a Nigerian lawyer and former National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In October 2002, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was a candidate for governor in the April 2003 Kwara State elections on the Alliance for Democracy platform. He was assaulted and five vehicles in his convoy were smashed in front of Senator Suleiman Ajadi’s campaign office at Oke-Onigbin during a festivity. He served as Governor Tinubu’s Chief of Staff during his first term and did avail himself very well in the tasks.
Lai Mohammed an active politician and was the National Publicity Secretary of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Nigeria. He was on November 11, 2015 sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of Information and Culture following his appointment and successful screening by the Nigerian Senate.
Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro (popularly known as Koro) is a Nigerian politician. He served as Senator for Lagos State from 2003–2007, and was later appointed High Commissioner to Ghana. He served as the Minister of State for Defence during 2014.
Femi Gbajabiamila (surname also spelled Gbaja-Biamila and Gbajabiamila) is a Nigerian lawyer, All Progressives Congress Leader, and House Leader of Nigeria’s 8th House of Representatives.
Gbaja Biamila was elected to the House in 2003, and re-elected in 2007. He represents the Surulere I constituency of Lagos State (see Nigerian National Assembly delegation from Lagos) in the House of Representatives. He is the House’s Majority Leader.
Gbaja Biamila has criticized members of Congress for switching parties. He suggested that many voters don’t have access to the information to make choices based on every individual stance, and therefore are sometimes only voting for candidates based on their party alignment. He criticized floppers with this in mind, saying the effect “cannot be anything but negative.”