As the year slowly winds down, We take a look at ten controversial Nigerian politicians and what they were up to in 2017.
1. Dino Melaye
The name ‘Dino Melaye’ needs no introduction. The Kogi-West lawmaker will pass for the most talked-about lawmaker in Nigeria. No doubt.
Melaye’s outspoken persona has endeared him to the hearts of many Nigerians. This is the same reason why he has so many ‘haters’.
Melaye’s year started on a rather rough note. An online news platform, Sahara Reporters had alleged that the lawmaker did not graduate from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria’s department of Geography.
According to reports, Melaye had failed a core course after spending about seven years in the university. But ABU vice chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Garba confirmed Melaye’s result at the panel set up to investigate the matter on March 27, 2017.
Melaye also accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; two ministers Kemi Adeosun (finance) and Udoma Udo Udoma (budget) of gross incompetence and driving the country into recession with poor policies.
Melaye accused power and works minister, Babatunde Fashola of stealing N350 million in installments.
2. Atiku Abubakar
It all started when the federal government — through the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA – decided to terminate its Pilotage Agency Agreement with Atiku’s Intels Nigeria Limited (INL).
Atiku, however, returned home, to the PDP, during a Facebook Live on Sunday, December 3, 2017. Will he get the presidential ticket for the PDP? That’s a question only time can answer.
3. Ayo Fayose
A friend once told me that a week is never complete without Fayose in the news.
When President Buhari invited all governors to the Villa upon his return from London, Fayose was nowhere to be found.
The governor claimed to be attending to an important chieftaincy event in his state.
Fayose who announced his intention to complete ‘his stolen mandate’ in 2006, later declared his intention to contest for the post of President in 2019.
With Atiku joining the APC, Fayose’s chances of becoming PDP presidential candidate have become slimmer or dead on arrival.
4. Rochas Okorocha
Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha would go down as the most innovative governor of 2017.
I mean, until Okorocha decided to erect the statues of some African leaders, who thought that could attract investors to the state?
Despite the corruption cases against him, Zuma was given the traditional title of “Ochiagha Imo”in Okorocha’s state.
Video of Okorocha’s convoy being stoned by angry residents on the streets over his decision to erect Zuma’s statue, soon hit the internet.
In August, Okorocha ordered the demolition of Eke Ukwu market. This allegedly led to the killing of ten-year-old Somtochukwu Ibeanusi.
For a governor accused of owing civil servants on the government’s payroll months in salaries, it takes a special kind of love for his people to pull that stunt.
5, 6. Nyesome Wike, Rotimi Amaechi
Wike accused Amaechi of ‘hiding’ the money in the Ikoyi apartment, an allegation the transport minister denied. On Saturday, November 11, 2017, Wike alleged that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)personnel and soldiers attached to Amaechi attacked his convoy in an attempt to assassinate him. The clash was however described by many as one too many.
7. Lai Mohammed
What comes to your mind when you hear the name ‘Lai Mohammed’?
That in itself has been considered a lie by most Nigerians.
“I have told Nigerians time without number that President Muhammadu Buhari is not sick. He has gone to London on a vacation,” Alhaji Mohammed told State House reporters during the President’s first medical trip.
8. Nasir El-Rufai
Though a necessary reform, some political watchers have expressed fears that this decision may cost El-Rufai his re-election as this group form a large population of voters in the state.
El-Rufai seems not to care about that. At least, for now.
9. Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar
The governor of Zamfara state and chairman Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar was accused of building a $3 million hotel in Lagos from monies “stolen” from the Paris-London Refunds to states.
The governor had described the break out of Meningitis in some part of the country as a punishment from God for the sins of man.
10. Bukola Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki eventually won his false asset declaration case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
However, like the Panama papers, Saraki was named in the release of Paradise Papers, a document which shows his ownership of Tenia Limited, an offshore company.
Saraki however denied the allegation stating that he had nothing to hide.
The Senate President was also alleged to have ‘manipulated the Kwara state judiciary’ to secure a favourable judgment against an online platform, SaharaReporters.
The Court had issued a N4 billion fine against Sahara Reporters in a libel suit.