by Wilfred Okiche
We love our public figures. But every once in a while, they cannot resist themselves and forget to keep their mouths shut. They mouth off things they really should not be saying and depending on the severity of such gaffes, we love them even more for dishing out the soundbites, or pour contempt on their nerve.
These 10 quotes were the most cringe-inducing of the year and we present them for your reading pleasure. In ascending order.
10) “I am the best rapper in Nigeria. If you have an opposing opinion, now is the best time to keep it to yourself”
Rapper Yung6ix having his imagined Kendrick Lamar moment. Dear Yung6ix; make good music, put out an album, put your name out there. Maybe then we’ll take you seriously.
9) “Any academic staff who fails to resume on or before December 4, 2013 automatically ceases to be a staff of the institution and vice chancellors are also directed to advertise vacancies in their institutions.”
Nyesom Wike, supervising minster for the education ministry wading full throttle into the federal government-ASUU impasse like the uncouth fellow that he is and trying (unsuccessfully, thank God) to scuttle the work of parties genuinely committed to ending the months long strike. His ill advised press conference in which he stayed screaming at the microphone and yelled threats became an instant visual manual for government officials on how not to act in public. We shudder to recall.
8) “I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Bianca Onoh, an Igbo lady…”
What shall we do with Femi Fani Kayode? For most of the year, the former aviation minister and presidential spokesman was a national embarrassment, spewing forth conspiracy theories on any subject catching his fancy. While he had so many disastrous statements, he got more than he bargained for when in defending himself against tribalism attacks, bizarrely claimed to have had a sizzling relationship with Bianca Ojukwu, widow of the late Biafran warlord. He was forced to recant when she threatened to sue him for every penny.
7) “We have stolen billions of dollars, what did you do? We steal because you never stoned us for it.”
Governor Rotimi Amechi of Rivers state takes his side job as ruffler of feathers very seriously. He dishes out one provocative statement after the other without giving a damn and exists to taunt the unfortunate suckers who have not gained access to the national loot. At a tribute event for Nelson Mandela some weeks back he dropped his latest verbal missile and it was both an indictment on himself as it was on his docile followers. No sir, in bad taste.
6) “Come, sit on my laps and I will show you a level of grace you do not understand.”
According to Ese Walters, repentant adultress and misguided victim, senior Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth Of Zion Assembly must have been using these cringe worthy lines to score with wide-eyed members of his female congregation. The most surprising part of this line is that it actually works. His sweet roll came to an end when she published a tell all blog post revealing the pastor’s many sexcapades. Pastor Fatoyinbo is yet to deny Walters’ claims. And is yet to give that robust response.
5) “As the president, I don’t know him (Abu Shekau) and don’t know if he is dead or alive; you journalists will know more than us. You are the ones who talk to Boko Haram”
In a presidential media chat, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan uttered the words never to be spoken by a country’s chief security officer. In denying the whereabouts (and maybe existence) of Abu Shekau, Boko Haram’s point man, he took the war on terror 10 steps back. Worse still was the lackadaisical manner in which he delivered his cluelessness.
4) “Yes, Patience Jonathan is my Jesus Christ!”
Now this would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. And true. Hon. Evans Bipi of the Rivers state house of assembly who proved he was anything but honourable, was speaking from the bottom of his heart when he declared dame Patience Jonathan (aka mama Peace) his deity as she was responsible for his political career so far.
3) “I cannot categorically tell you one now… the one we are going to make use of is going to be made known by my oga at the top…”
Mr Obafaiye Shem, former Lagos state commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps was asked a simple straight forward question by the hosts of Channels tv’s daily breakfast show. “What is the website of the NSCDC?” It became his undoing as he went on a rambling routine that did not produce the answer to the question but succeeded in shedding light on the pathetic state of affairs of our public institutions and officers. Shame on you Shem.
2) “We do not pray for accidents but it is inevitable… we do everything to ensure that we do not have accidents, but it is an act of God.”
Stella Oduah, Aviation minister addressing journalists 3 days after 16 people lost their lives in the Associated airlines crash that was ferrying the remains of Olusegun Agagu, a former aviation minister. Of course, as it turned out, God had nothing to do with this particular crash as the Accident Investigation Bureau revealed that a malfunctioning engine and a wrong call by the pilot was most likely the cause.
1) “You are a widow… go and die”
Oh dear! Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole became this year’s face of insensitivity when he was recorded on video, yelling at a poor widow displaying her wares illegally by the roadside to go and die. He later had tea with his victim and rewarded her generously but still, that image lingers.
Did we leave any out? Let us know in the comment boxes.