Mugabe takes a bow; Malami’s 360 on Maina; Ebuka’s iconic agbada | Here are this week’s winners and losers

by Alexander Onukwue and Ezinne Ajoku

This was a week in which an awful lot of people won. From the Niger through Zambezi and across the Atlantic towards South America, there was much flow of joy. But there was sorrow too – in Mubi, in Numan, in Egypt – as the world continues to grapple with tragic occurrences of terrorism. The Nigerian situation is peculiar because the negligence of the authorities to set institutional reforms in motion is a very frustrating factor.

But let’s not ruin it for the week’s winners. Here they come:



Emmerson Mnangagwa + the people of Zimbabwe

Even though it looked like a lost battle when Emmerson Mnangagwa was fired by Robert Mugabe (although he’d served as the loyal second in command for years), to pave the way for Grace Mugabe to take over the family business, Emmerson came back on top. Just yesterday, he was installed as Zimbabwe’s President. But it took a bloodless coup to achieve that.

Still, way to turn the tide, huh.

37 is the human body’s normal temperature in degrees Celsius but for the 16 million people of Zimbabwe, nothing has been normal about the last 37 years under the autocracy of Robert Mugabe. This week saw the culmination of the end of that ignominious reign, a process that had begun on the 15th of November 2017. There was the teaser of a non-resignation speech first, but the people got their wish five days later. Emmerson Mnangagwa’s swearing-in is expected to herald the beginning of a new way of doing things in Zimbabwe.


Willie Obiano

For the Anambra state governor, this win was important to preserve his incumbency.

For one, he had boasted that he would win by a landslide.  But there were setbacks. His Security detail (of 200 policemen) was taken from him and then returned. Also, Buhari sauntered into town to make things more difficult. In the end, he won by a landslide. 

Mr Obiano’s 55% victory means the event of last Saturday passed out without the bang the debates had generated. For the incumbent, it was a moment of history, becoming the first Governor of the state to win back-to-back elections without political or judicial interruption. Some commentators have also described it as a victory against godfatherism, given the role played for the PDP’s Oseloka Obaze by the state’s former Governor, Peter Obi.

Bruno Mars

The American Music Awards 2017 edition took place last week Sunday and Bruno Mars carted away the Artist of the year including six other awards: Favorite Male Artist Pop/Rock, Favorite Album Pop/Rock for his smash 24K Magic, Favorite Male Artist Soul/R&B, Favorite Album Soul/R&B, Video of the Year and Favorite Song Soul/R&B for “That’s What I Like.”

Great way to close out the year, Mars.


After begging Atiku to return to the party he helped found to save them from a potentially catastrophic 2019, Atiku paid heed and dumped his APC party card. His departure was not without insane noisemaking. Now, PDP can give APC a run for Buhari’s money.

May the best man win.

Odumewu Debbie

She broke the Guinness World Record for longest dance marathon by an individual. She danced for 6 days straight, breaking her predecessor’s record of 5 days.

Wow! Such resilience.


We would be terribly remiss if we leave Ebuka’s name from this winners list. His ultramodern, cosmopolitan “AGBADA”, otherwise called the AGBADA X, which he wore to The Real Wedding Party #BAAD2017, had social media talking allllllllll week.





The Mugabes

Grace and Robert Mugabe had their political dynasty dreams broken and shredded when Zimbabwe’s military took them into custody for 10 days and forced Mugabe to turn in his resignation in exchange for immunity. The world was taken by surprise when Mugabe bowed.


APC fanboys

It was uproar in the camp of APC after the news hit that Atiku was going back to his first wife, PDP. APC fanboys were so sour, they couldn’t resist tweeting bitterness. They went as far as calling Mr A “a political prostitute” as if the same cannot be said of their god.



President Buhari

And can we really mention this week’s losers without mentioning the President? Never mind the bold face of Governor El-Rufai, the resignation of Atiku from the APC at any time before the elections of 2019 would always be bad for the party. From Atiku’s letter, it does not seem he wanted much, behind the courtesy that comes with being one of the first wives in big marriage. Perhaps the President felt a conflict between offering that and keeping to the anti-corruption fight, but he’s made no earth-shifting progress in the latter either. The 26 Mediterranean young women and the addition of 200 persons to deaths due to ethnic violence are some of the issues which he may now have to answer to Atiku between now and D-day 2019.

Pius Anyim

The former SGF had had questions to answer before the EFCC. He was arrested this week and released, but only after his passport was taken and he was told to report to the EFCC every two weeks and also return some of $520M traced to him.

Abubakar Malami

The Attorney-General was all over the place at his National Assembly hearing on the Maina scandal, saying the letters facilitating the fugitive’s reinstatement could not have emanated from his office. What does that even mean? How long before President Buhari sees how deep a hole this digs his administration into?


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