In our annual tradition, we take a look back at the 100 people who have defined, re-defined and moulded the days of our lives in 2016. Innovators, creators, political players, entertainers and activists of all ages – you won’t find a more definite list anywhere else.
The former Vice President has shrugged off his defeat at the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries and has much more than any politician not named Saraki, set himself to the task of rebuilding political structures, amassing allies and making all the right noises. Whether all of this will eventually lead to an Atiku Abubakar presidency should be interesting to watch.
After a slow start, Akinwunmi Ambode has taken to the task of governing Nigeria’s mega city with verve, impressing many and surpassing expectations. He has shown commitment to being inclusive by carrying along non-elitist suburbs, impressed with the Light Up project that has changed the face of Lagos roads and his 25 billion Employment Trust Fund seeks to confront youth unemployment head on.
The first lady dared to speak her mind in an interview with the BBC Hausa language service that was mildly critical of her husband’s politics and was promptly dismissed by the president as belonging to ‘’the other room.” But Mrs. Buhari has proven to be made of sterner stuff, speaking out for society’s underprivileged and raising money and goodwill for the rehabilitation of the victims of Boko Haram’s insurgency.
The ‘’Change” mantra that swept through the entire North during the last general elections did the Peoples Democratic Party no good but Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state emerged from the political tsunami as the last man standing, managing to win a second term and under the PDP platform too. Dankwambo’s major achievements are in road construction, education, infrastructure and water supply.
The Department of State Security Service is once again a force to be reckoned with and the fear of Lawal Daura and his men is only the beginning of wisdom. Irrespective of constitutional implications, Daura’s DSS has launched sting operations on judges deemed to be on the take, unscrupulous bureau de change operators and on corrupt politicians and government office holders.
A former journalist and industrialist, Mamman Daura holds no official cabinet or government position but his family ties to the President Buhari and the complete trust that the President has reportedly in him has placed him in a position where he is able to influence who and what gets the president’s approval- or attention for that matter. According to inside sources, federal appointments almost always receive the Mamman Daura seal of approval.
You may not always agree with Fayose’s methods- and there is too much to disagree with,- but it is clear to see that Fayose swings from the thuggish, uncouth rabble-rouser image to a sometimes volatile, but thorough leader of the opposition. As his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to shrink into irrelevance, Ayo Fayose represents the last stand, leading the defence and fighting hard to stay afloat. He may still have a lot of fight left in him.
The Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari is no ordinary domestic aide. Kyari enjoys a close and robust relationship with his principal and leverages on it to influence everything within government from policy making to presidential appointments. He was recently named to the six-man board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
The former Kaduna state Governor and Senator now has a running gig as chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It has fallen on Makarfi to lead a party in crisis and restore some semblance of confidence to a bruised property but Makarfi has so far spent his early days battling a challenge from the faction led by Ali Modu Sheriff. Crucial court victories relating to the Ondo state gubernatorial polls might prove that he has staying power.
The Minister for Environment is one of the shining lights in Buhari’s cabinet. Apart from leading negotiations on behalf of Nigeria at the Cop 21 climate talks, Mohammed’s ministry supervised the launch and provided leadership commitment to the clean-up of Ogoniland, as recommended in the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland and other associated sites.
The former banker took over a healthy economy from his predecessor and has gone on a massive infrastructure driven reconstruction of the state. From road networks to bridges, agricultural/rural development advances to providing a fertile environment for small and medium enterprises to thrive, Willie has indeed been working.
Since his second coming as a civilian president in 1999, no other personality has exerted as much influence on the polity as Olusegun Obasanjo. Some of this influence may be overbearing, sometimes it is self-serving, but it is hard to see any other leader that has dedicated their lives post service to the Nigerian project as Obasanjo has. From his second career as a continental diplomat to his past time of reminding sitting Presidents just why they were elected, Obasanjo is the man.
Peter Obi has helped to direct much-needed attention to the perils of government waste, an expensive habit that continues to eat away at the economic fabric. And he’s walked his talk. Anambra state is one of only a handful of states that has not owed salaries since the economic downturn began. Anambra is presently in a position to provide generous economic stimulus packages only because of Peter Obi’s foresight and financial prudence while in office as governor.
Bukola Saraki, heir, and leader of a supreme political dynasty emerged senate president by cooking up an illicit but potent romance with his colleagues from the opposition. The Saraki armour survived countless hits including a protracted trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal plus a criminal investigation into the forging the senate standing rules that got him elected.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state is a shining example of a different kind of political leadership, one that has its roots in empathy and a genuine concern for the welfare of his people. He has been at the forefront of every single initiative to not only bring back and rehabilitate the missing Chibok girls, but also the thousands of other citizens lost to the Boko Haram insurgency.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God is your favourite GO’s favourite GO. Perhaps the most influential religious leader in the country, Pastor Adeboye has stated that his aim is to put a branch within five minutes of every human on earth. Every year he comes closer to this goal as he continues to minister to his devoted flock.
Reverend Sam Adeyemi is the senior pastor, Daystar Christian Centre and founder, Daystar Leadership Academy, a resource centre dedicated to raising a new generation of leaders that will serve as catalysts for the transformation of Africa. DLA’s alumnus currently numbers over 30,000, drawn from all spheres of life including business, corporate and private sectors.
Millions of faithful, from all over the world flock to Prophet TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations for his famous prophecies and life-altering interventions, millions more follow his teachings from the safe spaces of their home televisions and also online where his YouTube channel presently boasts over 400,000 subscribers.
Anthony Cardinal Okogie
His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie at 80 years of age may be settled into retirement but he has certainly not lost his voice, nor the importance of his calling, as he continues his fight for good governance, equality and speaking truth to power at every turn.
The founder and presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church World Wide, (also known as Winners’ Chapel) is in many ways also the most important private Nigerian investor in education. His work with Covenant University, Landmark University and the Kingdom Heritage model primary and secondary school franchise is unrivaled in its commitment to excellence.
Creative mind. Enthusiast. Learner. Multipotentialite. And here, an assistant editor.