In a year that was filled with depressing news, these guys were the bottom of the barrel.
President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Denja Abdullahi exhibited proof that he has no business leading an association of creatives via his cruel and unusual treatment of Ernest O. Ògúnyemí, a budding writer whose only error was winning a prose prize for young writers organized by the ANA. After his win in 2018, a then 18-year-old Ògúnyemí tried unsuccessfully to claim his 100,000 Naira prize money. Apart from treating Ògúnyemí shabbily at the event, Abdullahi at some point warned him never to call his phone again and then showed bad faith by threatening and intimidating his association’s young prize winner.
Major General Muhammadu Buahri
Nigeria’s incumbent president Buahri was peddled as the necessary change to the country’s disastrous political leadership before his first term. Now in his second term, Buhari’s brand of democracy has been delineated by a string of press intimidation, censorship, corruption, worsening state of insecurity and a fascist-style approach that echoes from his military past. So much so that recently, popular daily Punch Newspapers released a statement to address him solely by the erstwhile title of ‘Major General,’ and also a way to indicate protest. And we couldn’t agree more.
Young and getting it, Obinwanne Okeke, smiling from the cover of Forbes Africa magazine in 2016 as one of Africa’s “most outstanding 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30” Obi was arrested in August by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was implicated as the ringleader of a cybercrime syndicate. This group is allegedly responsible for defrauding a number of American citizens to the tune of $11m through fraudulent wire transfer instructions in a massive, coordinated, business e-mail compromise scheme. Okeke is currently standing trial in the USA.
The former first lady of Lagos state had her ambition to become deputy senate president go up in smoke after the general elections. But that wasn’t before she had run an unimpressive, borderline offensive campaign that stoked ethnic tensions whenever presented with the opportunity. She had a chance to redeem herself when she was named in the senate committee to investigate the violent attack against a woman by colleague Elisha Abbo. But instead of staying on the side of the law and the people, Tinubu chose to self-preserve by offering to protect Abbo, proving once and for all that her values are as backwards as her politics.
Sabi Abdullahi and Mohammed Sani Musa
If you feel like your freedom of expression has been under threat of late, the fellows responsible for this dystopian reimagining are senators Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) and Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger East). Abdullahi is championing the hate speech bill, otherwise called the prohibition of hate speech bill while the social media bill, otherwise known as the internet falsehood and manipulation bill is being peddled by Sani Musa. Both bills, malicious in intent, have been plagiarized from similar legislation in Singapore and serve no purpose but to roll back decades of democratic progress. Both men must be stopped.
Comrade Rodney Nathan is the chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers. He has no business imparting knowledge to students. Matter of fact, young ones should never be left in his care. Responding to a sexual abuse incident in which a student in the state was impregnated by her teacher, Nathan’s insipid take was that the allegation of rape leveled against the teacher was untrue and the teacher and the victim- all 12 years old of her- were in a romantic relationship. It is a wonder why this man still has his job really.
Glory Osei and Muyiwa Folorunsho
A couple that does bad business together stays together. Twitter was shook to its core when allegations of shady business practices, scam deals and undignifying treatment of staff began to emerge across several business operated by Divergent Enterprises, the company set up and run by Glory Osei and Muyiwa Folorunsho. The picture that emerged was a workspace culture so toxic, self-respecting persons had no business existing there. Folks who had been watching closely noted that this terrible behavior by Osei and hubby Folorunsho have been documented extensively on Nairaland but for some reason the couple have emerged unscathed. Osei showed not a bit of remorse for being caught out there and her implosion included perhaps the lengthiest Twitter rant of the year.
Yusuf Magaji Bichi
No Nigerian institution this year has behaved as dictatorially and as unprofessionally- in full glare of the public- as the Department of State Services (DSS) headed by Yusuf Magaji Bichi. For overseeing the arrest of former presidential aspirant and media publisher Omoyele Sowore and holding on to him despite several court judgements ordering otherwise, and then going on to abduct him in a show of shame that made a mockery of all democratic tenets and respect for the rule of law, Bichi has no business being in public office. His DSS is also in dire need of a systemic overhaul.
A sitting senator of the federal republic visits a sex shop. Nothing wrong with that, merely a scandalous tidbit for blogazines to obsess over. But Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North dragged what would have been a private visit to the public space when he viciously attacked a woman who was merely intervening in a spat between him and the shop’s owner. Abbo who has been accused of domestic abuse in the past was caught on CCTV camera slapping the helpless woman and threatening everyone else. Worse still was his unrepentant attitude when the matter came to light. To cap off the year, Abbo is also a supporter of the noxious social media bill.
It is a long road from well-regarded spiritual leader to chronic adulterer and accused rapist but Biodun Fatoyinbo, founder and senior pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) has spent the past few years of his life arriving at that ignoble final destination. A former member of his congregation, Busola Dakolo came forward with a compelling story of sexual and emotional accusing Fatoyinbo of raping her several times some years back. Other women spurred by Dakolo’s confession also came public with their claims. Fatoyinbo meanwhile handled the scandal in the worst way possible, threatening, grandstanding and intimidating his way to keeping his position at the church he founded. Shame.
Editor’s Note: The Editorial Board has decided this list is sadly incomplete without the name of President Muhammadu Buhari. The list has thus been updated to reflect our new position.
Wilfred Okiche is a medic, reader, writer, journalist, culture critic, and occasional ruffler of feathers. One of the most influential critics working in the Nigerian culture space, his writing has appeared extensively in platforms like YNaija.com and 360nobs.com. Okiche has provided editorial assistance to the UK Guardian and has had his work published in African Arguments, Africa is a Country and South Africa’s City Press. He has received trainings and acquired experience in multimedia and online journalism. He also appears on the culture television show, Africana Literati. He has participated at critic programs in Lagos, Durban and Rotterdam.