Their battles, our entertainment.
Bukola Saraki vs Gbemi Saraki
One of the most sibling enduring rivalries in contemporary politics continued to play out as former senate president Bukola Saraki lost his bid to return to the so called hallowed chamber to represent Kwara Central. As his political fortunes dwindled, those of his sister Gbemi Saraki were on the rise as she was soon to be appointed minister of state for transportation by president Muhammadu Buhari. She has largely been an absent minister though.
Akinwunmi Ambode vs Jide Sanwo-Olu
One of the biggest battles of the 2019 electoral season did not make it to the ballot. The race to govern Nigeria’s biggest economy was a tough one once it became clear that the powers that be had discarded former governor Akinwunmi Ambode and anointed a successor. Ambode did not go down without a fight and who can forget his “world press conference’’ days to the elections where he made his final stand, accusing Sanwo-Olu of everything from financial impropriety to mental illness.
Burna Boy vs AKA
Nigeria-South Africa relations took a nosedive this year after yet another round of xenophobic attacks was recorded in suburbs of Nelson Mandela Country. Burna Boy threw himself into the fracas when he responded to a careless tweet from AKA. The African giant promised to never set foot in South Africa until the government fixes up. AKA was up to the challenge though and soon both entertainers who had collaborated in the past were puffing with threats of violence. Months down the line, a Burna Boy scheduled appearance in South Africa was cancelled
Abdullahi Ganduje vs Muhammad Sanusi II
Kano state governor Abdullahi Ganduje won a hard-fought battle to retain his seat for a second term. He went straight to business, whittling down the powers of his nemesis, Emir Muhammad Sanusi, by assenting to a law enabling the creation of four new first class emirates. Initially aborted by the courts for a lack of due process, Ganduje went back to the house of assembly to realize his objective, claiming that the action was guided by calls received from across the local government areas in the state.
M.I vs Vector
A beef that has been brewing for years finally came to a head this year with the release of Vector’s ‘The Purge, a record whose roll out was mischievously ambushed by M.I. Another diss track Tetracycling was released by the Vector team. Shots were fired. M.I replied with the one two punch of The Viper, bringing to light a rivalry that was as much a battle for endorsement deals, as much as it was a test of skill and pop culture relevance.
Aisha Buhari vs Mamman Daura
Wife of the president Aisha Buhari chose to go public with her lengthy battle against Buhari’s nephew Mamman Daura and his family after a video tape was leaked where Mrs Buhari was engaged in a scuffle with some Daura family members over the use of a particular living quarters. The first lady recently put out a statement accusing Daura of acting beyond his boundaries by issuing a statement dissolving her office to presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu.
Ruona Agbroko-Meyer vs Elnathan John
This one played out on the cold streets of Twitter when Elnathan John for the umpteenth time, took shots at the literary community for fraternizing with the political class responsible for stifling the rights of journalists. Agbroko-Meyer, an Emmy nominee for her startling Sweet Sweet Codeine documentary had time that day and dished out a stream of responses that soon devolved into a free for all fight involving the two Germany based creatives. Lest we forget, “dick refugee” became a thing after this particular roforofo.
Tacha vs Mercy
The two fierce contestants of the Big Brother Naija Pepper Dem season were involved in the fight that was heard across the country and led to the disqualification of at least one of them. Mercy Eke survived survive this and would go on to be crowned winner of the season after scoring the highest number of votes. Mercy became the first woman to win the Big Brother Naija competition. The fans wouldn’t let it go though. Organizing themselves into Tacha Titans and Mercy Mercenaries, no #BBNaija rivalry has been this intense. Or toxic.
DSS vs Omoyele Sowore
In a direct and revolting attack on human rights, free speech and the rule of law, officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) violated the sanctity of the courts when they swooped in in dramatic fashion to re-arrest journalist, political activist and former presidential aspirant Omoyele Sowore hours after he was freed on bail. Sowore is detained for calling for a nationwide demonstration against President Muhammadu Buhari and is charged with treason, money laundering and cyberstalking the President.
Federal Government of Nigeria vs P&ID
This one goes back to 2010 when the Nigerian government entered a contract with P&ID to oversee the conversion of Nigeria’s wet gas resources into usable dry gas. The deal, if completed was to have earned P&ID billions of dollars in profit. No surprise that the deal fell through and went into arbitration. P&ID successfully applied to a high court in London for an order that allows the company to seize $9bn in assets belonging to the country. After talking tough initially, a chastised government has announced a readiness to negotiate a settlement. No culprits have been identified yet.
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.