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Pulse List 2016 10 Biggest moments in Nigerian politics

Politicians gave us more than we bargained for in 2016. God bless their strategic, cunning souls

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Bola Tinubu insults APC chairman Odigie-Oyegun play

Bola Tinubu and the APC Chairman, John Oyegun


It’s been an eventful year for politics on the home front.

Political parties were split right down the middle, godfathers lost out, a few heavyweights dabbed and sipped on sachet water in public and new alliances emerged.

And we just couldn't help taking note of it all.

Here are 10 of the best in no particular order :


1. PDP holds parallel conventions

In March, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was still smarting from its defeat in the polls a year earlier, when it held two parallel conventions in Port Harcourt and Abuja.

Interestingly, both conventions were held on the same day.

play Political rally (Twitter)


The Abuja convention was overseen by former Information  Minister Jerry Gana; while the Port Harcourt convention was overseen by the 'all powerful' PDP Governors.

The Port Harcourt convention settled for Ali Modu Sheriff as the party’s national chairman while the Abuja convention went for Ahmed Makarfi as its caretaker chairman.

To cut a very long story short, the PDP hasn’t known peace since its parallel, simultaneous conventions.

And lawyers have been the richer for it.


2. Buhari’s cabal is unveiled

It was only whispered in hushed tones that a cabal operates with some venom inside the Buhari Presidency.

Until Aisha Buhari’s interview with the BBC happened.

Aisha Buhari play Aisha Buhari (Twitter)


The whispers became groans and all doubts concerning a cabal hijacking the Buhari presidency, were quickly erased.

“Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position.You will know them [the people who hijacked Buhari’s government] if you watch television,” the First Lady announced.

ALSO READ: 10 politicians we don’t want to hear from in 2017

Days later, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, said he was proud to be a member of the cabal, as Mamman Daura and Abba Kyari looked away.

They had no place to hide anymore.


3. Dino Melaye strolls along Bourdillon

You don’t board the afternoon flight from Abuja to Lagos just to score a political point, unless you are Dino Melaye.

One humid afternoon in July, the Senator who represents Kogi West in the red chamber, arrived Lagos from Abuja-- all draped in white--and posed for pictures along Bourdillon street in Ikoyi.

Nigerian Twitter reacts to Dino Melaye's 'invasion' of Bourdillon road play Dino Melaye (Twitter)


He was daring those who had said he wouldn’t be able to walk the streets of Lagos after falling out with South West godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his wife Oluremi Tinubu.

Melaye made sure he posted pictures of himself strolling along Bourdillon on social media and in real time.

Some mothers do have ‘em.


4. Forgery charges against Saraki, Ekweremadu dropped

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, were dragged before the courts for forging standing rules of the Senate.

That didn’t last long.

play Saraki, Ekweremadu (Sahara Reporters)


Weeks later, the federal government withdrew its two-count forgery charge against Saraki and Ekweremadu because “two courts of the same coordinate jurisdiction cannot be seized of the same matter at the same time”.

Some still say it was the moment a political deal was struck between Saraki and the Presidency in a bid to hand the latter a soft landing.

Those insinuations remain largely unproven.


5. Dino Melaye and Remi Tinubu fight dirty

During a closed-door meeting of the Senate in July, Senators Dino Melaye and Oluremi Tinubu engaged in a heated altercation.

Without naming names, Melaye accused certain APC Senators of working in cahoots with political godfathers to cause disharmony in the national assembly.

“You should go and tell those who sent you that nobody, I said nobody, no matter who he is, can ever control this Senate, ” Melaye snarled in a rage.

Senators Dino Melaye and Remi Tinubu play Dino Melaye, Remi Tinubu (Naija News Mag)


Oluremi Tinubu, whose husband, Bola Tinubu was allegedly not in support of the Senate and House leadership, took the bait.

Her response riled the Kogi Senator: “I’m just wondering why whenever Senator Dino speaks in this chamber, he is always threatening people and behaving childishly and at times like a thug.

“I think he needs to know that every senator here represents their constituencies. And that there is no need to threaten anyone.

“We are seeking and working towards reconciliation, yet you are busy issuing threats.”

Melaye needed no second invitation.

Charging towards Mrs. Tinubu, he barked:  “Look, this is not Bourdillon (referring to the famous Lagos residence of Mrs Tinubu’s  husband). I will beat you up, ….. impregnate you and nothing will happen.”

Days later, Melaye doubled down on his remarks.

He couldn't possibly impregnate Mrs. Tinubu who had since sped past menopause, he said, in a classic case of how not to apologise. 



6. PDP lawmaker defects to APC

Senator Yele Omogunwa formally defected from the PDP to the APC on November 30, throwing the floor of the Senate into rowdiness.

PDP Senators staged a walkout in protest after Senate President Bukola Saraki failed to declare Omogunwa’s seat vacant and carried on with proceedings instead.

Omogunwa Yele play Yele Omogunwa (Punch)


Saraki actually ruled minority leader, Senator Godwill Akpabio, out of order. 


7. Fayose falls out with his ‘father’, Sheriff

It won’t be a political list if Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, isn’t on it.

Fayose, alongside Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Nyesom Wike,  was instrumental in making Ali Modu Sheriff PDP Chairman back in March.

Governor Ayo Fayose in a Spiderman Mask play Fayose as Spiderman (Naij)


But Sheriff soon became too big for the same chaps who propped him to the throne.

“I must tell you that I have learnt my lessons from my past experience. I will not openly identify or campaign for a candidate any longer”, Fayose said ruefully.

He added: “I have learnt my lessons on Ali Modu Sheriff and I take full responsibility for the consequences….”

E pele Sir.


8. Modu Sheriff says he's got Presidential ambition

On a ChannelsTV program, factional PDP Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, refused to deny that he is nursing any presidential ambition as alleged by Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose.

The Governors had cited Sheriff’s Presidential ambition as one reason why they were withdrawing their support for him. He was too ambitious, they said.

Ali Modu Sheriff play Sheriff (Nigeriatoday)


A poker faced Sheriff asked his ChannelsTV host if it was wrong to nurse a Presidential ambition.

Fayose and Co never esperrerit.

Their supposed 'stooge' had become uncontrollable.


9. Atiku Abubakar learns to dab

Everyone knows that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, always wanted to become Nigeria’s President as soon as he got out of his diapers.

Atiku is a politician, a businessman, an Arsenal fan and well...a dabber.

You know that rave of the moment dance where you hold up your hands like you are smelling your armpit? Yeah, that.

Atiku learnt that too.

It’s called the dab, just in case you aren't as hip as Atiku.

Atiku learns to dab play Atiku does the dab (@Atiku)


Atiku became Paul Pogba and more. All for 2019.

Atiku has also been pictured sipping on sachet water (otherwise called pure water in Nigerian parlance).

All of those Atiku photo-Op moments went viral.

No one does pictures like Atiku. We just have to hand it to him.


10. Bola Tinubu lost his powers

Maybe not all of his powers, but the godfather of South West politics, had a rough political year to forget in 2016.

Tinubu’s overbearing influence on the APC--a party he helped put together--dissolved to a trickle this year.

play Bola Tinubu (Twitter)


The cabal in the Presidency cut the Jagaban to size and his decision not to back his party’s candidate in the Ondo governorship election, made no difference--Rotimi Akeredolu is Ondo Governor and Tinubu didn’t even campaign for him.

As 2016 tapers to a close, all of Bourdillon will be asking what can be done differently to stem the Tinubu political brand from sinking into oblivion.

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