With just few months to the 2019 general elections, Nigerian politicians were (still are) in their element.
With an unusual (oh well) gale of defections for party tickets, some politicians totally lost it in 2018.
As 2018 comes to an end, here are some politicians that should focus on making less headlines in 2019.
If there is any politician who needs to organise a special thanksgiving at the end of 2018, it to be Kogi state lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye.
It takes divine intervention to jump off a Police van on high speed enroute Kogi state for your arraignment in court over criminal charges bothering on gunrunning; sit on the floor and threaten to kill yourself then get the hospital hours later lying lifeless on a stretcher; survive hunger in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the National Hospital, Abuja; poisoning in Kogi and still come out a strong critic of the Buhari administration.
Divinity at work.
As a lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye should get the credit for his meaningful contributions in terms of motions and comments on the floor of the red chamber.
Other than this, Senator Melaye should take a chill pill in 2019 and not go around cleaning Saraki’s seat before plenary.
After emerging unopposed as chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), former governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has been all in our faces every other week.
Prior to his election, some party members had hopes that Oshiomhole’s emergence would lead to a more united APC given his antecedents as a President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Rather than address grievances and infightings within the APC, Oshiomhole resumed his duty with weeks of ‘Saraki-must-go” campaign shortly after the Senate President defected from the ruling party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On one occasion, Oshiomhole described Governor Samuel Ortom as an “important member” of the APC. Days after Ortom dumped the APC for PDP, Oshiomhole described the governor’s exit as “relief” to the ruling party.
“I am relieved as national chairman, and I believe that the leadership of the party in Benue is also relieved that Ortom has left the party and returned to the club he belongs,” Oshiomhole told journalists on Friday, July 28, 2018.
“We now have a clean platform to search for a clean and credible candidate from Benue, a candidate that can provide leadership that the great people of Benue state deserves. And not someone who seeks to make political capital out of human graves and celebrating the death of his own people.”
Oshiomhole soon realized that the governor had not carried out projects in Benue state.
“Whereas the President and Vice President had visited other states to commission projects, they had only visited Benue on condolence visits.
“It is OK to lament that there is no federal presence. Where is the explanation for the absence of projects in Benue State?
“Ortom’s argument is that he had diverted a lot of funds to security issues,” Oshiomhole said.
Regardless of the anti-corruption posture of the APC, some party chieftain accused Oshiomhole of receiving bribes in billions of dollars to impose candidates on the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
This led to his invitation by the Department of State Services (DSS) for questioning and subsequent vacation outside the country.
Just when we though we have had enough, Oshiomhole declared himself the Chief Executive Officer of the APC.
Whatever that means.
As an opposition politician, former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, crossed the line with some of his inciting comments on social media.
From accompanying former Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose, to the headquarters of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), FFK also takes direct shots at President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and serves governors subs on Twitter.
When self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, dropped that myth of a Buhari body double called Jibril from Sudan shortly before his disappearance in 2017, no one took him serious.
FFK has promised to provide further details on Jibril who alleged is occupying Aso Rock as Nigeria’s President.
While some Nigerians anticipate details of this groundbreaking investigation by the ex-minister who is currently facing corruption charges in court, the larger number of us are tired of such senseless and trivial conversations in view of the challenges that the country is grappling with.
Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, entered 2018 with some many well thought-out plans.
First, move from the Imo State Government House to the Nigerian Senate.
Next, install his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor by all means possible.
Oshiomhole’s resistance to this plan led Okorocha and other governors to begin an “Oshiomhole must go” campaign.
Accused of not delivering on his campaign promises to the people of Imo state, a mentally unstable man believes Okorocha would go to jail.
Okorocha was not just in the news for some wrong reasons this year, he taught us a new word – Iberiberism.
Don’t ask me what that means.
2018 was a severely painful year for Fayose.
The opposition politician saw pain and defeat, yet, maintained his criticisms of all that the federal government does.
Fayose’s attempt to pick his successor as Ekiti state governor was opposed at the polls with Kayode Fayemi’s victory.
Unlike other governors who sneak into the EFCC headquarters, Fayose announced his scheduled visit to the anti-graft agency on social media.
“EFCC I’m here” read inscriptions on his navy-blue shirt.
Accompanied by Governor Nyesome Wike, Fani-Kayode, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Deji Adeyanju and other supporters, Fayose marched into the EFCC facility alleging his trial was a plot to silence the opposition in Nigeria ahead of 2019.
Except Fayose is named a presidential candidate of any party that we are yet to know, Nigerians would appreciate it if he enjoys his retirement from active politics in peace.
One thing comes to mind when the name ‘Lai Mohammed’ is mentioned. Guess?
Yes, you guessed right!
If you thought about anything else, then, you need prayers.
As Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai never lies.
In 2018, Lai came up with some mind bugging revelations.
Who would have thought that feeding Shiite leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-zakzaky, would cost Nigeria about N3.5 million monthly?
Despite pictures, videos and confessions by soldiers of their maltreatment in the line of battle, Lai insists they are fed three times a day and paid all their allowances as at when due.
The Minister has also promised to deliver Kwara state to the APC in 2019.
While he is at it, Nigerians would appreciate he lets his achievements and those of the government speak in 2019.
Surprisingly, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the list this year.
Providing power, good roads and housing for Nigerians is Fashola’s task.
With irregular power supply crippling businesses in the country and firms spending a fortune on alternative sources of energy, Fashola says Nigerians now run generators for fewer hours.
“It is indisputable that we have delivered on incremental power,” Fashola boasted.
“The evidence of our progress is not only captured in the last quarter of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report for Q2 of 2018 which shows a growth of 7.5 per cent in the electricity sector.
“Previous quarterly reports from 2017, have consistently recorded growth, a clear departure from 2014, 2015 and proof of change.
“And you now run generators for shorter periods compared to 2015 and you now spend less money on diesel to power your generators. As some citizens recently reported, they no longer have to iron all their clothes one week in advance as they previously used to do.
“Because the supply is proving reliable and predictable even if not yet fully stable and uninterrupted. This is progress that we must move forward by consolidating on our mandate of change, we cannot go back.
“As our policies on mini grids, Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Eligible Customer and liquidity sustenance and improved governance deepens, your experience with power supply can only get better”, he assured.
The irony is that this author writes from an office that runs more hours on diesel-powered generators than the one Fashola is talking about.
The terrible state of power supply in Edo state made Governor Godwin Obaseki to walk out officials of the Beni. Electricity Distribution Company from his office.
The former Lagos state governor has also charged the South-West to vote generously for President Buhari in 2019 so that power can return back to the region in 2019.
Does Fashola know something and we don’t?
Whatever that is, the former governor should focus more on providing power, good roads and housing for Nigerians in 2019.
At least, those are his official duties as long as we know.
Call him the unelected governor of Abuja and you won’t be wrong.
In 2018, Governor Yahaya Bello showed up in more pictures in Buhari’s Aso Villa than the state he governs, Kogi.
The governor was on ground to receive Yusuf Buhari at the airport upon his return from a hospital in Germany where he spent months trying to fix his fractured bones after a power bike accident.
When President visited his campaign office in Abuja, he was in the picture waving two fingers in the air.
With months of unpaid workers’ salaries and pensions, Governor Bello built a house in his Okene country home.
In 2019, Yahaya Bello is expected to get as much votes for Buhari from Kogi while preparing for his reelection later in the year.
Nigerians hope that these would be enough to keep the governor in his Kogi and not the villa.
“My President, I stand as Comrade Senator Shehu Sani”, the Kaduna lawmaker would introduce himself at plenary before contributing to any bill, motion or raising a point of order.
Earlier in the year, the lawmaker told Nigerians that Senators earn N13.5 million as running cost, alone.
This excludes salaries, allowances and perks that comes with the job of lawmaking.
A social media critic of the Buhari administration, Senator Sani was seen on many occasions sharing a laugh with the President.
The Comrade Senator would run into trouble with his state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, after his committee advised other Senators to turn down a loan request by his governor.
After he was handed the APC ticket for Kaduna Central, Sani dumped the party for Peoples Redemption Party (PRP). A move described by political watchers as a late move in fear of an eminent defeat in this region.
As 2018 winds down, Nigerians would love that the Senator tilts his cryptic tweets towards national development.
Ever had a bottle of Coke made with borehole water?
Well, Honourable Gudaji Kazaure has.
During this year’s International Women's’ day, the Jigawa lawmaker advised Nigerians not to vote for women “too much” so they do not take over the parliament from the men.
Here’s how Kazaure puts it:
"In my whole life I love women because when I go back to my home, my wife is taking care of my children, my everything at home; but what I observed is women need us to give them opportunities which is good, but not too much.
"It is good for us to give the woman chance in terms of politics, opportunities, entrepreneurship, and others because they play a good role in our lives. They take care of our life, our children, cook for us and do everything for us, but I fear they control us (men) at home.
"When we give them too much opportunity outside the home, they will capture everything. Most of the women are very intelligent. You can see a big man controlled by his wife.
"If you give them more chance, one day, they will overthrow us. I came here (was elected) with almost 60% to 70% of my vote from women. So if women understand this thing well, they will vote us out.
"We give them opportunity and assist them in any way they need, but we should not give them too much opportunities.
"If you go to your constituency, majority of the voters are women. If one woman contests in your constituency, they'll say 'Let's go out to support our sister', they'll vote for her and they'll come here.
"One day you will come here and find women everywhere in this chamber and they will mess up.
"We are the one controlling them that is why God said they should come under us. We would marry them, they will serve under us. We do good to them, we do justice to them and then we, at last, should not give them too much opportunity."
In 2018, a representative of constituency in Nigeria should not speak this way.
In 2019, we pray he doesn’t.
Soon after his election to represent Osun-East Senatorial district after the death of his brother, Isiaka, Senator Ademola Adeleke began nursing a governorship ambition.
Enjoying the support of his nephew and music start, Davido, Senator Danced his way into the hearts of Osun electorates.
Days after promising to “dance into the Osun State Government House”, Senator Adeleke was defeated by the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
Although he promised to drop evidences of APC’s rigging of the Osun election “one after the other one after the other gba-gam” in court, very little has been heard of the lawmaker.
Nigerians only hope he keeps calm and dances only in the gym in 2019.