It has taken us the larger part of the month to collate all of your votes, but we finally have a winner – at least for the popular vote. And you have put your votes to work and chosen the person you all consider more impactful, charismatic and influential than anyone else in the country this year.
The Y!/YNaija.com voting for Person of the Year 2019 began earlier this month, and the overall winner will be unveiled to the public by the editors on January 1st 2020.
Before that, we have tallied the popular votes – and the winner by a considerable margin on the poll is… Pastor and Social Activist, Tony Rapu.
There was no doubt that Pastor Tony Rapu challenged all our assumptions of how a religious leader should impact his community, inspiring Nigerians across the world to give more of their time and expertise towards the disadvantaged and less privileged in the communities. Dr. Tony Rapu’s boundless energy and infinite empathy for the tortured and suffering. Dr. Rapu spoke up when it was unpopular to, entered into spaces that others would have considered dangerous and deadly and showed through documentaries and interviews that redemption and rehabilitation is possible for anyone. Dr. Tony Rapu won the popular vote with a record 55% of all votes, followed closely by banking executive and philanthropist, Mr. Herbert Wigwe with 22% of the total votes cast.
Full breakdown of the votes by percentage are below:
Congratulations to the readers and fans of Dr. Tony Rapu who voted, as well as the campaigners across social media platforms who engaged with the Person Of The Year poll in 2019, you remind us that the reader is an impassioned voice often ignored in journalism.
The Y!/YNaija.com Person of the Year is in its ninth year and is awarded this year to the individual who has most visibly influenced the Nigerian society for good in the past year, breaking new boundaries or consolidating on gains – and driving the advancement of the public, especially young people.
The editors announced there was no winner for its first edition in 2011. The 2012 winner was entrepreneur and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; Jason Njoku of iRoKO was the 2013 winner while the former minister of education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, was named winner of the YNaija Person of the Year.
Josephine Ugwu, the airport cleaner who returned the sum of N12 million to its rightful owner, was named winner of the YNaija Person of the Year in honour of her honesty, patriotism and goodwill in 2015 and the Nigerian Paralympics team was chosen as the Y!/YNaija 2016 Person of the Year joint winners for their excellent, record breaking at the 2016 Paralympics. Wizkid was the 2017 person of the year and Mr. Segun ‘Segalink’ Awosanya was the 2018 Person of the Year.
The highly anticipated overall winner, which will be announced after assessment by the editors of Y!/YNaija.com will be made on Wednesday, Jan 1st 2020. The popular vote will be taken into consideration but that will not be the deciding factor.