Is there anything redeeming about this lot?
- Abiola Ajimobi
While addressing protesting students of the Oyo state co-owned Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Governor Abiola Ajimobi was caught on video, giving the worst performance of his public service career. In turns, shocking, infuriating and chill-inducing, Ajimobi’s response to an educational emergency situation was a crass demonstration of power and privilege. An uncomfortable, worrisome display from an elected official existing in a reality far different from those who put him in office.
- Andrew Yakubu
One of the most tragic displays of greed, selfishness and a total lack of imagination played out this year when a special operation conducted by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC,) threw up surprising results. A building in Kaduna, belonging to Andrew Yakubu, former boss of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (EFCC) yielded the recovery of $9,772,800 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seven Two Thousand, Eight Hundred United States Dollars) and another sum of £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling), all in cash, in a single location.
If America is presently a house on fire, with tale after tale of powerful men misusing their positions to sexually abuse women coming to light, then Nigeria is still in the twilight zone, with victims unwilling to speak out for fear of discrimination and humiliation. The disturbing case of Ekemini ‘Kemen’ Ekerette, the Big Brother Naija contestant who took sexual advantage of a fellow contestant Tokunbo ‘TBoss’ Idowu while she slept should have been a moment of reckoning but we let it slip by. Kemen was kicked off the show but his behaviour was condoned by equally vile persons such as comedian Baba de Baba.
- Babachir Lawal
What kind of human being benefits from human tragedy? Look no further than Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Lawal had his appointment terminated after the Yemi Osinbajo led panel, investigated allegations of violations of law and due process made against him in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) and found him complicit. No one was sad to see him go. Shame he hasn’t been prosecuted. We wonder who the presidency is now.
- Nasir El-Rufai
The governor of Kaduna state has spent the later part of the year dealing with his educational reforms but it is because of his appalling record on security and human rights issues that he lands on this list. El-Rufai’s response to the protracted Southern Kaduna crisis that claimed hundreds of lives was less than inspiring as he appeared to be fiddling while his people burned. He also showed a mean streak by instigating the arrest and trial of Audu Maikori for publishing a since retracted false story on his social media page.
- Akinwunmi Ambode
The Governor of Lagos has since inauguration, run a government notorious for its lack of inclusivity. Less disadvantaged people and the urban poor have borne the brunt of government’s inhumane policies as seen with the well documented case of the Otodo Gbame community. Members of the riverine settlement in Lekki were sacked, forced to flee for their lives on boats and canoes, amidst a hail of bullets and tear gas. This despite an injunction from a Lagos High court restraining the state government from carrying out further demolition exercises.
- Chukwudumeje ‘Evans’ Onwuamadike
For years, a sinister figure operated with impunity from his corner of the underworld, kidnapping wealthy persons – mostly of southeastern origin – and obtaining obscene sums of money in ransom demands. It was a fast track to a lavish lifestyle and Evans, as he would come to be known as, lived in opulence, until this June when a crack team of anti-kidnapping officers led by the formidable Abba Kyari apprehended him at his home in Magodo.
- Rochas Okorocha
Where do we start with Owelle Rochas, the performance averse, statue erecting, nepotism loving governor who gives the order for the needlessly tragic demolition of lives and property in one breath and then creates a ministry of happiness the next? Just when Imo citizens thought they could not sink any worse, having become the butt of lousy jokes, Okorocha has reportedly begun making moves to have his son-in-law succeed him as governor. He still has presidential ambitions as well.
- Rann IDP bomber(s)
We usually hold our armed forces in high esteem, especially those risking life and limb to keep us safe in the northeast but it is hard to feel anything but disgust at the Airforce personnel responsible for dropping a bomb on an internally displaced persons camp in Rann, Borno. This singular act of carelessness led to the death of at least 54 people including aid workers, with over 120 more injured. Defence Headquarters blamed the error on a ‘’lack of appropriate marking’’ and it is a wonder how no one has been punished for this lack of thoroughness.
- Abdulrasheed Maina
The biggest political scandal of the year, humongous enough to take down presidencies in saner climes, has Abdulrasheed Maina right at the centre. Fired from his perch as head of the Presidential Pension Task Scheme in 2013 for absconding from duty, Maina was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for fraudulent activities in the management of pension funds, to the tune of 17 billion Naira. He managed to wriggle himself back into employment of the civil service and has shown neither remorse nor repatriation.
Do you agree with the list?
The writer tweets from @drwill20
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.