With less than 16 days to the end of this year, 2015, a year that witnessed numerous pulsating activities; from the widely talked about controversies to the effervescently reverberating scandals that made national headlines and ate entire news cycles, we present to you, a list of 30 people who made the news this year.
These outstanding controversialists, which among others include; politicians, celebrities, bloggers, pastors and traditional rulers earned their reputation based on the immense impact made that caught the attention of the general public, media and also made the news.
Some of them wear suits, some of them wear jerseys. Some of them wield pens, some of them wield sticks. Some of them caught the eyes of the public for their irrelevant behaviour, while others for their tremendous achievement.
They all had moments of the beam of spotlight in 2015.
In no respective order, meet the 30 people that made it to the news this year.
30. Adams Oshiomole
Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of Edo State is a former labor leader, turned politician who in 2012 was elected for a second term as the Governor of Edo State in Nigeria, on the platform of the Action Congress.
63-year-old, Oshiomhole, who lost his first wife to the cold hands of cancer in December 2010, got Social Media talking on Friday, May 15, 2015, when he announced that he was set to re-marry his Cape-Verdian wife, Lara Fortes.
The wedding which witnessed the presence of the high and mighty in Nigeria, was not graced by the children of the ‘comrade-governor’ as Oshiomole is fondly called, which sparked rumours of the governor’s children not in support of their father’s decision.
The governor further broke the internet when he boldly stated that he met his bride in a pristine, untouched state.
29. Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega
Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega is a Nigerian academic and former Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, who was on 8 June 2010, nominated by then President Goodluck Jonathan as the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), subject to Senate confirmation, replacing Professor Maurice Iwu, who vacated the post on 28 April 2010.
On 28 March 2015, under his leadership, elections were conducted in what Nigerians and the World saw as free, fair and credible, which declared the APC Presidential candidate General Muhammadu Buhari as winner defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
Prior to the 2015 presidential election, the Presidency, who had sensed defeat, expected a storm that would accompany Jega’s removal.
Attempt was also made by a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, to thwart the announcement of the March 28 presidential election results.
Orubebe had on March 31, during the collation of results of the presidential election at the international conference centre, led some officials of the Peoples Democratic Party to disrupt the exercise as he accused Jega of being biased. Rumour also emerged that the main part of Orubebe’s action was a plot to use hired thugs to kidnap Prof. Jega, and consequently stall the electoral process.
In the royal traditional council of Ife, Abobaku is allegedly a person that is appointed upon a king’s coronation, to be buried with the king when he eventually dies. His job is to serve the king and attend to him in the afterlife.
The Oba’s death in London had allowed word of his demise to filter around, and this gave the alleged Abobaku ample time to flee, knowing fully well that he would be buried alongside him.
The internet went abuzz few hours, when the Abobaku, who lived an affluent life, taking care of the king and enjoying numerous benefits in the town, absconded following the Oba’s death. However, a Lanre Akintilo commented on his Facebook account and brought a different view of the saga.
“Quite a number of no-truths and distortion has been written regarding the eloping of an entity called ‘Abobaku’. In Ile-Ife, the person so referred to is called ‘Saarun’, head of the ‘Emeses’ who are stewards to a reigning Ooni. The Saarun is the head and closest aide who must go everywhere the Ooni goes. It follows in the days of hold that upon the demise of an Ooni, his most trusted aide and steward will be interred with him to continue his life of service to his master and as well show his loyalty.
“I personally know the Saarun that served late Oba Adesoji Aderemi (late Chief Yaya Arasanmi) While Oba Aderemi passed away in 1980, his late Saarun passed on in 1987, and seven clear years afterwards. The current Saarun will not be buried with late Oba Sijuade as the practice has since been stopped in Ile-Ife. So there is no need to elope. I am a proud son of Ile-Ife and I am well grounded in the traditions and cultures of my people. It will not happen.”
27. Elder Godsday Orubebe
Elder Orubebe acquired global notoriety on March 31, 2015, when reports surfaced that he attempted to thwart the announcement of the March 28 presidential election results.
The report claimed that part of Orubebe’s action was a plot to use hired thugs to kidnap the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and consequently stall the electoral process.
On that same day, during the announcement of results of the presidential election at the International Conference Center Abuja, Elder Orubebe, acting as a polling agent for the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, made attempts at disrupting the proceedings.
He held the entire nation to ransom as he accused Jega of being partisan and partial, stating that he addressed the complaints of the All Progressives Congress regarding the Rivers state election, but has refused to accept the petition of the PDP about the results from Kano, Kaduna and Jigawa. He, however subsequently apologized to Nigerians over his conduct by tendering an unreserved apology urging them not to follow in his footsteps and explaining that he regretted his action.
Orubebe’s notoriety earned him international recognition as global search engine ‘Wikipedia’ updated his profile, also including his unruly behavior as a composition of his personality, citing his exact words hurled at the chairman. The search engine also tagged his outburst under the category name, ‘Controversy’. While, the Urban Dictionary added his name “Orubebe” as a verb.
26. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi
Amaechi (popularly known as “The Dollar Man”) was a member of the People’s Democratic Party before defecting to the All Progressives Congress on 27 November 2013. He served as the 5th Governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015. He was re-elected for a second term on 26 April 2011.
Amaechi, who was appointed as the Director General of the main opposition party, APC, during the presidential campaign for 2015 election, was alleged to have diverted billions from the state’s coffer to support the campaign.
He was accused of selling the state’s assets worth over $800 million to a local oil company, Sahara Energy, and using the money that accumulated from the sale to fund the activities of the APC.
Amaechi was among the ministers nominated by the President Buhari-led administration,’ an act seen by many as an endorsement of monumental corruption by the administration.’
Amaechi, who was indeed the most controversial minister in the cabinet of President Buhari had his screening postponed several times by the Senate over corruption charges levelled against him. During his confirmation the senators from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party staged a walkout protest.
To be continued…