READ ALSO: 30 People Who Made The News In 2015 (Part 1)
READ ALSO: 30 People Who Made The News In 2015 (Part 2)
20. Diezani Alison-Madueke
Diezani K. Agama was born on 6 December 1960, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, to the family of Chief Frederick Abiye Agama. She graduated from Howard in England, with a Bachelor degree in architecture on 8 December 1992, and then proceeded to Cambridge University for her MBA In April 2006. She returned to Nigeria and joined Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, thereafter.
She is married to Admiral Allison Madueke (retired), one-time Chief of Naval Staff, who was at various times governor of Imo and Anambra State. She has two sons, Chimezie Madueke and Ugonna Madueke. She was elected the first female President of OPEC, at the 166th OPEC Ordinary meeting in Vienna on 27 November 2014.
While in office, one of the most controversial policies introduced by Alison-Madueke was the firm support of government’s plan to remove state subsidies on fuel prices.
The spotlight beamed on Diezani On October 2, 2015, when Reuters reported that she had been arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) along with five other people on suspicion of bribery and corruption offences. Also in Nigeria, her home in Asokoro, Abuja was raided and sealed by anti-corruption agents of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, soon after her alleged arrest in London.
The embattled Diezani , who was accused of looting Nigeria’s treasury to the tune of $6 billion under President Jonathan’s administration was alleged to be undergoing treatment for breast cancer in the United Kingdom.
19. Bukola Saraki
Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was given birth to on 19 December 1962, to the family of Olusola Saraki. He attended King’s College, Lagos, from 1973 to 1978, and Cheltenham College, Cheltenham, London from 1979 to 1981 for his High School Certificate. He then studied at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987, where he obtained his M.B.B.S (London).
The current President of the Senate of Nigeria, was previously the Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. He was first elected to the Senate in April 2011, representing the Kwara Central senatorial district, and he was re-elected in the March 2015 elections.
He stole the spotlight when the election that controversially made him the Senate President of the eight assembly was conducted with only 57 out 108 senators that were expected at the chamber in attendance.
Previously a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Saraki’s subtle defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was greeted with remarks of ‘unalloyed loyalty’ from Nigerians. While, the PDP applauded his emergence as Senate President, on the contrary, the APC saw it as ‘Totally Unacceptable’.
The election took place while other APC senators were attending a crucial meeting with party leaders, including President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, to broker peace between factions competing for leadership positions in the National Assembly.
The election triggered mixed reactions. While some analysts saw Saraki as a traitor for going against the position of his party, others felt it is a welcome development.
Saraki is currently facing a 13-count corruption charges, filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau. He denied the allegation of false asset declaration. The Supreme Court adjourned the case to February 5, 2016.
18. Ayo Fayose
Born on 15 November 1960, Peter Ayodele Fayose grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State, where he attended Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo. The flag bearer of the PDP, Fayose who is the current governor of Ekiti State, was the former governor of the state from 29 May 2003 to 16 October 2006.
Fayose was served an impeachment notice by APC lawmakers at the Ekiti State House of Assembly, and was given 7 days to respond, making him the first Nigerian governor to be impeached twice in office.
In January 2015, during the presidential campaign, a controversial death advert by Fayose, which was published by Punch and The Sun showed late past leaders who died in office such as Murtala Muhammad and Musa Yar’ Adua, and urged Nigerians not to vote for someone who would die in office.
The advert sparkled social media outrage and widespread criticism from Nigerians, even the PDP had to disassociate themselves from it.
Fayose, who is one of the biggest critics of the President Buhari’s government, has never shied away from venting his spleen, as he is currently one of the loudest voices in Nigeria’s dying opposition party.
Fayose, who promised to pay the sum of N5,000 to 10,000 less privileged residents of the State monthly, to ease their sufferings, recently declared 20 negative predictions Nigerians should expect from the Buhari-led administration ahead of the 2016.
17. Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka
Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka is a cleric, Catholic Priest and founder of Adoration Ministry, in Enugu state. He may not be a politician, but he earned the spotlight this year, as he courageously fought a sitting President (Goodluck Jonathan) and made his voice heard during the 2015 Presidential election.
The controversial cleric, Mbaka, stole the limelight with his 2015 New Year Message, “From Goodluck to Badluck,” which became a major talking point during the election campaign, as he lauded Buhari’s emergence as President of Nigeria, as a divine victory for the country.
Mbaka’s message of change, attracted criticism, especially from the supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In October 2015, the cleric, advised in a Youtube video that was released several months ago, but was reposted on October 30, that if Nigeria cannot stay united, the country should divide.
16. Olusegun Obasanjo
Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo was born on 5 March 1937 in Ogun state and he grew up in Owu (Abeokuta). Married to his first wife, Mrs Oluremi Obasanjo, she is the mother of his oldest children, as the most well-known among them is Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, a former Senator of Ogun State.
Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation’s head of state, as a military ruler from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979 and as a democratically elected president from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. From July 2004 to January 2006, Obasanjo also served as Chairperson of the African Union.
In 1987, his second wife/ex-wife Lynda was ordered out of her car by armed men, but was fatally shot for failing to move quickly. While, on 23 October 2005, he lost his wife, Stella Obasanjo, First Lady of Nigeria the day after she had an abdominoplasty in Spain.
The former chairman of the board of trustees of the PDP, on 16 February 2015, left the ruling party and directed a PDP’s ward leader to tear his membership card during a press conference.
Nigerians immediately reacted to the news as the PDP also expressed grievousness over the decision by Nigeria’s ex-President to dump the party.
In August 2015, Obasanjo got Nigerians talking on social media, as he was spotted at the Green Legacy resort, in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, eating his ice cream with so much relish.
To be continued…