20. Solomon Dalung:
Solomon Dalung, the “red beret wearing” Minister of Youths and Sports, is by far one of Nigeria’s most unpopular Ministers so far, with Nigerians always getting at him at the slightest of provocations and grammatical blunders.
Prior to his appointment in November 2015, Dalung, who had no clear cut experience in the sporting world, had never held any high profile administrative position in sports.
His shortcomings started to yield to prominence in August after he was ripped apart by Nigerians for referring to the U-23 team of the West African nation as the “United States of Nigeria”, while fielding questions from newsmen about the Dream Team’s inability to fly out to Rio for the Olympic Games.
Nigerians – well known to be highly sensitive to flaws on Twitter-shpere – would have overlooked that blunder, but this same minister, whose dressing of Khaki and red cap is taken after Che Guevera, had previously goofed when he referred to the state he visited their IDP camp for a football match as ‘Gongola State’ – a state that had disintegrated into Adamawa and Taraba since August 27, 1991.
After his followers called him out for the mistake, he quickly changed his caption to ‘old Gongola State’. But it was too late as the original screenshot had already gone viral on social media.
Not long ago, the social media community was set ablaze in the turmoil of criticism after the minister said that it was difficult paying the Super Falcons – who won the just-concluded CAF African Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon – their allowances because “the Nigerian government did not expect them to win the championship.”
However, earlier this year, the Educational sector was gorged in the labyrinth of a cacophonous decision making with respect to the ‘point grading system’ and the stands of candidates who sat for the 2016 UMTE.
The introduction of a policy on Post-UTME – internal examination being conducted by individual universities for the purpose of testing the academic and intellectual competence of applicants – that birthed inharmonious and contradictory tendencies became an issue of grave concern to Nigerians as a whole.
Anger was provoked in the social media community after the Federal Government through its Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, announced the cancellation of Post UTME, stating that ‘the nation has confidence in what JAMB is doing’ even as he described the Post-UTME exercise as an illegal, unconstitutional and well-orchestrated platform for schools to defraud candidates – and then in the twinkling of an eye regurgitates or perhaps indirectly dissociates himself from the initial guiding principle?
However, barely a week after the announcement, the federal government betrayed its decision to rescind the Post-UTME as it announced the reintroduction of a ‘quasi’ Post-UTME which would have candidates pay the sum of N2, 500 for the exercise.
18. Budget padding:
President Muhammadu Buhari had presented his N6.7 trillion budget estimates on the floor of the National Assembly in December 2015, the very first of his administration.
However, the for the first time, the nation was overtly confronted with the phenomenon of ‘budget padding’ – a situation regarded as the criminal inflation of budgetary estimates – by some top government officials with clear intentions to personally benefit from proceeds of the fraudulent act, at the expense of the country.
It got tongues wagging in the country and also led to a confrontation between Speaker Yakubu Dogara and his one-time staunch supporter, Hon Jibrin Abdul Mumin, with the latter accusing the former and some other principal officers of padding up the 2016 budget.
The executive had sent a second version, different from the original one presented at the joint sitting of the entire National Assembly by President Buhari, to the legislative chambers.
It was discovered by the legislature in the cause of their scrutiny of the budget that certain irreconcilable figures were put together by some MDAs by the way of inflated budgetary estimates, with the obvious intention to convert this to personal monetary gains when passed into law.
Apparently peeved by the unfolding bogus changes in the Budget, President Buhari wielded the dismissal hammer on the Director General of the Budget Office of the federation, Yahya Gusau and other top management staffs of the budget office on February 14th.
17. DSS Raid On Nigerian Judiciary:
In October, while many Nigerians were fast asleep, the State Security Services (SSS) embarked on a ‘sting operation’ in an unprecedented “crackdown” on allegedly corrupt judicial officers across the country.
The DSS, during separate operations carried out on October 7 and 8, had raided the homes and arrested two Justices of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Ngwuta and Iyang Okoro in the middle of the night.
The other judges – who were accused of judicial misconduct and corruption – whose homes were raided are Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja, Kabir Auta of the Kano High Court, Muazu Pindiga of Gombe High Court, Mohammed Tsamiya of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin, and the Chief Judge of Enugu State, I. A. Umezulike.
The crackdown triggered outcry and polarity among lawyers, commentators, the media, civil society and the public with opinions divided on the constitutionality and procedures adopted by the SSS during the raid.
One of the views that caught the attention of the public was that of John Okafor, a Nollywood actor, who lauded the action of the president and vehemently added that “since Nigerian Judiciary failed to jail Buhari; let Buhari jail them.”
He said: “I will support Buhari for his action against Nigeria Judiciary. when issue of Buhari’s certificate came up, No judge was serious to prosecute Buhari, when IPOB members were killed, no judge talked about it, when Nnamdi KANU was guiltless, no judge talked about it, When Dasuki was granted Bail even in ECOWAS Court, no Judge talked about it, when Shitte Muslims were killed in Kaduna, no judge talked about it, what about the killings in Nimbo and Agatu? No judge talked about it.
“Margaret was killed in kano while preaching, no judge talked about it, all the arrested Boko Haram members where released by Buhari, No judge talked about it.
“2015 general election? No judge talked about it.
“As Nigerian Judiciary failed to jail Buhari; let Buhari jail them, I give him my 100% Support on this one.”
16. Seun Egbegbe:
Seun Egbegbe, an estranged lover of popular actress, Toyin Aimakhu, had earlier made the headlines for his “relationship failure” with the latter, with Toyin later referring to the period of time she had “emotionally” with him as a “mess” and a “mistake.”
In May, in the heat of the irreconcilable difference and public spat, Egbegbe went as far as granting an interview where he made some negatively inciting comments about Toyin.
It took the prompt intervention of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, to allay the situation, as the CP subsequently ordered Egbegbe to sign an undertaking to never attack her verbally or disturb her whether privately or in company of people.
While the social media community was still recovering in the health care of this domestic drama, reports broke in November that Mr Seun was mobbed for allegedly stealing nine iPhones, after which he was taken to the Area F Command in Ikeja.
Despite his denial to the allegation in a statement, evidences from witnesses and pictures showing blood gushing out of his mouth lent testament that Egbegbe may have faced mob action at the highly populated market.
Days later, he was brought before the Lagos State Magistrate’s Court sitting and then subsequently remanded in the Kirikiri prisons, pending when he perfects his bail conditions.
To be continued…