Society
Unbelievable stories of lack and deprivation in the midst of Nigeria's plenty.

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Malta Guinness in partnership with Ebony life TV recently launched a new drama series titled Life 101 at a premier event which took place at the Imax Film House Cinema, Lekki on Wednesday– 1st March, 2017. The event was fully lit with guests on the Yellow carpet looking frosh and glamourous as they were treated to an evening of fun, laughter, food and lots of Malta Guinness inspired cocktails.

Life 101; a fresh campus youth drama about four childhood friends who leave their high school years behind and head for University oblivious of what lies ahead. The story is about life, love, laughter and four friends who cannot stay out of trouble. Life 101 is an exciting series that promises to deliver a unique viewing experience as the drama series unfolds in the next 20 weeks showcasing the everyday challenges being faced by the average Nigerian youth and how they are able to relish and overcome each one with vigor and a Can-do attitude.

The Life 101 project kicked off in August, 2016 with over 1000 participants in exciting auditions held across Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Calabar and Benin after which the final fourteen (14) lead cast were selected from the pool of many talented young acts.

 

Speaking at the premiere, Guinness Nigeria Marketing and Innovations Director- Rob Hobart, said“The process was a very humbling one and we are so proud to be a part of this wonderful end product. We are especially proud of the cast and crew and of the result of all their hard work.”

 

“This partnership is one we are especially pleased with, because it gives us an opportunity to showcase our passion and support for the art and creative industry in Nigeria, because we truly believe in the youth of this great country. This project also brings to life the brand purpose of Malta Guinness as it seeks to fuel the Can-Do spirit of every Nigerian and enable them to achieve their dreams.”

Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Ebonylife TV and Ebony Life Films, Mo Abudu, thanked the Malta Guinness team for partnering with them on the Life 101 project.

 

“Life 101 is a product of resilience and talent. I want to congratulate everyone that came together to make the show a reality; the cast, crew, and of course Malta Guinness team. The life 101 cast is made of new talents and we are excited about the potentials the future holds for this project. Ebony life is always interested in nurturing new talents and we are glad Malta Guinness joined us in this project as the Malta Guinness team was fully involved in every phase of this project” She said.

 

Also in attendance were Ifeoma Agu, Brand Manager Malta Guinness and Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Oyo Otome, Marketing Manager- Malta Guinness and Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Mo Abudu, CEO of Ebony Life TV and Ebony Life Films,Heidi Uys, Head of Programming, Kelani Jubril, Asst. Brand Manager-Malta Guinness and Non-Alcoholic Drinks and many others.

 

The series stars EmekaNwagbaraocha, Benjamin Touitou, Patrick Fakoya, Paulette Iwenjiora, Flora Chiedo, Pearl Wats, Malachi Alozie, TegaOlose, ChiagoziemNwakanm, Shadrach Iwebendu, Jeffery Achu, EfaIwara, Kester Oshioreame, and AbimbolaAdemoye.

 

The Life 101 Drama Series is one to look out for every week from next WednesdayMarch 8th, 2017 by 8pm on ELTV channel 165. It promises to be filled with intrigue, suspense, comedy and Life lessons for all.

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A Lagos lawmaker, Mr Segun Olulade on Thursday advised the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on the negative implications of Big Brother Naija on the nation’s culture and youths.

The Big Brother Naija is a Reality TV Show sponsored by PayPorte, an online shopping platform, and aired by Africa Magic on Dstv.

Olulade, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Health Services, in a statement, said that the content of the programme was completely foreign to the indigenous culture which forbade immorality.

According to him, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which has tried to promote culture and indigenous values should not be seen to be encouraging the spread of obscenity on TV.

“We have culture and tradition in this country that we must not allow to die.

“The Federal Government, through the Minister of Information and Culture, needs to reconsider the implications of Big Brother Naija on our culture and youths.

“The content of Big Brother Naija reality show is alien to our culture. This show is contrary to the rich cultural values we are trying to promote and bring to the front burner.

“It is sad that our young children including adults are made to watch such content. This kind of programme promotes obscenity and immorality.

“We must not encourage such if our hallowed cultural heritage would be preserved. We cannot prevent our inquisitive young ones from watching the obscene displays that permeate the show.

“I think the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) should, without delay, stop this programme if this government means business in the promotion of our cultural values.

“The show does not add any value to our education, social and economic life. It is a big mockery of Nigerian culture and tradition,’’ Olulade said.

According to him, the government should swing into action through NBC to put an end to the airing of the programme before it causes serious damage to our culture. Olulade, who is the immediate past Chairman, House Committee on Information, Publicity, Security and Strategy, said that the inmates in the show, being Nigerians, should have portrayed the Nigerian cultural heritage instead of bastardising it. He said that a programme of the calibre of Big Brother Naija was capable of causing distractions to the Nigerian youths and affecting many families.

“I will want to urge all parents and guardians to be on their guard and guide their children and wards aright on what they watch on TV.

“The implication of allowing the children to keep watching this show can be negative on this.

“Our children should not be allowed to be corrupt because this may affect their future aspiration,” the APC-Epe II representative at the Assembly said.

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Ohimai Godwin Amaize

Among the top news headlines of the past few days have been President Donald Trump’s supposed Muslim ban; the intrigue surrounding the rumours about President Muhammadu Buhari’s health concerns; the fiery preacher, Apostle Johnson Suleiman and the secret police’s interest in the content of a sermon delivered earlier mid-January; and the topic of this essay, planned protest against the federal government of Nigeria by popular Nigerian music artiste, Tuface Idibia.

 

The protest couldn’t have been better timed, coming at a critical phase of our nation’s history when the dominant words on the street are hunger and anger amid palpable discontent over the hopeless incompetence of the Buhari administration since it assumed office on May 29, 2015.

 

I’m a huge fan of Tuface Idibia. He is one of several top music artistes in Nigeria who have earned my respect. I’ve also been a leading advocate for the use of pop culture for social re-engineering. However, real advocacy for good governance must not be confused with the politics of emergency activism often inspired by the logic of the stomach.

 

In the run up to the 2015 presidential elections, Tuface Idibia, unlike many of his counterparts in the entertainment industry was not exactly quiet. He was at the forefront of ‘Vote Not Fight’ – a campaign aimed at promoting peaceful elections. With all the noble intentions and sheer goodwill that engineered that campaign, there are many who argue that the cry for peaceful elections may not have been as critical as the need to call attention to the danger of the emergence of a Buhari presidency or in more diplomatic terms, empowering citizens with the knowledge and information to make wiser choices.

 

This is one of the biggest challenges of activism in Nigeria today. People simply want to identify any cause, as long as it is a cause, throw their weight behind it for whatever reasons, as long as it has the potential to either launch them into the public limelight or in the case of those already in the limelight, keep them at the center of public conversations. The danger in this growing culture of activism-for-fame is the substitution of what is more critical with what is more fanciful, economically lucrative or politically convenient.

 

Except you were not a student of modern Nigerian history, it would have been hypocritical or tantamount to sheer ‘politics’ to feign ignorance of the dangers of a Buhari presidency, at the time he was being repackaged and presented to Nigerians as the ‘messiah’ that would ‘kill corruption’ and lead Nigeria to El Dorado.

 

Here is a man whose time as military Head of State left a legacy as one of our nation’s worst human rights abusers. Here is a man whose records in managing the economy of a nation fall short of the basic principles of running a local government council. Here is a man whose rigidity, incompetence, and parochial approach to governance led to his lieutenants kicking him out of office, but not before he practically ran the nation aground.  Here is a man so famously referred to by Africa’s greatest music legend, the late great Abami Eda – Fela Anikulapo-Kuti as an “animal in human skin”. Publicly available documents contain accounts of Nigerian troops jubilating in the streets in 1985 when Buhari was toppled by his own men. But less than 24 months ago, the failed dictator was presented to Nigerians as the hottest thing since sweet potatoes!

 

Those who came out to present the real facts of history were blackmailed and labelled as the enemies of Nigeria. All entreaties by those who saw the impending danger fell on deaf ears. An entire nation was thrown into the frenzy of Buharimania! It was the biggest propaganda scam ever witnessed in Nigeria’s 100-year history.

 

Those performing the orchestra of change said corruption was our biggest problem and Buhari was coming to kill corruption. Now, hunger, not corruption, is killing Nigerians! Yet, in the midst of all that confusion, those who ought to know better either joined the Buhari bandwagon or chose to sit on the fence. As history re-writes itself, it is easier to forgive those who came out to support Buhari than to forgive the ones who chickened out and sat on the fence as Nigeria faced a most defining moment of history. Sadly, Tuface Idibia falls into this latter category.

 

Perhaps, nothing captures the implication of our inactions better than the words of the great Desmond Tutu who said; “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

 

In the 2008 election cycle in the United States of America, American celebrities who believed in the change candidacy of Barack Obama rallied behind him. We saw on display a replay of that celebrity star power in 2016 on Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency. We saw the likes of Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Katy Perry putting their careers on the line to lend their voices to a cause they truly believed in. It wasn’t convenient but they understood the principle of not sitting on the fence in the heat of battle.

 

Back home in Nigeria, we remember how Dapo ‘D’Banj’ Oyebanjo came out openly to endorse the candidacy of Goodluck Jonathan in 2011. For whatever it is worth, against all odds, the insults, and the public attacks, D’Banj earned the respect of those who understand what it takes to believe in a cause and take a public stand even when it seems that the whole world is against you.

 

Many have suggested that this anti-government protest is a badly needed publicity stunt for Tuface to re-launch his music career. There are many who also believe it is being funded by opposition elements against the Buhari administration. Whatever you chose to believe, I belong to the school of thought that see Tuface Idibia as a truly Nigerian legend in the making who does not need the platform of a political rally to either re-launch or re-package his musical career. He is actually bigger than that.

 

In all of this, the real lesson here for Tuface Idibia and his contemporaries is the need to be more circumspect in the consideration of their roles and responsibilities to society as real change agents.

 

In emerging social contexts, the celebrity, opinion leader or change agent is no longer at liberty to stay or stand aloof on issues of national consequence, sometimes in the name of being politically correct. Increasingly, societal expectations are becoming societal responsibilities and opinion shapers must adjust, adapt or become mere replicas in the dustbins of history.

 

Gone are the days when it used to be said that we can do anything we like and get away with it because, “Nigerians easily forget.” No, Nigerians do not easily forget. Not in this age of new media when our actions and inactions are fast becoming digital footprints on our path to a future that never really forgets.

 

Another lesson that must not be lost in the cacophony of today’s clash of opinions is understanding the true essence of social activism beyond protests and rallies. We must look back into history and learn why for instance, the Occupy Nigeria movement is best remembered today as a farce. We must learn from the legacies of icons like Nelson Mandela, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Martin Luther King Jnr who put in painstaking, time-tested and unwavering commitment into advancing the values they believed in. There are no short-cuts!

 

As the popular saying goes, “Better late than never.” There are many Nigerians who are happy that the likes of Tuface have “seen the light” and are taking a step to atone for their inactions that led Nigeria into this current mess. The planned protest is a good start, but an apology from Tuface to Nigerians for sitting on the fence when his voice was badly needed, would be welcomed.

 

Ohimai, a journalist and media strategist, is the publisher of SIGNAL, an online newspaper. He tweets via @MrFixNigeria

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Nigeria Prisons Service

It would have made for a blockbuster movie, except that it was real live. Yesterday, dare-devil gunmen stormed the Owerri High Court in commando style, killing at least six persons, including two prison wardens. They also ferried away a notorious kidnap suspect, Henry Chibueze, popularly known as Vampire, who had been brought to the court from Owerri Prisons.

It was a horrific sight as judges and lawyers struggled to scale the perimeter fence to escape from the gunmen that sacked the court.

No fewer than three Judges and one Magistrate were reported to have sustained serious injuries in the process and were taken to unidentified hospitals.

It was also gathered that the soldiers on guard at the gates of the court fled on hearing the sound of the sophisticated weapons used by the gunmen.

An eyewitness of the incident said the gunmen, numbering more than six, stormed the courtroom where the suspect and 49 others were standing trial and opened fire on the security operatives that guarded the accused persons.

Having overpowered the security men,  the source added, the gunmen whisked Vampire away after shooting sporadically for several minutes.

The source said: “We were here in the court premises when a lawyer came to call us to enter Room 3 for hearing.

“Shortly after that, we started hearing sporadic gunshots. About six gunmen entered the courtroom and started shooting.

“They came in a jeep (SUV) and eventually whisked away one of the inmates prisons officials had brought to the court.

“Some prison wardens were killed while other people in the court were wounded.”

Vampire was arrested in 2015 by the Department of State Security in Imo State while allegedly planning to kidnap some judges who were in the state for a conference.

He was later arraigned, after which he was remanded in prison.

It was later discovered that Vampire was still operating his kidnap syndicate from prison after a warden he recruited into the gang was arrested.

Vampire was also reported to be living large in the prison as the prison authorities allegedly allowed him certain privileges, like using his phones and having access to his girlfriends.

Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the Imo State Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Maduba James, said the the suspect was presently at large.

He, however, said that only six people were critically injured in the incident, assuring that “security operatives are on top of the situation to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order in the state.”

He said: “We were in the office this morning when we got a call that some gunmen were in the court premises.

“We thought they were DSS officials because by then, we were conveying more than 50 inmates to the state High Court.

“However, the gunmen attacked some of our men and some of the inmates.

“They are critically injured now and have been taken to the hospital.

“Meanwhile, one of the inmates who we know as Vampire is at large presently, but my controller and other security operatives are on top of the situation.”

At the time our correspondent visited the court, there was heavy presence of security operatives who had cordoned off the premises.

It remained a mystery how the gunmen were able to escape with the suspect without any resistance as the Owerri High Court is tucked between the Government House and the official residence of the Commander of the 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, and the area is guided by armed soldiers who mounted an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) at the single entrance.

 

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Mr Leonard Dilcon, a former member of the House of Representatives, has accused his divorce-seeking wife, Joy, of sleeping with her Pastor, and blamed him for the crisis in his marriage.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Dilcon made the accusation while defending himself in a divorce suit filed by his wife at a High Court in Jos, Plateau State.

Joy had asked for a dissolution of the 20-year-old marriage in a case she filed on September 14, 2014, and also requested the court to grant her custody of their three children.

The defendant, in his submission, accused the wife of neglecting the marriage and further accused her of having extra marital affairs with a pastor (name withheld).

He accused his wife and the said Pastor of committing sexual immorality at her parents’ home and in the Church.

“Each time I try to resolve our differences with my wife, the Pastor will appear and confuse everything,” Dilcon, who represented Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, alleged.

But the pastor, who appeared before the court on Friday, denied ever having sex with the petitioner.

He told the court that he only met the petitioner in 2006, when she was brought to his ministry for prayers and counseling.

The Pastor said that he and other elders of the Church prayed for the woman after listening to her.

Under cross examination by the defendant’s counsel, Mr Francis Okafor, the pastor said that he could not recall seeing the petitioner again, owing to the large number of people that worship in the Church.

The Pastor said he did not know the woman’s residence and had never had any private affair with her.

Okafor then pleaded with the court to adjourn the matter to enable both parties to file and adopt their written addresses.

Justice David Mann, who granted the request, adjourned the matter to February 20.

 

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Social media has come to define the way we live, work and play. The smartphone has become our bae.

And we are not even sorry.

In 2016, Twitter continued to play a prominent role in political, sporting and business discourses–the microblogging site continued to shape our view of the world.

Our smartphone experience wasn’t complete without a scroll up and down our Twitter app each day of what was a fast paced year.

We owe our 2016 Twitter experience in Nigeria to these handles; to these influencers.

In the angry and debate filled world that is Twitter, we call them overlords, because they really are that powerful. When these overlords tweet, we read and listen.

In no particular order, here are the top 100 Twitter influencers of 2016…..

(Note: *TL=Timeline)

Politics and Governance

1. @Obyezeks: There was certainly no bigger influencer in all of Twitter in 2016 than Madam Obiageli Ezekwesili. Every tweet was a hit, back-to-back. ‘Aunt Oby’ explored the power of this social media site to fight for the rescue of the abducted Chibok Girls and all other Boko Haram captives. This former Vice President of the World Bank (Africa) and former Nigerian Minister, left us all camped on her TL all year long.

2. @Toluogunlesi: Only Tolu can serve in government and still possess the powers to troll and laugh at everyone else. Sometimes, he even laughs at himself. You could sense that this dude has missed the writing beat and can’t wait to return to troll us all in his essays. A power puncher in 2016.

3. @Cchukudebelu: We’ll hand you a dollar if you’ve met this guy in the flesh and will retrieve the dollar if you say he wasn’t one handle that enraged and amused you in equal measure in 2016. Onye Nkuzi (the teacher) is all shades of smarts. He’s a “banal, philistinic, latte, effete sipping lumpropoterian, Lekki and Buhari hating jkdktgfa….” We are sorry. You have to ask Onye Nkuzi what those words really mean.

4. @Omojuwa: This blogger always gave as good as he got in 2016. He’s been that way. His tweets are like the gospel for haters and lovers alike. Japheth Omojuwa slipped into our timelines more than a decade ago and hasn’t left. We’ll keep him there in 2017 and beyond.

5. @GarShehu: This presidential spokesperson has learnt the Twitter ropes so quickly in a one year span, he now assails us with numbered tweets every other day. Garba Shehu has joined bad gang.

6. @IsimaOdeh: This publicist has perfected the fine art of using videos and pictures to pass his twitter messages across. Plus, he never shies away from ruffling feathers while at it.

7. @Chydee: Only Chidi Okereke can call out musician Davido and get a catch-phrase from the latter’s songs, as response. Okereke had us all eating from his Tweets in 2016. A lovely and controversial Tweep, this guy.

8. @DemolaRewaju: We’ll give you a raise if Demola didn’t get under your skin as an APC supporter in 2016. And he does it with a smile–a cold blooded smile. Each time, chuckling behind his gadget, we can bet. He influenced Twitter discourses politically in 2016; courting controversies as he went along.

9.@Ayourb: “The Godfather” is not even ya mate. Like, you get blocked for saying ‘Good morning’, depending on how ill-advised your ‘Good morning’ comes across. But seriously, Ayobami Oyalowo was a factor in Nigerian twittersphere in 2016. A formidable factor.

10. @Jag_Bros: If Jubril Gawat makes it to heaven and is told at the pearly gates that APC and Asiwaju Tinubu aren’t already in there, he’ll ask to return back to mother earth. His love for those two are that deep. Plus, he was the crown Prince of tweet digging in 2016, complete with shovels, spades and rakes, because “world eez not war”.

11. @ChiomaChuka: Chioma was quite the influencer in 2016. Her blog posts were a delight to read. Each post was laced with the lucidity and wisdom of ancients. Her tweets were always a window into her heart. She took on just about everyone in 2016, no matter where your political allegiances laid.

12. @AfroVII: Tola Sarumi knows a thing or two about dividing opinions by first leaving them on a stove. In 2016, she was the initiator of several debates; weighing in on every subject with a scapula. It also helps that she possesses bags of “international exposure”.

13. @Atiku: This former Vice President and APC chieftain was in our faces all year.  He dabbed in our faces and sipped on sachets of (impure) water in our faces. He was one of 2016’s biggest influencers and something tells us he has a big announcement coming up in the next couple of months.

14. @OfficialEFCC: Boy, did this account influence us!!! From trolling, to debunking stories and laughing at the world. In 2016, we fell in love with this anti-graft agency account because it was so darn sarcastic and lively.

15. @BukolaSaraki: Senate President Bukola Saraki has become so adept at tweeting, he relays policy statements and pieces of legislation to his Twitter followers long before the rest of the world is apprised of happenings in parliament. His handle was the go-to account for information concerning a national assembly that remains widely derided.

16. @NGRSenate: This handle provided Twitter users with a front-row seat into events at the national assembly–at least to a certain degree. Pretty influential account, you’d say.

17. @renoomokri: This former presidential spokesperson just won’t go away. He assailed us with his “nuggets” all through 2016.

18. @Stanleyazuakola: Bloggers don’t come any more cerebral than this dude. In 2016, he was always that voice of reason above the din of madness.

19. @Osi_Suave: On air personality who tweets on just about everything. Osikhena Dirisu was quite the feather ruffler on Twitter in 2016. Plus, courting controversy with his hair-raising tweet-style was quite something to behold.

20. @BabyGiwa: Yemi Giwa loves to be called “baby” even offline, but there’s nothing inchoate about her tweets. She stood up for the crushed and underdog all through 2016, even though her football bants could be over the top, especially for fans of rival Manchester United.

21. @DOlusegun: Segun Dada didn’t pick too many fights in 2016 compared to the previous year, but he still waged enough battles to sink a Titanic. He covets the role of a one man army. Top, top influencer. He’ll make the APC a compulsory national party if he could pull it off.

22. @HenshawKate: Actress and OAP (On Air Personality) who has since found a home in politics where she’s pitched tent with the PDP. Ms. Henshaw’s views on governance and policy are well documented on her TL.

23. @iameneji: Dear Muhammadu Buhari, hire this guy as your Twitter spokesperson. Enough said.

24. @je_mc2: Smart, witty and confrontational–Joachim has it all. You have to love him even if you loathe to. Follow him today.

25. @ChineEzeks: The younger Ezekwesili has no qualms laughing at himself. He weighs in on governance, economics, politics and policies. And he does it all with bags of charm.

26. @AbangMercy: A top tweep who loves to get under all kinds of skins. Blogger at all times, ranter just before bedtime. Class.

27. @DinoMelaye: No Senator has been this unashamedly loud and brash since a certain lawmaker had his attire ripped to shreds in the House of Representatives back in 2010. Oh wait, that was Dino Melaye as well. And then on Sundays, he takes us to church. Quite the influencer.

28. @AbdulAbmJ: Before 2016, we all thought “Budget Padding” was some kind of sausage or Pizza. Rep Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano) changed all of that. He riled us with his numbered tweets and was expelled from the legislature for his troubles.

29. @DamiElebe: OAP with Beat FM. Dami could make you cry with sarcasm and you’ll apologise to her for making you cry. Witty, sarcastic and deep. We were glad to have her on our TLs in 2016.

30. @MsNemah: In 2016, we all learned to love horses just because Nimah loves horses. She was Twitter’s sweetheart who could do no wrong in 2016.

31. @adeyanjudeji: You may not approve of his crude methods, but PDP faithful across Nigeria pay homage to this guy. Go figure.

32. @GbengaGOLD: He fancies himself the future Governor of Kogi State and why not? Gbenga has earned his stripes. Working as an aide of incumbent Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello, has broadened Gbenga’s political views and appeal.

33. @SenGbengaAshafa: This Senator who represents Lagos East constituency in the upper legislative chamber, didn’t tweet too often in 2016, but each time he did, he packed a punch on his TL. Super influential.

34. @abati1990: Reuben Abati spent the last quarter of the year writing about witches in the corridors of power and getting hauled into EFCC prison facilities. But that never stopped us from finding out what he had to say in his tweets. Former Presidential spokespersons seldom wield plenty of influence. This one is different.

35. @Ogundamisi: Kayode Ogundamisi didn’t know what to do when Kemi Olunloyo ‘proposed’ to him in 2016 and that’s because nobody knows what to do when Olunloyo proposes to them. When a character like Olunloyo indicates their undying love for you, you know your social media influence has reached the ears of Olodumare.

36. @Ebuka: This hunk of a charmer actually got married in 2016, breaking Twitter hearts along the way. We couldn’t get enough of Ebuka’s perspective on all issues in 2016. #Goals.

37. @AdeBanqie: In 2016, Banky was the tweep who influenced how we saw governance and politics without actually smashing a skull open.

38. @BiolaKazeem: His views on governance were caustic for both sides of the divide in 2016, but it wouldn’t be Biola if it doesn’t come across as hard hitting and caustic. LIVE awa Biola alone.

39. @Yinkanubi: Yinka’s grasp of issues in 2016 was perhaps second to none. A deep thinker and pacifier. He practically grew on us.

40. @Chxta: He invented numbered tweets. Literally. Ok, we lied. But trust us, we were close. Cheta Nwanze pranced around Twitter all through 2016 like he owned the place–because he fucking owned the place!

41. @TonyAtambi: When we got lost in 2016 because we didn’t know jack about what the law or the constitution said, there was Mr. Atambi, holding us by the hand and showing us the way. We love you, Tony!!!

42. @InibeheEffiong: A cerebral lawyer who taught us all the finer points of the law from his handle. He was the constitutional lawyer your law Professor told your Daddy about.

43. @Nedunaija: Because not all overlords still tweet with Blackberrys. So, let’s move on…

44. @Bint_Moshood: It wouldn’t be an influencers’ list if Rinsola Abiola isn’t on it. Just ask House Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

45. @Ogbenidipo: The last time we compiled this list on here, Dipo was working his socks off on the way to annexing a Doctorate. He’s got his PhD in the bag now and dispensed knowledge all through 2016 like a don; because he really is one.

46. @Backarray: Olatunde Bakare will pick a fight in a club where he’s the only guest. He’s that influential. You just had to love his tweet-style in 2016.

47@MakeUpByMena: If you weren’t following her in 2016, we hate to break this to you–you were doing Twitter wrong.

48. @RitaOnwurah: Only Rita could cast Yemi Alade’s lyrics as “watery Akamu” and get away with it. This writer charmed us all in 2016 with her wellspring of sagacity.

49. @9jaBloke: Even President Muhammadu Buhari would give anything to meet him. If that sounds too good to be true, it just goes to show how influential Charles Ohia was in 2016.

50. @Nnamdianekwe: Security and financial analyst long before Dasuki discovered the sea route to the vaults of the central bank. Super influential.

51. @etinmagbe: If you didn’t fall in love with Etin-Osa in 2016, let’s see your hands up? No one? Good.

52. @DoubleEph: Chances are that all the Devaluation and Deregulation knowledge you managed in 2016, Feyi Fawehinmi taught you. Don’t even deny it, we saw you stalking his TL all through last year.

53. @sygemikale: Nigeria’s Statistician General, Dr Yemi Kale, had the toughest job in 2016–tell Nigerians they are broke every other quarter–with numbers. And he did it so well through tweets and interactive sessions on the microblogging site. Top guy!

54. @AkinwunmiAmbode: No Governor deployed Twitter to communicate his goals and objectives better than the number one citizen of Nigeria’s commercial capital. Whether it was his various road projects, his light up Lagos project, the proposed 4th mainland bridge, the carnivals or even Quilox night clubbing, Ambode’s twitter handle was quite active all through 2016.

55. @AmbodeObsarver: As Twitter handles go, this was one of the funniest. Whoever is behind this naughty creation fancied himself as the ‘Lagos Class Captain’; reporting all of the misdeeds and social misdemeanors in a city of over 20 million people to Governor Ambode. It ‘apyas he was a darn good Obsarver, Sah’

 

Music, Arts, Culture, Consulting and Religion

56. @SymplySimi: You’d be hard pressed to find another artiste who won more fans and improved on her craft the way Simi did; through the sheer reach and power of Twitter. That golden voice you were swooning over at the concert last week? Yeah, Simi perfected it from feedback from her fans on the social media site. Look away now, Yemi Alade.

57. @Osagz: Editor in Chief at Pulse, Osagie Alonge has become one of the most sought after music pundits of his era. His views on the arts and popular culture scene have been documented to be taught in schools. #FactsOnly.

58. @Wizkidayo: He may have had his “Starboy” insignia taken from him in 2016 by someone who prefers weekends to weekdays, yet Wizkid owned Twitter all through 2016–teasing his fans and rounding off the year with ‘Daddy Yo’–a tune guaranteed to end up as club anthem in 2017. He knows how to make Twitter answer to him, this guy.

59. @ALIBABAGCFR: This comedian has perfected the art of using Twitter so well, he doesn’t need to tweet to influence. We owe our 2016 to him and his tweets.

60. @falzthebahdguy: Falz made us laugh and then sold us good music. Two for the price of one–all in 2016. It wasn’t just Simi who shared plenty of chemistry with this guy, we all did. And Twitter was his oyster.

61. @olamide_YBNL: He told us to leave trash for LAWMA in 2015 and we did. He told us not to come to his mainland in 2016. We disobeyed him. He told us he’ll shut down Eko Hotel whenever he fancies and he did. Olamide was the ‘Baddo’ we all came to love in 2016. Who Baddo epp? Well, everyone.

62. @Iam_Davido: Poor Dele Momodu suffered at the hands of this dude. Whether it was calling out the publisher on ‘Osinachi’ or yelling out ‘Dele na my boy’ until we could take it no more, Davido twisted our 2016 the way and manner he wished. On Twitter and elsewhere.

63. @MI_Abaga: His opinions on all subject matters are still gospel. ‘Mr Incredible’ just gets even more incredible by the year.

64. @BankyW: Bankole Wellington ended 2016 with “The “Wedding Party” and he marketed the movie so well, it became one of Nigeria’s highest grossing flicks ever; in its first week at the cinemas. Banky’s Twitter interactivity is also top notch.

65. @4eyedmonk: Twitter has become quite the monastery for this monk. Henry Okelue was the literature and music connoisseur of 2016; letting his followers know what he thought about that song or that artiste, or that book. He pulled no punches while tweeting on governance, either.

66. @PastorPoju: Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Center and convener of #ThePlatform, made new friends in 2016. The Platform became even bigger in 2016 and Pastor Poju Oyemade wooed quite a lot through Twitter.

67. @ayosogunro: We’ve watched Ayo Sogunro grow before our very eyes since he first caught the world’s attention with that world class response to Reuben Abati’s article circa 2011/2012. Sogunro has become an author of international acclaim and a renown social critic. He’s certainly going places and Twitter cemented his place in the universe in 2016.

68. @sam_adeyemi: Pastor Sam is everyone’s favourite leadership coach and in 2016, we zoomed to his TL to check out in which direction he wanted our lives to head. His tips on governance and politics were well received in 2016.

69. @LekeAlder: Mr. Alder is proof that good things really do come in smaller packages. There are testimonies all over his TL of how many relationships and marriages he saved through the invention that is numbered tweets. Alder made our 2016 rock. Simple.

70. @solaadio: ‘Uncle’ Sola Adio made the fan belt even more popular in 2016. He was the relationship expert everyone on Twitter loved to hate.

71. @Chude: One of Nigeria’s smartest entrepreneurs continued to break newer grounds in 2016 with Statecraft, Ynaija, Rubbin’Minds and The Future Awards. Chude looks set to have us all eating from his palms way into 2017 and beyond.

72. @DONJAZZY: He keeps reinventing the wheel with his Twitter account. Don Jazzy is not just some music producer from outer space, he’s one of the smartest PR chaps around–always giving his image a boost, one tweet at a time.

73: @blossomozurumba: A fine mind by any stretch of the imagination. She’s always been an adept Twitter user. In 2016, she just took it to newer heights. Boss.

74. @estherclimate: A smile to die for, smarts and a pretty face. Esther Agbarakwe has got them all.

75. @seunonigbinde: In Nigeria’s emerging ‘Silicon Valley’ landscape, Seun Onigbinde stands tall, unwavering and unnerved. He’s got the breakdown of all our budgets on his laptop. He sees and knows what we don’t–including a website that will cost millions of Naira to build in 2017.

76. @menoword: Arit Okpo is the pretty face behind “The Crunch” on EbonyLifeTV. She’s passionate about good governance and good food…and making guests feel really comfortable on her award winning show. One for the stars, surely.

77. @OvieO: The Head of Content on NotJustOk.Com is a suave and analytical mind when music and the arts are on the menu. Ovie has earned his place in the sun.

78. @JoeyAkan: An award winning music and pop culture enthusiast, Joey Akan is one of the biggest names at ‘Pulse Nigeria’. His critiques of albums and singles alike are taken very seriously by artistes.

79. @cremechic11: ‘Ada Nwa’ achieved overlord status in 2015 and cemented her place among the big boys and girls in 2016. We never got tired of stalking her tweets about urban life and culture in the year that was.

80. @idomagirl: Wonderfully and lovably acerbic. The best trolls on the planet have got nothing on her when she does her thing. You go, girl!

 

SPORTS, Media and Gossip

81. @ColinUdoh: A fantastic sports analyst on and off air. Colin’s Twitter account is where you head to for the best in the sporting circles. He’s been around long enough, but spewing fresh content on his TL makes him that more influential.

82 @emma_dele: Anyone who analyses football with bottles of Orijin, gets our vote, because those two cannot walk together unless they agree. Emmanuel Nwachukwu was one of 2016’s biggest Twitter influencers across all subjects–but it is when he discusses footy that the Orijin in the man brims to the surface. Class.

83. @TheYomiKazeem: Bold and fearless, Yomi’s natural turf is football but he traverses all subjects. One of this generation’s finest writers nationally and internationally. We love you, Yomi, oh yes we do!

84. @Ifreke: When Arsenal is in the mood, he cums comes–literally. One of the 5 things we learned in 2016 was that this guy has only just scratched the surface with his lucid journalism and writing style. ‘Ifreke Inyang is here to stay.

85. @67Kelechi: Kelechi Iheanacho influenced us on the pitch and on our TLs all through 2016. This Manchester City forward is so lovable, we want him to marry our sisters–like all of them, at once.

86. @alexiwobi: Still several months shy of his 21st birthday, Alex Iwobi of Arsenal grew into a man on our TLs in 2016. He’s barnstormed his way into the Arsenal first team and hasn’t looked back since.

87: @AsisatOshoala: Banging in goals for the Falcons and Arsenal was something we thoroughly enjoyed on Twitter in 2016. Asisat is thoroughly lovable and influential. End of.

88. @chaplinez70: Charles Anazodo bags plenty of influence on Twitter. Last year, he could sell water in the rain on Twitter and still make a killing.

89. @Toyin_Ibitoye: His lines have always fallen in pleasant places from his days in print journalism, to presenting sports on ChannelsTv and working with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). We all made a beeline for Oluwatoyin Ibitoye’s handle in 2016.

90. @SubDeliveryMan: The thing about gossip is that it sells. So, SDM (SubDeliveryMan for short) now has branches in Kenya, Ghana and most of the West Coast–dispensing subliminals and gossip for free. He caused so much trouble in 2016, he’ll need a statue in 2017. One of our biggest influencers of 2016 without a doubt. Because we all love ‘Tatafo’.

91. @lindaikeji: How exactly is Ms. Ikeji not verified with 1.41 million Twitter followers to her name? Her blog continues to defy all logic like the lady herself. In 2016, she became even bigger–floating her own social media site and shaking her bum in our faces as birthday gifts. And Twitter certainly helped.

92. @chamberlainusoh: ‘Oga Boss’ on ChannelsTV and on our TLs. Chamberlain is humility and brains personified when you do get to meet him. His influence hasn’t waned over the years.

93. @OloriSupergal: And she really is super. Tosin Ajibade has taken her blog several notches higher and she sold us everything via Twitter. When you are good, you are good.

94. LailasBlog.com: She improved on content in 2016 and delivered. She deserves her place on the power list because she fucking deserves her place on the power list.

95. @SoccernationNg: We suspect that one of the Kazeem brothers is behind this handle. It just has to be, seeing as this creative account has got us all laughing and hurting on match days. Sheer brilliance, this nation.

96. @Chivaneze: Spent all of 2016 changing his Twitter names, but we could smell his ‘Nsogbu’ from a mile and pick him from a crowd. His analyses on match days are often spot on, save for when he hailed Arsenal’s Ramsey as some Maradona. Sarcastic and brilliant. Plus, he plays the game too.

97. @thenff: The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) couldn’t pay the Super Eagles or Falcons and owed just about everyone else in 2016; couldn’t market a product as good and popular as football, but its Twitter handle still blew. NFF is just a sad, sorry case, but still influential online.

98. @ToolzO: We just couldn’t get enough of this BeatFM beauty in 2016. There’s only one explanation–Toolz has ‘jazzed’ us.

99. @Oloni:Dear Oloni, my man’s dick is so small…what do I do?”, “Dear Oloni, she smells like shit, do I leave her?”….”Dear Oloni, she can’t cook ordinary Indomie….” “Dear Oloni, he’s a one minute man behind the sheets”....and on and on we went. In 2016, each time we had a relationship or sex problem–the same one we can’t tell anyone else (not even our Pastor or parents) about–we told Oloni. Influence is her middle name.

100. @thecableng: News and entertainment stories in digestible, bit sizes drove Uncle Simon Kolawole’s ‘baby’ into our hearts and TLs. TheCable certainly came of age in 2016. For a site that’s barely two years old, it says a lot about this platform that we think it has been around forever.

Bonus Track: 11 Tweeps to look out for in 2017

We set out to do a list of 100 influential Twitter personalities, but there were more than 100 Tweeps who caught our eye in 2016.

Call this the ‘Bonus Track’ if you would.

Here are the 11 influential handles you should add to the 100 above:

1. @DrJoeAbah: Cool and calm under pressure, his tweets in 2016 could have come from a refrigerator. Dr Joe is on a mission to help reform Nigeria’s civil service and he’s set out his stall rather nicely. He took us all back to school last year.

2. @Seyi__: Super powerful handle. Seyi interrogated just about everything in 2016. It’s little wonder he made the roll call.

3. @dawisu: Salihu Tanko Yakasai is the self-styled DG (Director General) of Media and Communications at Government House, Kano. We saw snippets of just how powerful he can be during the Kano Durbar festival. He got all of Twitter crooning and tweeting about the Durbar.

4. @KoloKennethK: Nice, urbane and aiming darts all over the place, even when Liverpool isn’t in action. You know that gist about a guy who can last hours in bed? Oh yeah, Kolo was the legend behind it all.

5. @B_ELRUFAI: He needed no second invitation to take on anyone. One short prayer for Bello Elrufai in 2017: May the force be with you.

6. @Batarhe: Incredible tweep who has stayed true to his Twitter calling all these years. And then he’s got this amazing, pretty wife he loves to flaunt in our faces. Consistency is the word we’ve been looking for to describe Batarhe.

7. @AmazingDanny: This handle is called ‘Monitoring Spirit’ for a reason. Nothing escaped his/her sights in 2016. Top tweep.

8. @Habiba_Orion: Witty and sarcastic tweep–just the way you should go about selling your wares on Twitter. Contact her for your customised handcrafted jewelry and personalized hand bands.

9. @alkayy: Soft spoken Alkasim Abdulkadir has certainly carved a niche for himself on Twitter. These days, his work takes him to the troubled north east region of Nigeria and camps for the internally displaced. Heavyweight.

10. @Funmilola: TV personality Funmi Iyanda is here to stay. We’ve always had a crush on her, to be honest. In 2016, she stayed on message and influenced discourses the way only Ms. Iyanda can.

11. @akaebube: What more can we say?

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Ogunneye Idris Olanrewaju (Bobrisky)

Nigeria’s latest Social Media celebrity, Bobrisky, has captured the attention of international media. The Mail, the biggest News Paper in the United Kingdom, published a report on him. The report itself was credited to Agence France Press (AFP) an international news organisation based in France.

Bobrisky is a cross-dressing, 25-year old man Ogunneye Idris Olanrewaju, who sells skin-whitening creams. His complexion also suggests he uses the creams himself. He’s been thought by many observers to be gay, but has denied the insinuation.

The Daily Mail story can be read here.

 

 

 

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Tunde Agbaje, a cousin to former PDP gubernatorial candidate in the Lagos State 2015 election, embarked on a trekking mission between October 2 and 20, from Lagos to Zaria, to impress a lady – Sharon Donald – who considers him a mere stalker.

Tunde, 26, was reportedly received on Friday October 21 by the Chief Security Officer of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Colonel J.K.Tukur and the protocol office of the Emir of Zaria. He had left the Ketu area of Lagos on the day of his departure, trekked all the distance without boarding any vehicle at any point, and then arrived on Thursday October 20.

Punch reports that the 26-year-old Donald is the daughter of a former governor of a state in the South-South and had recently travelled to New York, United States of America. The only governor of a South-South state who has the name “Donald” is Donald Duke who governed Cross River State from 1999 to 2007.

The story of how the two met is twisted. While Tunde claims he ran into Sharon in an Ikoyi eatery, Sharon claims they knew in their church in Lagos while Sharon was still in Nigeria. Sharon is right now in the United States. She said; “I met Tunde at a church when I was living in Lagos and we were both part of the youth ministry. He never had a friendship, let alone a relationship, with me. I was in a music group and some of the youths had my phone number, including him.”

The lady, who admitted knowledge of the exercise embarked by Tunde to get her attention, said he advised him against it, saying her advice was not out of love for him but Christian charity. She said she told him he could die doing that. Sharon described Tunde as “mentally unstable”.

But the boy in love had a different story. He narrated how he met Sharon and how he developed emotional connection to her. “I was with my friends sometime in 2010 and while we were discussing about ladies, I said I wished God would just show me my wife anytime soon.” Tunde said.

He continued: “About five minutes later, we were hungry and I went to get food on Awolowo Road. It was my first day at that eatery. I was waiting to be served when she walked in. Coincidentally, that day was also her first day there. I observed that there was a love image at the back of the trousers she put on.

“She approached me and asked what she could buy and I advised her. We later exchanged contacts and became friends. That was how my love for her started growing. We met several times afterwards.”

But there’s one point of unanimity in both accounts. Both Tunde and Sharon agree that Sharon turned Tunde’s advances down. He said he opened up to her some months later on his feelings towards her, but that she turned him down.

After much persistence from Tunde did not make Sharon budge, Tunde then thought to do “what no man can do for her”. He said; “I chose to trek to Zaria because her parents dated for six years in ABU, Zaria, before they got married. I didn’t let my parents know and to ensure I was not disturbed, I changed my SIM card. I took a tracker along with me to monitor my movements. I never took a bus at any time. It was a tough task and I even collapsed some of the times. I took off from Ketu on October 2 and arrived in Zaria on Thursday, October 20, around 4.15pm.

“I have no regret for what I have done. I have proved my love for her, even though she didn’t reciprocate my feeling. I believe even if she gets married to another person, nobody will ever be able to do what I did for her,” Agbaje added. 

Punch reports that upon arrival in Zaria, Tunde was taken to a hospital where he was treated for the injuries he sustained during the trek, which was monitored by a GPS tracker.

The account Sharon Donald gave of the incident was when she was called by the CSO of ABU, Tukur, to ask if she was aware of Agbaje’s adventure.

She said she knew Agbaje was embarking on the trek, adding that she warned him against it.

Speaking further on how Tunde had been harassing her, Sharon said; “He later found out where I lived and came to my house. My mum warned him to leave me alone, but he refused. ‎

“I changed my phone number and moved to the US, but I don’t know how he got my contact. I have stopped picking calls from Nigeria because of him.

“This guy is mentally unstable, because how can you still be stalking a woman who has turned you down for six years?”

 

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The Biafran Flag

The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is offering the Shiites, an Islamic religious sect, the opportunity to relocate the Biafra land when finally, the movement’s dream country comes to fruition.  This hand of friendship was extended to the Shiites by IPOB’s spokespersons Emma Nmezu and Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya in a statement the group released on Saturday.

The statement centered majorly on Biafra’s constitution which the group said would emanate from the collective consent and participation of the people. The statement contrasted what would be the Biafran constitution with the current Nigerian constitution which it said was singlehandedly written by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The statement read; “The Constitution of Biafra shall be a collective effort of Biafran citizens. Every Biafran will participate in the formulation and ratification of the constitution. No single individual will arrogate the powers to himself/herself to write the nation’s constitution.

“This was the case in Nigeria where General Abdulsalami Abubakar singlehandedly wrote the constitution and falsely stated in the introduction that We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…Do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following Constitution…

“Nothing can be farther from the truth because the people of Nigeria never came together to discuss, enact and give themselves the constitution. Technically, a constitution is made by the citizens of a nation and not the people; because the people may or may not be the citizens of that nation.

“The blessed nation of Biafra shall never be a member of any Islamic body. Biafra shall maintain its secularity both in principles and in practice unlike the British-created country called Nigeria that professes secularity in principle but a ranking member of OIC in practice.

“Also, citizens will not be forced to practice a particular religion. There will be freedom of worship for adherents of all faiths without molestation. If the persecuted Shiite sect members wish to relocate to Biafraland, we would gladly accommodate them along with other tormented Christians in the North (Arewa land)”

 

 

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Former Police IG, Solomon Arase

Shortly after resumption of office, Police Inspector General Ibrahim Idris declared during a press conference that his predecessor, Solomon Arase, went away with twenty-four vehicles belonging to the police, instead of returning same to the force since they were not personal vehicles. He said the 24 vehicles included 2 bullet-proof BMW 7 Series.

But Mr Arase immediately denied the accusation, wondering whether he was going to open a car shop that would warrant him to go home with 24 cars. He described IGP Idris’ allegation as media propaganda. He advised his successor to focus on the country’s security challenges instead of wasting time attacking Arase’s person.

Arase said; “What am I going to do with 24 cars? Do I want to open a car shop? This is a malicious accusation. There are ways of verifying issues rather than engaging in media propaganda,”

Then, yesterday, there were media reports that stating that 19 vehicles were recovered from Arase. Sahara Reporters wrote that a Special Investigation Panel which was established by new IGP Idris identified and recovered the vehicles.

Solomon Arase has pushed back, saying the claim that 19 vehicles were recovered from him were false. He attributed the report to some forces bent on tarnishing his image.

He issued a statement wherein he stated an intention to sue those behind the tarnishing of his image.

He said; “It is embarrassing for me to wake up on Monday morning to be inundated with calls and messages on purported 19 vehicles recovered from me. I wish to reassure the general public that there was nothing like that.

 “Like I said in July, I did not take any police vehicle with me outside what I am entitled to, and so, there couldn’t have been any vehicle recovered from me. If there was any such, those behind this campaign of calumny should please make the number plates of the vehicles public and where they were recovered from.

“Rather than dissipating so much energy on ‘project drag Arase down’, I urge those behind this evil campaign to face their official responsibility for which much is expected from them by the nation. I have done my bit and my own records bear me witness. Let those daily frightened by the shadow of Arase learn to face reality and stop chasing shadows so that they are not hunted by same,”