2016 has been an eventful year in Nigerian politics with prominent players on the dramatic scene. Their actions shaped the course of events for the year, and we can no doubt look forward to what they would do in 2017. Some of these politicians are:
1. Atiku Abubakar: The latter part of 2016 saw Atiku Abubakar’s strong desire to clinch on to power by 2019. The former Vice President has been making preps in the nation’s political space with several comments and criticisms of the current administration. He has also proffered solutions to some issues. 2017 is a year to watch out more for Atiku’s rounds ahead of 2019.
2. Dino Melaye: Dino Melaye is currently serving as a Senator in Nigeria’s legislative chambers. Through 2016, the outspoken Kogi-born lawmaker was in the news for many reasons. Prominence among them was the fisticuffs he had with Senator Oluremi Tinubu of Lagos state. He also lent his sharp criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He was awarded as the most active Senator in 2016 – a laurel which symbolises that there is no end yet to his vituperation.
3. Nyesome Wike: If nothing more, the violence that has enveloped Rivers state under the governance of Barr. Nyesome Wike is something to write about. Before the recently-concluded bloody re-run elections in the state, every other elections have ended inconclusively. The state has been a political battlefield between him and his sworn political enemy, Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi. Wike, a governor of the Peoples Democratic Party was few weeks ago caught on tape threatening to kill an electoral staff during the concluded blood-bathed rerun elections in the state. The tape, leaked by Sahara Reporters, was denied by Wike. Whether for violence or peace, 2017 is another year to watch out for Wike’s actions.
4. Ayo Fayose: General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Enoch Adeboye few days ago commended the Ekiti state governor, Fayose for fighting for his people. Indeed, 2016 has been an eventful year with efforts from Ayo Fayose putting the present government on its toes, and fighting for his people. He is the first governor to come out swiftly against the killer herdsmen by signing the anti-grazing law. Fayose offers sharp criticisms of Buhari’s administration. From the fight he had with the President’s wife, Aisha to his accounts frozen by the EFCC, among many others, surely 2017 won’t put an end to Fayose’s troubles.
5. Rotimi Akeredolu: The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association is the governor-elect of Ondo state. Akeredolu was elected after the second shot at the chief executive of the state. His manifesto is hinged on 5 cardinal programmes for the people of Ondo state. Akeredolu of the APC will be handed over power to by Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the PDP, formerly of the Labour Party. Akeredolu’s victory was clearly without the support of Tinubu whose anointed candidate, Abraham was defeated at the party primaries by Akeredolu.
6. Bola Tinubu: Going by political calculation, no one can really say the next move of Bola Tinubu. The latter end of 2016 seems to be politically disappointing for the Lion of Bourdillon, that it is rumored that the APC National Leader may exit the party to form new party. Tinubu however debunked it saying he laboured with other APC Leaders to build the party and won’t forsake the party. His anointed candidates lost at various fronts making people conclude that he is fast losing powers as the king maker. There are also reports of new parties to be formed in 2017. Who knows whether Tinubu will be a party to their formation. 2017 is a year to find out.
7. Shehu Sani: Not even the governor of Kaduna state, El-Rufai is ready to sheath the sword of verbal exchange with Senator Shehu Sani. All through 2016, both of them were at logger heads on political crisis and social and religious violence rocking the state. 2017 is yet another year to continue.