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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

#DasukiGate, Biafra Protests, Social Media Bill, LindaIkejiN500mMansion: Here are the Biggest News of 2015

Nigerians would not be quick to forget 2015. This year has been tagged as the year of change because for the very first time, Nigerians lived under a new government after 16 years, they used technology like never before and the year witnessed the rise of titans who rearranged the direction of policies.

With less than two weeks to the New Year, let us take a look at the biggest events of 2015 and their impact on projections for 2016.
Dasuki in court
 Three years ago, Sambo Dasuki was resting after years of active military service before he was appointed as National Security Adviser, a post that has become the chopping money post of the nation.

In the heat of the Boko Haram Insurgency, he reportedly got Jonathan to approve the sum of $2.1b from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC domiciled at the Central Bank.

The 13-man committee set up by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector put the figure at N271.8 billion.

“Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt Col MS Dasuki (retd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50, $1,671,742,613.58 and €9,905,477.00.”

Now known as the $2.1b Arms deal, DasukiGate can aptly be described as the biggest corruption scandal in the history of our country. When President Muhammadu Buhari said he was going to prosecute looters, the statement was criticized as a witch hunt.

Today DasukiGate has birthed DokpesiGate, NPANGate, PDPGate and many other gates yet to be named. As the story unfolds Nigerians will continue to shout because I suspect the gates still has more up its sleeves.
Linda Ikeji N500 Million Naira Mansion

 Popular Blogger, Linda Ikeji acquired a home in the high end suburbs of Ikoyi. Immediately her sister, Laura Ikeji broke the news online, the mansion was the talk of the town for weeks. Blog Owners rededicated themselves to the profession in a bid to outshine Linda. Photos of the mansion drove people online just to catch a glimpse and share in Linda’s glory. For an average onlooker, you would wonder why there was so much buzz about the house.

Some Bloggers even took it upon themselves to calculate and analyse the source of her wealth. From Google ads to blog page takeovers, it is safe to say that Linda is truly a self made woman. Linda’s success ricochet the rebirth of blogs aplenty. Go to, one blogger or another is always dropping links to anything and everything concerning Linda even a picture of her bedroom is a trending topic.

When the story of ‘Popular Lagos Female Blogger collected N240 Million from #Dasuki Gate broke, everyone attributed the popular, Lagos, female to Linda. She released a statement to exonerate herself and the Beef Police later killed the story. Another blogger, Kemi Olulunyo even came out to directly name Linda as the recipient but truth is whether Linda accepted the money or not, she has revolutionalised blogging in Nigeria.

Her success will go on to inspire thousands of people out there to become an online entrepreneur and that is a great feat.
2015 Election AKA People’s Democratic Party Dreamlike Toppling

The 2015 Election came with a bang, the Valentine date scheduled for the first election was postponed after the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki said the country was not completely safe for an election.

In an election that has been described as the most expensive election ever held in the country, Nigerians got to use technology for the very first time while voting. When the former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega announced that voters would use Card Readers, many described the plans as an unachievable feat.

Days before the postponed elections, people were still waiting to obtain their permanent voters cards, many were automatically disenfranchised because they couldn’t register or go to the states where they registered initially to obtain their PVCs. Eventually over 68 million voters were registered.

Opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential election by more than 2.5 million votes, former President Goodluck Jonathan went on to become the first incumbent president that would lose an election.

Buhari was sworn in on May 29 heralding a new era in the history of the nation. Peoples Democratic Party was toppled after a 16 year reign and the changivists took over power. Six months later, Nigerians are still searching for the change and hopefully come 2016, we would see it clearly.
Biafra Protests

The Nigerian Civil War is unforgettable in the history of the country, Igbos still bear the scar of the civil war in their hearts. After broadcasting for a while, Radio Biafra which was based in London was becoming a nuisance and the federal government embarked on jamming the frequency to stop broadcast. This act didn’t deter the man behind the voice, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Independent Peoples of Biafra. He was arrested in Lagos by the Department of State Services in Lagos on October 18, 2015.

The news of the arrest generated mass protests across parts of Enugu State,Abia State,Imo State. Last week Thursday, he was granted bail and this also led to jubilations in several South Eastern states. The protests became known as the Biafra protests, youths took to the road to clamor for secession from the Nigerian states.

Elders who witnessed the Civil War warned the youths to exercise caution but the agitation was for marginalization of Igbos and underdevelopment in the South East.

Welcome to the Nigeria of our dreams, with 371 tribes living in an entity that was amalgamated without consulting the people, everyone must feel marginalized one way of the other. The Biafra protests have died down and maybe it may reawaken but we won’t easily forget how young people stood up to face the federal government violently.
Sugabelly/Mustapha Audu
Sugar Belly

The All Progressives Congress Guber Candidate in the Kogi Election, Late Mustapha Audu died not long after the election was declared inconclusive. While the people of Kogi were mourning the loss of their favorite candidate, one woman took to twitter to celebrate his death.

That was how the spotlight beamed on Sugabelly, who accused Mustapha Audu’s sons of gang raping her when she was just 17. Many called her a whore, while some were sympathetic to her case. She made more stunning revelations coupled with pictures. For two weeks, social media advocated and judged her case.

Former Minister of Education, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili was also sympathetic to her cause, she vowed to help her seek redress. Every day in Nigeria, one woman becomes a victim of rape, be it her father, brother, uncle or stranger, she will go on to bear the scars for the rest of her life. Sugabelly almost became the face of rape in the country but thank God, Twitter moves on easily.

Even though you might not agree with her, you have to acknowledge that rape is a worm that must be dispelled in our society.
Fuel Scarcity

Two days ago, it was reported that Fuel Scaricuty has crippled businesses in Kaduna. In Lagos, you have to queue before you can get fuel and every day, more and more filling stations close their pumps for Kegs. Some Keg owners have to resort to buying black market to fuel their generators in the face of crippling power supply.

When the issue of fuel subsidy was first brought to limelight in 2012, Nigerians took to the streets to protest the removal of fuel subsidy after former President Jonathan made the announcement.

The decision was reversed and the federal government kept paying fuel subsidy leaving the masses at the mercy of fuel marketers who make personal decisions to ground fuel supply. Today fuel is sold for N120, N130, you probably have to navigate a considerable distance to get fuel for N97. Now, Nigerians are practically begging the government to remove fuel subsidy whatever the consequences.

Better late than never but this is Nigeria, we always choose to run away from reality until it is too late.
Ooni of Ife

After the death of Late Oba Okunade Sijuwade in July, the seat of the traditional ruler of the Yorubas became vacant. After a process duly followed by the media, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (OjajaII) emerged as the new Ooni of Ife. Nigerians were so obsessed with obeisance to tradition that when the new Ooni knelt in church recently, he was slammed online.

A tourist would conclude that Africa has forgotten her roots but the obsession with the installation of the new Ooni proved that Yorubas are still very much interested in their roots. Long live Oba Ogunwusi.
Ministerial Screening

For the first time in the history of the country, Ministerial nominees didn’t just want to the Senate to take a bow, they gave long speeches before taking a bow. The Ministerial Screening was broadcast live all over the country and Nigerians got to hear their Ministers speak eloquently about how their potential portfolios would contribute to the development of the Nation.

Babatunde Fashola wowed us with quotes about development and Kemi Adeosun taught us one thing or two about the economy. We will get to hear more from them next year.
Social Media Bill

The draft bill to “Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith,” proposed by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah makes it impossible to start any type of petition without swearing an affidavit that the content is true in a court of law.

The bill proposes two years in prison, or a fine of $10,000, or both, for anyone posting an “abusive statement” via text message, Twitter, WhatsApp, or any other form of social media.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki publicly claimed that there is no such bill before the Senate. Senator Dino Melaye named Sahare Reporters as the Chief Culprit. Sahara Reporters replied with pungent revelations about the activist senator.

It has been said that the bill if passed will deny Nigerians their right to highlight inequalities and corruption and knowing the judicial process in the country, going to court to swear an affidavit will take time and money.

After the first two readings, the draft bill has been referred to a committee, which could be followed by a public hearing. It will still need to go through a third reading and then pass by the House of Representatives before it can be signed into law by the president.
Lara Fortes and Adams Oshiomhole Wedding

The internet went abuzz when it was announced that Edo State Governor will be getting married to Lara Fortes, an Ethiopian who is in her 30s. Memes went out mimicking the governor and his beautiful bride.

Oshiomhole whose wife died at the age of 54 after a long battle with cancer remarried five years after the death of his wife. Google listed Lara Fortes and Oshimhole as one of the most searched events of 2015. Don’t be surprised, Nigerians like Amebo. The Comrade got a damsel, find your own damsel, abeg.

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