In no particular order, here is a list of Twenty individuals (and groups) who made every effort and contributed in no small way to the transformation and emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015
Made his name as the unofficial online commentator on the 2012 Fuel Subsidy Protests. Based in Abuja he runs a monetised blog www.omojuwa.com which reports on everything Nigeria with a bias for political news and reports. This is to say he makes money off Nigeria in good or bad and seeing that ‘controversy sells’, he probably makes more money when controversial issues affect Nigeria. He maintains a relationship with his cohort in Government and is always on hand to attend ‘seminars’ and ‘conferences’. He is remembered for his colourful tweets one in which he posited that he would rather vote a dead pig than GEJ
Was a columnist with the defunct 234Next newspapers promoted by onetime Pulitzer awardee Dele Oloyede and allegedly funded by Nasir Elrufai, he also writes for several other publications including the Punch. He was very vocal when Madam Turai and her ‘gang’ refused to allow GEJ perform in an acting acapacity when the President was incapacitated and he and a number of others participated in street protests. He had opined that GEJ was a ‘breath of fresh air’ but shortly changed his tune after the Fuel Subsidy protests. He maintained a profile on twitter with a couple hundred thousand followers, with this platform he staged his vehement opposition to GEJ and his government. He was particularly miffed by Stella Oduah’s BMW issue and also seemed to take on a personal battle against Reno Omokri who he alleged used an alter ego ‘Wendel Simlin’ to push GEJ’s online agenda. Another character that drew his ire was Reuben Abati. Incidentally, Tolu was rewarded after much speculation (and after his appointment as SA to The Minister for Industry – Enelemah) with a position in the presidency as SA to the President on Digital and New Media.
Adebola Williams & Jude Chidenwo
After a relatively succesfull outing with their ‘YNaija’/ ‘Future Awards’ platforms the duo of ‘Debola Lagos and Jude as they are commonly known launched into opposition Politics with ‘Enough is Enough’ borne out of the Fuel Subsidy protests of January 2012. Moving on, these two founded the ironically named ‘StateCraft’ Communications with which they managed the campaign of PMB having been engaged by Rotimi Amaechi, the Director General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign. They came up with the ‘rebranding’ of General Muhammad Buhari into President Muhammad Buhari with their convincing photo shoot in which PMB was outfitted in a suit and other ‘traditional’ ensembles provided by celebrity stylist Uche Nnaji. Since then the two have moved on to succesfully Manage the Presidential campaign of Ghanian President Elect Nana. The duo are often celebrated (even drawing a GLO Ambassador spot for Debola) and show no remorse for having sold Nigerians a dud instead the recent post on their website celebrates their ‘back-to-back’ campaign successes due to their epmhasis on ‘listening to the people’. Incidentally this same duo initially self styled as non-partisan were responsible in 2011 for a large part of GEJ’s youth representation including the famous ‘Lunch with Jonathan’. Their alleged move from cranking up for PDP to APC alegedly caused ripples in the younger rungs of the APC ladder. It appears ‘business is business’ for these savvy young men who are in the habit of making money selling dud ‘presidencies’ (goodluck to Ghana)
Former National Association of Nigerian Students operative and Secretary General of UniJos Student Union and the Oodua People’s Congress, Ogundamisi is known as a hardliner and ‘citizen reporter’ for whistleblowing online news platform, Saharareporters as well as guest columnist for several other newspapers, Ogundamisi pulled no punches in his detest for GEJ and uncompromising support for PMB, claiming that in 2011 he and others lived on bread and sardine while travelling across the country campaigning for PMB under the CPC. He described the combination of Buhari and Osinbajo as “A top class General Buhari, who will secure the life of Nigerians and deliver on his campaign promises, and a top class lawyer and teacher, who will ensure that every action of the Buhari government, will pass the basic principle of respect for the laws of the land and the Nigerian constitution”. Since the elections Ogundamisi has had cause to raise dust on some actions of the current government but seeing that they have been typical it begs the question as to how he and other ‘young’ supporters couldn’t see beyond their noses (or keypads/keyboards).
(Maybe not so young) Mr. Oyalowo known on twitter as Ayourb is also a hardlining supporter of APC/Buhari who is in the habit of blocking dissenting tweets/handles on his TL as well as his frequent tantrums and often controversial outbursts. It appears Mr Oyalowo unfortunately has not been rewarded with political office like his cohort but at least he gets air time on CHANNELS TV and AIT as the face of ‘youthful’ support for PMB and his administration and has graciously been nominated as a ‘media team volunteer’. Mr. Oyalowo is no stranger to controversy particularly elicited by his tweets which sometimes are found to be inconsisitent and biased towards the APC and his principal. However regardless of conflicting principles or ideology he is consisitent in his support for the APC. He was incidentally one of the first ‘inside’ sources in July 2015 to debunk rumours of Tolu Ogunlesi’s appointment as SA New Media to PMB. (Guess his sources are more inconsistent than his unwavering support for PMB/APC)
A vehement and unapologetic supporter and twitter ‘overlord’ of the APC who has since been rewarded with a government position as Senioir Special Assistant (Electronic Media) to the Kogi State Governor. Often working as a tag-team with @Jag-Bros (also a formidable champion of SW APC and self styled purveyor of jerseys) Gbenga Gold as his twitter handle reads takes no prisoners in his defence of PMB/APC and now Governor Yahaya Bello. Fond of the oft employed APC twitter playbook tactic of pulling out a ‘strawman’ during arguments. Gbenga Gold will argue and debate all over you if you take a side opposite his. He is also fond of another APC twitter playbook tactic of pretending to be engrossed in phantom football issues or matches when embarassing National issues creep up.
Was onetime promoter of ‘Sleeves-Up’ which aimed to engender Citizen participation in politics particularly geared towards the youth. Known as Mr Sleeves Up he didnt hesistate to jettison that platform which experienced a loss in momentum for a Brand New One in GenVoices. This had a fairly rerasonable run, particularly enjoying financial backing from Sahara Energy’s Tonye Cole (this ironically did not present any conflict of interest to Mr. Oyeneyin seeing that Sahara was enimired in fuel subsidy controversies themselves) It appears GenVoices had served its purpose (or finally bought him a ‘seat at the table’) as soon after without a logical conclusion to their self generated mandate to serve as a GenVoices as an independent cross-party platform for young people’s engagement in partisan politics, Mr. Oyeniyin stepped down as convener (as in the founder of the movement) to volunteer on the campaign team of Osinbajo/Buhari. Oyeneyin slid to the APC side ‘preaching’ against everything PDP on his TL. Mr. Oyeneyin after the elections is engaged with growing his startup – Autogenius as well as running Venia Group as CEO, in that capacity Mr. Oyeneyin commented in an interview conducted in May 2016 that power, infrastructure and project finance is a problem for business owners and small start ups. Incidentally at Venia Group he runs two co-working spaces which cater to small and medium enterprises allowing them run offices without the huge costs of overheads on power and other infrastructure. (ie He, like Omojuwa makes his money from Nigeria’s disfunctional state).
Founder of BudgIT. an online platform geared towards provoking transparency in government procurement. Mr. Onigbinde presented formidable logic to the financial inconstistencies of the GEJ government, punching holes right though their budgetary process. However since the inauguratuion of the APC led government, Mr. Ongibinde has become uncharacteristically quiter as the days pass, almost passing up a commentary on Mr. Fashola’s website and borehole. In summary, BudgIT appears to perform their social/civic function astonshingly well when presented with budgets from the PDP but inordinatley silent on the APC. Mr. Onigbinde has since seized his prolific assault on improprietry budgeting by State and Federal governments and is currently satisfied offering intermittent critisicms of the current government albeit in a toned down fashion. He has since offered an explanation of his support for PMB in an article titled ‘The Buhari I sold to you is not the one in charge’. Indeed Mr. Onigbinde has been ‘missing’ in 2016/2017 in his usual indepth analysis of Federal Budgets.
An IT Guru who seats as Executive Director at PIN Nigeria an NGO for the advancement of information technology skills among the youth is reported to have stated point blank to the then aspirant GMB that he would muster all to support him but if he fails (GMB) he would muster same to unseat him. (guess PMB hasn’t failed yet huh?). Mr. Sesan sat on the board of Enough-is-Enough as a founding board member stepping down in late 2014 along with three other founding board members (Jude Chideonwo, Adebola Williams and Cheta Nwanze) to join the campaign of APC/PMB. In a storify of tweets conveying his reasons why #iWillVoteAPC, Mr Sesan list insufficient and inconsistent power supply, lack of security, bad state of roads, bad state of education and impunity as reasons. It is remarkable that in the face of the current situation barring one or two ‘soft’ articles, Mr. Sesan appears in no way prepared to make good his earlier threat to PMB. Interestingly, pointed questions were asked in 2014 of Mr. Sesan of his alliance with APC/PMB by twitter handle @ChrisIhidero – ‘If GMB wins, will you guys return to status quo and engage as you have engaged GEJ’s admin or will you have become party men?’, Mr. Sesan offered this answer: “we are working for the election of GMB in 2015 but if he as much as hints at messing up, we will do what we’ve always done: invoke the powers of the Office of Active Citizen (thanks to the amazing Oby Ezekwesili for that most honourable job description.)”. He however has done no such thing so it appears things are very okay with him.