The things that can never be in short supply as far as Nigerian politics is concerned are those golden moments and 2022 really gave us a load of them.
Picks: 10 biggest moments in Nigerian politics 2022
The Nigerian political scene has had quite an eventful year thanks to governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states as well as primary elections across all the parties ahead of the 2023 general elections.
As politicians intensified efforts in a bid to achieve their objectives, Nigerians were made to experience some interesting developments that could only have existed in peoples’ imaginations before 2022.
Owing to the flurry of political activities, 2022 will be etched in the nation’s memory as the year that produced some surprising moments. These political highlights, some unimaginable, may have a considerable impact on the outcome of the upcoming elections.
While 2022 gave us a lot of big political moments, let’s refresh you with 10 events Nigerians will not forget in a hurry.
- Tinubu’s Emi Lo kan” speech in Abeokuta
You can call it a speech or an outburst, but the consensus is that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu‘s long rant in Abeokuta prior to the APC presidential primary marked a significant moment in Nigerian politics.
While addressing members of his party in Ogun State some days before the convention, a livid Tinubu reminded Nigerians how the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, wouldn’t have won his election in 2019 if not for his (Tinubu’s) support.
He didn’t stop there, as he continued to make a case for why he deserved to be given a shot at the presidency, the former Lagos State Governor narrated how he helped to install Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president in 2015, stating that it’s now his turn to rule.
- Atiku deletes ‘his reaction’ to Deborah’s murder
The former Vice President and PDP flag-bearer, Abubakar Atiku, came under heavy criticism after he deleted a post on his Twitter page that condemned the gruesome lynching of a Christian student, Deborah Samuel, by some Muslim fanatics in Sokoto State.
Justifying his action, Atiku said he never approved the post, arguing that approved posts on his social media pages usually bear his signature which the deleted post never had.
However, to the dismay of many Nigerians, he went on to tender an apology on his official Facebook page to those who may have felt offended by the content of the post that was deleted on his Twitter page.
- When Peter Obi left the PDP
Peter Obi, who ran on the Atiku ticket as the Vice presidential candidate in 2019, was seen by his followers and admirers as a strong force ahead of the next year’s election.
Meanwhile, despite his strong campaign, the permutation ahead of the PDP primary election seemed not to be in his favour which prompted him to opt out of the party in May.
Obi later joined the Labour Party and will be flying the party’s flag in the presidential election in 2023.
- Tinubu winning APC ticket
As he later admitted, the former Lagos State governor faced the toughest battle of his political life so far to win the APC ticket. Several reports had claimed that Buhari wasn’t particularly sold on Tinubu, and that there were other aspirants being lined up for endorsement by the President who had earlier claimed to have a preferred successor.
In the days leading to the APC presidential convention, it became clearer that Tinubu wouldn’t get Buhari’s blessings. Things were made more difficult by the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu‘s endorsement of Senate President, Ahmad Lawan a few days before the election.
Tinubu eventually won the APC ticket defeating the likes of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Rotimi Amaechi by a wide margin.
- Tambuwal’s second speech at the PDP presidential convention
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, became the “hero” of the PDP presidential convention when he announced his withdrawal from the race and asked his supporters to cast their votes for Abubakar Atiku, who eventually emerged as the winner.
Word on the street is that Tambuwal’s withdrawal and endorsement of Atiku effectively killed the chances of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, winning the coveted ticket.
- Adeleke defeats the incumbent governor
Governor Ademola Adeleke pulled off a big shock when he convincingly defeated the incumbent at the time, Gboyega Oyetola, in the Osun governorship election back in July.
Adeleke, who had come agonisingly close in the 2018 election, won barely a month after his party, the PDP, had suffered a crushing defeat in the Ekiti governorship election.
- The Soludo-Obidients saga
Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, attracted the attention of supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate following the former’s objective evaluation of the latter’s time as governor.
Soludo had said during a television interview that the investments made during Obi’s administration are now worth next to nothing.
Obidients, as Obi supporters are fondly called, deemed the comment as a demarketing of their candidate and unleashed a vitriolic attack on Soludo on social media.
Unshaken by the blowback, the former CBN governor doubled down with a strongly worded letter in which he described Obi supporters as a mob without a head.
- Tinubu’s Chatham House show
Tinubu exported his own style of campaigning to the global stage when he appeared at the prestigious Chatham House in London, United Kingdom.
Having made his presentation that lasted for over 25 minutes, the APC candidate elected to delegate members of his team to answer questions posed to him by attendees of the event.
This was an unprecedented act in the history of candidates addressing the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
- Jonathan purported defection to the APC
In the build-up to the APC presidential primary, reports claimed that former President, Goodluck Jonathan, had defected to the ruling party to contest the 2023 presidential election.
The suspense was heightened when claims emerged that Buhari, who unseated Jonathan in 2015, had a gentleman’s agreement to hand over power to his immediate predecessor in 2023.
Several support groups also sprang up urging the former president to contest on the platform of the APC.
- The NBA conference
The Nigerian Bar Association Conference which took place in August gave Nigerians some interesting moments.
The major highlight of the event was the appearance of the APC Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, whose unconventional dressing manner quickly became a topic of discussion.
Shettima caught the eyes for strange reasons as he wore a pair of sneakers on the suit.