In 2016, many politicians became famous for things other than what they were elected to do: be public servants.
From whistleblowing to publicity stunts to court cases that had more plot twists than a Nollywood movie, the transition from the halls of power to the spotlight has been a smooth one for many politicians.
Here are seven politicians who became celebrities in 2016.
Saraki, former governor of Kwara state, further grew into his role as senate president in 2016, but his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal kept him in the public eye as often as possible.
On the party front, Saraki’s relationship with other leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was often speculated upon. Series of reports, exclusives, conspiracy theories emanated regarding his loyalty to the ruling party.
The name of Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker representing Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency in Kano, became synonymous with budget padding.
Through Facebook and Twitter, Jibrin embarked on a weekly cycle of allegations, suggesting that Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the federal house of assembly, padded Nigeria’s budget with N4bn.
Jibrin was suspended by the House over his role in the budget padding saga. He subsequently left Nigeria for London, where he vowed to remain in exile until he could safely return home.
The lawmaker claimed that there were numerous assassination attempts on his life.
The information minister more often than not drew the ire of Nigerians on the stance of the federal government on several issues.
One of his most controversial comments was in response to the issue of unemployment. The minister said, “dressing masquerades can create a thousand jobs per week”.
The comment infuriated many Nigerians who felt Mohammed was trivialising the issue of unemployment.
The senator representing Kogi west was famously in the eye of the storm when he clashed with Remi Tinubu, a fellow senator and wife of Bola Tinubu, APC national leader.
Melaye was alleged to have said he would beat up and impregnate Tinubu. He subsequently denied this, stating that he could not impregnate her as she had ‘arrived’ menopause.
The senator also continued to flaunt his collection of exotic cars and lavish lifestyle on social media.
The minister of sport was guilty of occasional blunders and goofs throughout 2016.
Dalung irked Nigerians with controversial, sometimes embarrassing comments, most of which he said were misquoted and misleading.
He made the headlines almost once per month. In December alone, he was heavily criticised over the handling of the Super Falcons team and officials after winning the African Women championship.