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25- 7 - 2019
This is Zikoko's Game of Votes Weekly Dispatch. We share the most important things that happen in Nigeria every week. 5pm Thursdays. Stay woke. 


Not like we’re counting, but two months post-inauguration, three BBN evictions and one new Chief Justice after, President Buhari has finally decided to give Nigerians a little peek at the day ones he found cool enough, to assist him in running this country.

On July 23rd, the human embodiment of this meme:

— President Bubu, presented the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate for approval.

Heyyy, I know that name.

And that one, and that one, and ... Aregbesola?

Barring a few names, the ministerial list (which ideally ought to be chock full of technocrats) read a lot like a roster call of Nigerian politicians who lost out during the 2019 elections and others who got a promotion to play in the federal leagues.

Former Bayelsa governor, Timipre Sylva and former Benue State governor turned senator, George Akume were present. Former Akwa Ibom Governor/ senator — Godswill Akpabio, who has a ₦108bn probe with the EFCC pending was also nominated. Likewise former Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola who really transformed the finances of the state, also made the cut.

Other ‘formers’ include a former senator, Tayo Alasoadura, former commissioners, Olamilekun Adegbite, Clement Agba etc. Former deputy governors, Pauline Tallen and Engr. Abubakar Aliu. A former speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Adeleke Mamora to name a few.

Re-appointed Ministers.


So good I had to nominate them twice - Buhari.

Even though Solomon Dalung (former Youth & Sports minister), Audu Ogbe (former minister of agriculture), and the remaining 16 ministers not re-appointed have probably clogged up Buhari’s DMs with ‘where did I go wrong?’ messages; Only 12 ministers will be returning to the president’s cabinet to accompany him through to the next level of his ‘Next Level’ agenda.

Some of these include Abubakar Malami, whose tenure as AGF had such highlights as allegedly approving the re-appointment and promotion of purported ₦2.7 bn pension fraudster — Abdulrasheed Maina, as well as an involvement in dubious ₦7bn legal fees for retrieving the Abacha loot.

Chris Ngige, another re-appointed minister whose tenure saw the founding of the N-power scheme, and the introduction of a new minimum wage on one hand, also had labour strikes, health worker strikes, the no-work, no-pay controversy, Nigeria’s rise in unemployment figures and the non-implementation of the prescribed minimum wage through his tenure as labour minister.

In addition to this is Rotimi Amaechi (former minister of transport) whose achievements in the railway sector were almost blighted by his under-performance in maritime transport. Babatunde Fashola (Power, Works,Housing) whose ministerial workings can be seen here and Zainab Ahmed (Finance).

Buhari also thought it’d be a good idea to throw in Hadi Srika (Minister of State for Aviation) of modest achievements and the Nigeria Air fiasco and Lai Mohammed? Who chose to mildly embody the pronunciation of his name during his tenure as Minister of Information ⁠ — giving us gems such as this, this and looters lists despite being fingered in a ₦2.5 bn fraud case.

Youth check. Women Check.

Boy, definitions sure have changed since Buhari became president. This is the only excuse I can think of, for the guy whose ministerial nominees has no one below the age of 35. You promised youth ministerial appointments Bubz, we ain’t forget.

And I know my math sucks, but 7 female candidates, out of 43 nominees does not equate to a 35% appointment rate, Mr. Prez.

This isn’t helping those WAEC result theories you know.

We are not understanding.

In total, 43 persons, spread across the 6 geo-political zones were nominated by the president for ministerial roles. Which is wild because I could have sworn Bubu said Nigeria couldn’t afford to pay 42 ministers back in 2015. The country doesn’t appear to be better than it was back then, so what gives? Did another Abacha alert enter? The people need to know.

Ministerial Screening.

Ruining the NA’s scheduled plans to go on recess at the end of July, someone had the genius idea to screen ministerial nominees without their portfolios attached, starting from July 24th, with 10 ministers.

You may have noticed that while some nominees were grilled on the state of the country’s economy and their performance in prior governmental roles, others were simply told to take a bow without being subjected to questions like Rotimi Amaechi, and Godswill Akpabio This is due to the standing convention that nominees who have served in the upper and lower legislative chambers of the national assembly, as well as the State House of Assembly, be exempted from questioning.

WTF is a 'gender sensitive' National Assembly?

A weird thing happened during the screening. When it was time to question ministerial nominee, Sharon Ikeazu, the lawmakers, rather than have her answer questions testing her capabilities, instead agreed unanimously to have her take a bow “in the spirit of gender sensitivity.”

What in the hell does that mean? Her tender, sensitive female brain can’t handle the rigours of answering questions before her peers? Somebody please tell the house their benevolent sexism is stinking up a storm.


On July 22nd, a protest by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, took a turn for the worst when it devolved into a bloody clash with members of the police.

This was the latest in a series of protests held against the arrest of their leader ⁠ — Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has been in police custody since 2015.

Backstory on the continued protests.

The Shiites are an Islamic sect which came to prominence in Nigeria in the 90s under the leadership of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. Their ideology lays in converting Nigeria to an Islamic state by rigorously adopting Islamic ideals to every aspect of Nigerian life. This ideology has made the sect and its leader, El Zakzaky primary targets for the government, both military and democratic, with their leader spending around 12 -13 years behind bars. On July 25th 2014, following a pro-Palestinian procession, soldiers shot at and killed 35 of Zakzaky’s followers, three of which were his sons. This attack was widely condemned for its inhumanity.

Things came to a head in 2015 after a procession of IMN members and the convoy of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai clashed on Sokoto Road, Zaria. A massacre ensued where 300 shiite Muslims were killed by the Nigerian army. Following this 2015 clash, El Zakzaky was arrested, together with his wife Zeenah and kept out of public viewing for years despite a court order in 2016 demanding his release. In May 2018, El Zakzaky was charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and the culpable homicide of Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna during the violent clash of 2015.

Several protests have since followed for his release.

The aftermath of the July 22 protest.

About 8 lives were lost, 6 of which were Shiite protesters, one Deputy Commissioner of Police — Usman Umar and Precious Owolabi, a corps member serving with Channels TV.

A truly avoidable tragedy.


We’re only asking because members of the EFCC recently sealed the former governor turned Senator’s Foundation College in Imo, a secondary school belonging to his daughter — Uloma Nwosu as well as the All-in Supermarket, allegedly belonging to a member of the Rochas family.

Is this payback time for all those ugly statues? Guess we’ll find out.


Even though he’s no longer Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, let us never forget that Ibe Kachikwu revealed on video, and in his official bio that he graduated with a first class in law, got caught lying and then attempted to deny ever stating so.

Buhari says he’s ‘on top’ of the security situation, anyone want to find out what happens if he goes under it?

Need a reason to be mad today? Check this lawmaker decrying his 8.5m salary as too small out.


Your devices are spying on you. All of them. Read how deep it goes here.

I’m still not done, but Icarus on Netflix, a documentary on one man’s attempt to uncover doping in sports is a must-see. Just don’t @ me with spoilers, okay?



Ministry is moving

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