Nigerians have reacted to a poll which seeks to know the leading opposition voices in Nigeria since the take over of power by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
The poll conducted online and strategically distributed across the six geo-political zones of the country had about 12,849 respondents with an average of 3,200 people representing each geo-political zone of the country.
Respondents were drawn based on their exposure to Nigerian politics, social media and mainstream media, non-political party affiliation but irrespective of their religious beliefs.
10 notable Nigerians were selected both those who have been in opposition since 2015 and those who later joined the opposition folks.
These 10 Nigerians include:
1. A former Aviation minister and chieftain of the PDP, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode
2. Former media aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Reno Omokri
3. Former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose
4. Current Governor of River state, Nyesome Wike
5. The people’s Democratic Party, PDP.
7. Dino Melaye
8. Omoyele Sowore
10. Bishop Mathew Kukah
It must be noted that these names are basically those calling for good governance in Nigeria and not freedom fighters.
This is so because some respondents were demanding the inclusion of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB Supreme leader.
In sampling the opinions of Nigerians, a close and open-ended questionnaire was developed to give room for expanded thoughts of respondents and as such many were able to give deep and extensive views on their choice.
85per cent of Nigerians says Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is “the most consistent, unwavering, fearless, hardliner, and honest opposition voice in Nigeria since President Buhari came to power in 2015.
Majority of the respondents essentially from South East and South-south, Southwest and North-central have described him as a dogged and unrelenting fighter, a true voice of the voiceless who though loves beautiful women, and poetry.
Majority of the respondents cited Fani-Kayode’s powerful oratorical prowess as his weapon against the Buhari Government or any form of oppression against innocent people.
A respondent, Jamiu Dangida, 36, said he recalled vividly, how Fani-Kayode’s speech at a Yoruba summit in Ibadan, where notable Yoruba leaders were, shook the whole place. He quoted Fani-Kayode as saying in the speech that” he would personally lead the Yorubas out of Nigeria”. Dangida described such speech from a man who has been out of government since 2007 as very powerful and sharp.
In the same vein, a respondent from the South-south region of Nigerian, Ibekwe noted that the description of Nnamdi Kanu of Fani-Kayode as an erudite scholar put paid to why Fani-Kayode is still relevant till date.
Loved by Nnamdi Kanu who himself describes FFK as “a fearless, erudite, sophisticated and very loyal friend, brother and ally” who “we will give a leading role in Biafra”, the two of them are obviously very close. he concluded
Ibekwe recalled a speech by Fani-Kayode in the East where all the women pulled their tops and laid them down on the floor for him to walk on after a powerful speech titled Handshake Across the Niger Conference in Enugu in 2018.
There were countless speeches cited by respondents which they believed takes an only a brave man to give such especially behind the enemies lines.
Also, the speech in Southern Kaduna during the burial of Musa Asake, the former Nat. Sec. of CAN, where he spoke against Buhari’s attempt to islamise Nigeria and which set the whole place on fire and received a massive standing ovation. is another example how powerful an orator FanI-kayode is
To be clear, Fani-Kayode has been out of government since 2007 and has since been launching brutal attacks on the ruling party till date.
There is nothing he has said about Buhari and the govt that didn’t happen.
Locked up three times for 3months in Boko Haram cells in kuje prisons, with his passport seized, he came out and attacked the government again and was rearrested on trumped up corruption charges.
Had all his columns closed, four websites that report his columns all shut down due to alleged govt’s pressure.
On his writing prowess,
He has written more essays against Buhari than anyone else in this country. He savaged the govt every day on social media even though there is no immunity like political office holder he never seized to speak against the ills of the govt.
he is widely considered as a lone wolf. Without any intention for any position in government or bribe, many have people have asked what motivates him?
Some have said it is his religious views.
Loved by Nnamdi Kanu who himself describes FFK as “a fearless, erudite, sophisticated and very loyal friend, brother and ally” who “we will give a leading role in Biafra”, the two of them are obviously very close.
He is a tough man indeed. Despite offers from govt which he has rejected many times.
He has consistently maintained a war-like posture and is imbued with a warrior culture. He is battle-tested and battle-hardened and he does not seem to care for his own safety. He has been described by many as a “one-man riot squad” and many say he is “as fearless as a lion”.
Little wonder many Nigerians love to hear from him. His post on social media goes viral in a matter of minutes.
Worthy of note was the fact that he led the campaign against Buhari very aggressively in 2015. gave Buhari, Tinubu and Osinbajo hell during that campaign and matched Lai Mohammed fire for fire.
Whenever FFK spoke during the 2015 presidential election campaign the opposition would run for cover and no one could match him.
He was the lone voice in Nigeria supporting Trump until his last days in office and was quick to condemn the invasion of the Capitol Hill when it happened.
He has fought for Southern, Middle Belt and Christian rights more than anyone else in this dispensation and in his generation and even the moderate elements in the core Muslim North love him because he is very close to the Governor of Zamfara State and the Governor of Bauchi who are his friends.
He was even awarded a Chieftaintaincy title of “Sadaukin Shinkafi” by the Emir of Shinkafi last year for his efforts to ensure peace and build bridges between the people of the core North and the South.
Voted second is the former aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Reno Omokri. The self-acclaimed Buhari’s tormentor has also been a vocal voice of opposition since his principal was defeated in the 2015 presidential elections.
A respondent who didn’t give his or her name said, “Reno hits Buhari really hard but the unfortunate thing is that he is not in Nigeria to test his gut and toughness.”
Coming Third on the list was the immediate past governor of Ekiti state, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
Fayose who had prior to the 2015 elections warned Nigerians against voting president Buhari.
He continued his criticisms of Buhari’s govt even after his party lost the governorship election in the state. Arrested many times on alleged corruption charges, the former governor often finds time to criticise the Buhari government whenever policies biting Nigerians are made by the government.
Fourth in the list is Gov Nyesome Wike of Rivers state. Described as the engine room of the opposition party the PDP has persistently been the voixe frontmen the south south hitting the presidency.
The PDP has been rated fifth. The PDP is the major political party in Nigeria. The party has had much to deal with since losing power to the APC in 2015. Many of its bigwigs have since defected to the ruling party to either avoid being hunted by the EFCC or to seek political greener pastures.
This, many have pointed out, have been the reason why the party has not been a thorn in the flesh of the ruling party as expected by some Nigerians.
SERAP, sixth, a leading civil society group in Nigeria has been rated as a dependable group in Nigeria, hitting the ruling government on any issue perceived to be against the will of the people.
On many occasions, the SERAP had dragged the govt to court on issue perceived to be poor policy affecting the wellbeing of Nigerians
Dino Melaye, a very outspoken senator who represented Kogi west senatorial district came seventh on the list with 35 per cent of the total votes.
Melaye according to Nigerians, was the true voice of the masses in the National Assembly. To put succinctly, Chidoke said, “Senator Dino Melaye stood for the common man’s interest in the senate. His speeches in the red chamber give Buhari sleepless nights.”
Omoyele Sowore the former Presidential candidate of AAD and the frontline leader of the Revolutionnow protest is on number 8 with 32 per cent of the total votes. Sowore has been arrested a couple of times for speaking against bad governance in Nigeria and demanding change.
Sowore is a respected voice against the Buhari led government.
On the ninth position is the AFENIFERE a pan Yoruba group.
Afenifere has been a known and well-respected opposition voice in Nigeria.
Afenifere has had its voice on almost anything perceived to be the bad policy of the Buhari led administration.
On several occasions the group has spoken against what it calls marginalisation of the south – from political appointments to insecurity and infrastructure development, the group has always been at the forefront of criticizing the government of President Buhari.
On number 10 is Bishop Mathew Kukah. The Bishop has been almost a lone voice from the North aside the like of Junaid Mohammed, and others who have had the courage to voice out their displeasures against the Buhari government.
On many occasions, Bishop Kulah has spoken against the alleged slaughtering of innocent southern Kaduna residents.
Just recently, the Bishop, once again, condemned what he called nepotism of the Buhari administration and called for a total reformation and restructuring to ensure better a welfare for Nigerians.