President Muhammadu Buhari may be the most powerful person in Nigeria by virtue of his position, however, there are some people he holds in high esteem. For this reason, many have insisted that the president cannot touch these people regardless of whatever wrong the Nigerian public has associated their names with. These people, also, are part of the shakers and movers of the Nigerian political scene, although occasionally from the background, they are behind certain decisions made by President Buhari (which Nigerians get to see).
We have compiled a list of seven such people and present them below:
11. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
Touted as one of Nigeria’s strongest politicians ever, Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president, is one of the ‘untouchable’ Nigerians in this age. Despite the fact that many calls have been made by many Nigerians and different groups for the probe of the former military ruler, he has never for once been invited for questioning by the anti-graft agencies over any form of misappropriation. He has also been within the corridors of power since he became Nigeria’s democratically-elected president in 1999. Chief Obasanjo, a respected Ogun high chief, has also parleyed with every president who has emerged he left the post.
22. Major General Abdulsalami
Abubakar His eleven-month rule over Nigeria (from June 1998-May 1999), especially because of the manner in which he relinquished power to a civilian, has earned him a legendary status in Nigeria. Whether or not he is guilty of any form of corrupt act, Abdulsalami has overseen many of the conflict resolution committees in the country, and was also reportedly among those who aided ex-president Goodluck Jonathan in making that invaluable call to President Muhammadu Buhari to concede defeat in last year’s presidential election. And despite the fact that his name has been consistently mentioned in the infamous Halliburton scandal, there has not been any reason for him to be invited over for questioning.
33. Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan
Nigeria’s former president’s administration has been termed the most corrupt in the country’s history, this is no longer news, but Nigerians have been stunned that he is yet to be invited by the anti-graft. Such was the corruption under his administration that The Economist referred to him as an ineffectual buffoon for watching his ministers and cronies swindle monies under his watchful eyes. The reason for this is not far fetched, he is one of the most powerful Nigerians who remain untouchable for the present Nigerian president. Unconfirmed sources revealed that one of the reasons he made that call to President Buhari after losing the March 2015 presidential election, was because he had been promised a soft-landing as soon as he relinquishes power smoothly. After his loss, he has been invited to countless events, where he has been asked to mentor upcoming leaders, as well as other African leaders on peace and conflict resolution.
44. Atiku Abubakar
One of those fingered in the Halliburton case, Nigeria’s former vice president is surely one of the most powerful Nigerians in this generation. He is not just one of the stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku ranks as one of those who make decisions in the northern part of the country. There were even reports that there was friction between him and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the 2019 presidency, as he was believed to have started parleying with some of his loyalists to take over from President Buhari. But, in spite of all the claims made against Atiku, President Buhari is said to hold him in high esteem and cannot seem to find any fault against him. Atiku is also one of the many philanthropic Nigerians, and this gesture has endeared him to many
55. General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida
Another name mentioned in the infamous Halliburton Scandal, General Babangida is another Nigerian who remains ever powerful. Fondly referred to as ‘Maradona’, the former Military president has been acting behind the scene since he left office in 1993. He is mostly famous in the Nigerian political sphere for his annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential which late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola was believed to have won among other corruption allegations. Many groups and bodies have called for his probe as they believe his regime was the most corrupt of all former Nigerian military heads, but like others on this list, he remains one of those President Buhari is yet to invite for questioning. Perhaps, a day is coming when the Halliburton scandal would be reopened and he would be mentioned for questioning. But at the moment, he remains an untouchable political figure operating from the background.
66. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
The Jagaban of Borgu, as he is fondly called, is arguably the most powerful politician in the country at this moment. The former two-term governor of Lagos state and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), almost single-handedly oversaw the ouster of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections and has attained a legendary status in the country (especially among Yorubas) ever since. But, then, he has been plagued with series of controversial allegations. Many believe that he has many skeletons in his cupboard, but then he has never been convicted of committing any corrupt act. He remains one of the shakers of Nigeria’s economy and about the greatest decision maker in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) despite the fact that he is only a national leader of the party. Some Nigerians even believe that he is as strong as President Buhari or even stronger
77. Rotimi Amaechi
He is touted as the Lion of Niger Delta, Rotimi Amaechi is one of Nigeria’s most rugged politicians. Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state, is Nigeria’s minister of transport, having gone through a stern screening session at the National Assembly. His screening was postponed severally because there were reports of corruption allegations against him from certain quarters in his native Rivers state, but when it eventually held, Amaechi noted publicly that he had never collected bribe in his life. President Buhari had been asked to probe the former Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly, for corruption as many also believe he dug into the state’s coffers to ensure the APC won the last general elections, a major reason sources say the president cannot probe him. About two weeks ago, there was violence in the Niger Delta state and Amaechi was in the state and allegedly contributed to the malpractice in the election. Yet, the president still rates him as one of his most trusted allies, especially within the APC caucus. Maybe the former governor would be invited for questioning in the coming months, but as things stand now, President Buhari cannot still touch him.