Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigeria: Top 10 Newsmakers in Lagos in 2013

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5. Femi Fani-Kayode

If Femi Fani-Kayode was a fly, the year 2013 would have been one in which he was swathed with a giant sledge hammer. Such was the persona of the intelligent but controversial former Aviation minister that when he was not speaking "the bitter truth" about an ethnic group, he was writing about his "long standing and intimate relationship" with beauty queens. Or he was explaining to Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia why Festus Keyamo cannot prosecute him for an alleged N230 million fraud. Or he was dishing out advice to the current Aviation minister on how to stop our aircrafts from falling off the sky. Or he was professing his passion for his new-found love, the APC.

If Chinua Achebe's swan song 'There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra' provoked a heated backlash from the Yorubas against the Igbos in 2012; Mr. Fani-Kayode's diatribe 'The Bitter Truth About the Igbos', in the wake of Governor Babatunde Fashola's deportation of some Igbo destitutes from Lagos, had the same effect, but in the reverse direction, in 2013.

"Igbos have a domineering tendency and are not accommodating because they never had any history, monarchs or structured societies," Mr. Fani-Kayode wrote.

The outrage generated by the article was such that Nelson Okoli, the National Legal Adviser of the Eastern Professionals Forum, described his reading of it as an "ugly experience."

6. Murtala Mohammed Airport

Lagosians woke up on June 13 to the rare sight of an aircraft taxing along the road in Mangoro. Since there was no airport or airstrip in that area, residents concluded that the plane had fallen off the sky. Within an hour, the social media became agog with stories of another plane crash in Lagos until the National Emergency Management Agency waded in to debunk the rumours - a scrap aeroplane was being evacuated from the Murtala Mohammed Airport en route Badagry. And since it could no longer fly, it had to be dragged by a towing truck.

However, exactly four months later, an actual aircraft, an Embraer EMB 120 conveying 20 people, fell off the Lagos sky and crashed inside the premises of the Murtala Mohammed Airport. Six people died on the spot.

7. My Pikin Teething Mixture

When Judge Okechukwu Okeke pronounced the death sentence on Barewa Pharmaceuticals and sent Adeyemo Abiodun and Egbele Eromosele, two of the company's employees, to seven months in prison; Mr. Abiodun's blood pressure shot up. A doctor was rushed into the crowded court room and the judge forced to suspend reading his judgment for the accused to receive medical attention.

The judgment, however, drew the curtains on the activities of the pharmaceutical company whose deadly product, My Pikin Teething syrup, killed over 80 children across the country in 2009.

8. Baba Suwe

On the last day of May 2013, Babatunde Omidina, a.k.a Baba Suwe, lost his N25 million. Two years after a Lagos High Court had awarded him the millions for his illegal detention by the NDLEA, the Court of Appeal upturned the judgment. The Yoruba movie star has since headed to the Supreme Court to recover the money.


The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, spent the better part of 2013 re-enacting the historical federal government-Lagos State feud with the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA.

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