For the first time in a very long while, the conversation on TwitterNG has ceased to be monopolized and dominated by tweeps with thousands of followers who believe they reserve the rights to set the pace on what is important and what is not.
2016 has seen the coming to fore of relatively unknown handles with fewer followers but just as much influence. They have challenged convention and driven the narrative with depth of knowledge, sublime intelligence, and incredible bants. Perhaps, the past year marked the beginning of the end of ‘overlordship’ on TwitterNG as we know it. Perhaps.
With the tone set, we present to you the 100 most influential tweeps on TwitterNG in 2016.
– Please note that the list is arranged in no particular order.
Official Twitter account of Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan. Anything that comes out of this handle likely gets picked up by the blogs and national dailies — you don’t get more influential than this.
Tolu continues to be his usual self on Twitter as he is out of it. Brilliant, witty, and always willing to engage. He has however been a little quieter this year as we suspect his job as a government aide takes a lot away from his Twitter time.
Osagz is Osagz — opinionated and knowledgeable. When it comes to music he’s got it covered. No lies here, facts only.
He leads the Twitter ‘Intelleshuals’. You don’t know what that means? It’s a section of TwitterNG that scoffs at intellectuals for being what they are — intellectuals. Jag Bros never appears ruffled even when attacked by foes, and of-course, he commands a huge presence among like mind tweeps.
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL! That’s all.
Co-founder of the wave making Andela and Flutterwave. 2016 was a huge year for him as Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg paid a surprise visit to Nigeria and met his group of developers. Iyin continues to be a force to reckon with on Twitter NG.
Perhaps, the revelation of the year. Witty, Intelligent, knowledgeable and what have you. Ayobami drives the narrative on multiple topics — politics, sports, economy, policy, even religion. What makes him tick is his fact-based analysis — exposing lots of ‘overlords’ as some sort of pseudo-intellectuals.
A medical doctor — Ada’s ‘Christmas On The Streez’ has become the culture for many people on Christmas Day, and it is quite commendable. Last Christmas, the program clocked 5 years and if you are still wondering what it is about we’ll explain — it’s about people going to Makoko in Lagos to spend Christmas with the less privileged. Cool, yeah?
A pain in the lower back of many people on Twitter. She ensures no one gets away with lies and double-speak as she fact-checks these stuff. Joyce comes across as well-grounded on the economy and there’s so much to learn from her.
Japheth is one of the Twitter overlords who has managed to remain consistent and stayed true to his craft. His influence cannot be underestimated and his reach is evidenced by the sheer number of followers he has garnered over the years. Good year for him though as he reportedly landed a deal with a top company as a brand ambassador.
Controversial as ever. Looks like tweeps see her mostly controversial tweets as deliberate attempts at grabbing attention. Luckily for her, some of those attention-seeking tweets are at their attention seeking best and she shakes TwitterNG.
Cool, Calm, Collected. That is Tunde. His book ‘Guardian of The Seals’ coupled with a great launch surely gained traction on Twitter.
Not exactly loved by many but surely respected by all (well… maybe not all). He has been attacked for being an anonymous coward who displays bigotry by virtue of his anonymity but does he care? We think not. He continues to discuss issues close to his heart without fear of the ‘tyrannical’ majority.
Kenna is a fanatical Manchester United supporter. He is everywhere ‘trolling’ when things go well for his team, but when things go sour, he goes philosophical. How typical. He is a well-known figure on ‘banter twitter’.
Brand maverick and director general of the “I told you Buhari is not all that” group. Edward’s work as business development exec at Chocolate City and part convener of premier music business conference — Music Week Africa speaks for him.
He is President Buhari official spokesman so whatever he says surely carries weight. He has run into a few problems lately defending his boss but the good mallam as managed to handle it with grace. Tough job.
Today PDP tomorrow APC. January very pro-Buhari and March pro-Sheriff PDP led faction. Mukthar leaves a lot of people wondering where his loyalty really lies, especially as it seems it lies somewhere we don’t seem to know.
What exactly stands Demola out? Is it his bluntness or his ability to analyse politics concisely? We’d say both. Demola’s knowledge of politics and politicking is a delight. Even to his critics. And there are many of them we tell you.
TextTheLaw has taken on the title of Ruffler General of the Federal Republic (GCFR) with his column, Chronicles of Chills — an intricate combination of mordant ‘wokeness’ and an enviable knowledge of issues within Nigeria makes Rotimi an indispensable person to have ‘pon the TL’.
The very resourceful Esther plays a very key role as an aide to Honourable Minister J. Muhammed. Very engaging and plays her role quite well.
Writer, activist and senior lawyer, Ayo blazed the trail this year. With his books doing well in the market, he has been a pain in the neck of supporters of the present administration.
Following 21 years post MBA at the prestigious INSEAD and a long service culminating in his serving on the board of GTBank, Andrew Alli waltzed into our consciousness in 2016 with his trademark banter, tact and intensely logical reasoning. We are glad to have him on our timeline and it doesn’t hurt that he is so pleasant to behold. Thank you Lord.
Call him the king of the airways, Osi effortlessly combines his job as a BeatFM OAP with his witty commentaries on politics, pop culture and music. He has come a long way from the man who gained popularity on the TL talking about his bachelor stories and redefined himself as a compere and all round bad guy. Ladies, don’t say we never did anything for you.
On judgement day, Angel Gabriel will show @chydee his tweets and we at YNaija suspect strongly that this might be a deterrent to entering through the pearly gates. The digital marketing genius delivers nuggets of wisdom couched in his mordant, laissez-faire attitude. His greatest strength comes from his ability to latch on to topical issues to create absolutely hilarious posts. Ask Caeser, he has stories to tell.
Erstwhile Aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno continues to be a force on Twitter… however waning that influence may be. His ‘Nuggets with Reno’ continue to attract engagement on the platform and beyond it.
Henry is the man of many talents, a true polymath — a top technology dude, photographer, music enthusiast. Henry is the ultimate married baby boy living the life the good Lord chose. His tweets rankle a number of people, but you can’t deny his genius.
Lawyer, social activist, public speaker, President of Chocolate City Entertainment, Brand ambassador of Chivas Regal. Audu continues to be a pacesetter and role model to the Nigerian youth. There are however whispers that he is up to something in 2019. We continue to observe.
Quietly controversial, yet very relevant, Blossom works with the state-owned oil company, NNPC.
No ‘bio’ required. Linda is simply Linda.
In 2016, BBC economic analyst, Tunji Andrews continued to lend his voice to the various economic conversations on Twitter. Asides the die-hard supporters of the President who don’t like his economic theories and explanations, Tunji commands massive respect on TwitterNG.
Emmanuel Nwachukwu is the typical EPL enthusiast’s delight on weekends and matchdays as his analysis are top notch and mostly devoid of sentiment. An Arsenal fan, Emmanuel’s views on soccer are not taken with a pinch of salt on Twitter as he is worth his salt.
Ladies’ man, his tweets get the ladies swooning. He created one of the memorable moments on TwitterNG in 2016 when a viral tweet of his was ‘borrowed’ by a top brand. He reportedly got heavily compensated for his efforts. Reportedly.
In a year most people complained about recession even with the boundless opportunities around, Damola dared to try something novel with his @irinajo_ng which he describes as ‘’a tour company leading the Nigerian tourism renaissance with the aim of showing the unknown Nigeria to the rest of the world’’. So far, it has being a success with Irinajo organizing trips to Badagry, a suburb of Lagos.
In 2016, his brainchild @BudgITng grew in leaps and bounds. He also got a mention from the overall boss himself, Bill Gates. Influence doesn’t come better than this. It doesn’t.
Pro-PDP? Well, nobody knows, but one thing is for sure; Eloka cannot stand bad governance in any form. So it’s understandable if he has some, no, lots of issues with the Buhari administration.
Asides trying to make tweeps see reason why Nasir el-Rufai is the best thing since sliced bread, she writes music reviews for NotJustOK.com. Foreign exposure? Yes, she’s got that too.
Troll and jolly good fellow, Seyi talks a lot of politics and football. Almost always makes sense. Could be flirty at times though — it’s allowed.
Niyi Abiri is the brain behind the award-winning Ogbomoso based IT Hub @cMapIt. Essentially a ‘silent tweep’, Niyi could get very vocal on issues affecting Nigeria when he wants to, and when he does, he holds no prisoners.
Convener of the popular troll cabal (although her enemies want us to believe the position is under threat). One who is known to be anti-bad governance, she is a Kenya-based Nigerian top executive.
Ladies’ man. Tweets a lot of sense but rarely tweets politics. His engagement rate on Twitter is top notch, hence his inclusion on this list.
A regular on our list of the most influential Nigerians on Twitter, Ebube has become the Wailer-in-Chief on TwitterNG. His anti-government tweets have a very large following, and he manages to add lots of wit to his ever-busy timeline.
The baritone-voiced Channels TV huncho is a viewer’s delight anytime. Victor is always on the ‘spot’ when it matters.
While others write articles of 1,000 words trying to explain their frustration with the economy, electricity, and every other thing that appears not to be going right, Asukwo comes to their aid with powerful, thought-provoking cartoons.
Nicholas is an investigative journalist, works with Premium Times, and is a 2016 World Press Fellow. Impressive yeah?
One of the traditional overlords who has managed to keep their head above water with reputation intact. No shaking.
Model and Rubbin’ Minds show presenter, Ebuka is a boss for days.
Noble Igwe is the Marketing/Creative Director at 360Nobs. His wedding in the course of the year set Twitter agog as it was something out of a fairytale. He is also a dedicated member of the ‘GEJ was not an option’ group.
A general assignment correspondent with Premium Times. Samuel is definitely a favourite. Due to his ground-breaking stories, the Nigerian Army threatened to ‘deal’ with him sometime in 2016 but he’s still well and active just like we want it.
Wale who in the course of the year got promoted to Head of Programs at Beats FM, Ibadan continues to loom large in the city’s Twittersphere. An accomplished OAP and hypeman, Wale rarely tweets but when he does, you better take it serious.
He shares ‘vintage’ videos on the TL and those video garner thousands of RT. For those who want to see videos they never thought existed or stopped existing, his TL is the ‘stalkshop’.
Aide to Abia governor, and spearhead of the buy ‘Abia made’ conversation, ‘Sam of the most high’ is very well respected on all Twitter divides.
Activist, entrepreneur and what else? Very civil in his engagements.
Under his watch, NotJustOk.com has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. 2016 saw a change in his approach to engagement on Twitter — Ovie just suddenly became very vocal about socio-political issues. Change.
Baby boy, pro-Buhari, but coloured in ‘neutrality’. A very active member of political Twitter, his tweets are indicative of his belief that Lagos governor, Akinwunmi Ambode can do no wrong.
His popular bar ‘Bar Enclave’ continues to be the hangout of choice for many on TwitterNG. It continues to host events like ‘Conversations about Nigeria’, ‘Monthly meeting of the Mainland Book Club’ and more. And have we spoken about the popular Enclave grilled Turkey? Its fame has gone far and wide.
Lover of technology in Africa. Fondly called ‘Big Chief’ by his admirers, his thoughts on politics and technology are widely respected.
He is the boss of the ground-breaking Anakle, and someone we dare call ‘Chief Boss’. He went on a tour of the major tourist sites in Northern Nigeria earlier this year and hence began the ‘Tour Nigeria’ conversation. Cool guy Editi…
Handsome, smart, intelligent, and streetwise, Uche sure knows how to keep the TL interesting.
The Ikot-Ekpene born software developer runs hotels.ng. He made some rather controversial statements on Twitter this year which set the platform on fire. He is the Queen of the Coast’s favourite tool.
Big year for Baba Hafusa as his 4thstudio Album ‘El-Hadj’ dropped and was a massive success. The album topped the iTunes charts for weeks and for the second year running it featured on the Billboard 100 Chart for best album, thus becoming the first ever Nigerian artiste to achieve the feat.
Mercy is an acclaimed international journalist and the brain behind NewswireNGR.
2016 was easily the year of the BahdGuy. The qualified lawyer-turned-rapper literally took over the radio airwaves, concert stages, our social media feeds. We are not planning to bet against FalzTheBahdGuy this year so we watch and cheer him on as he continues to dazzle. Cool sturves!
Amara Nwankpa is a Director, Public Policy Initiative. Cool, suave and what have you, he says what he wants to say without fear. And his impartiality draws many to him.
The President. He represents everything about the Nigerian state of mind so why not? If our president doesn’t make this list, who will? Almost two years in power, President Buhari is apparently doing his best to steer the nation’s ship aright but it’s clear that his best is not enough. Two years more for him to make the change visible or….
The Minister of State for Petroleum’ dress sense got us all wowed. He started the year as Minister for Petroleum but ended as Minister of State for Petroleum — a junior post. But that is fine.
Lawyer, strategist and pro-PDP, Ayokunle was involved in a lot of controversies last year. The vocal tweep remains one of Pres. Buhari’s harshest critics on Twitter.
The official handle of the Chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission as is expected has taken the government to task over its flagrant abuse of human rights. Recently, the handle has been very vocal about the inhumane treatment meted on Sheikh Al Zakzaky and the government’s reluctance to obey court judgements.
Osita Chidoka served under the government of Goodluck Jonathan — that has brought him under fire whenever he chooses to tweet as many people see him as one who has only chosen to portray himself as a champion of the Igbo cause.
A member of ‘chilled Twitter’; Those married men who are just on Twitter to chill and never taking it serious as life itself is not too serious.
National Youth Leader of KOWA Party (is KOWA truly National?). Well, Jude is the national youth leader of this party and he sure deserves to be on this list.
He is the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service. He engages tweeps on public policy and sometimes, trolls.
Jaja used to be social media director for KOWA party but not presently — we think. Anyways, Jaja is intelligent and has his loyal followers on the platform.
This handle tweets straight from the Presidency, so if you want to know what their thoughts are right there in Aso Rock this is one handle to follow.
He touts himself as a ‘non-partisan Nigerian who only cares about Nigeria’ even though many see him as someone who only cares about the President’s image.
Boss! Nothing more needs to be said.
Ajere Michael is arguably Nigeria’s best music producer, and even though the year started in a rather controversial note for him majorly due to his spat with Olamide at the 2015 Headies, he has remained on top of his game. His Twitter engagements continue to be very civil — even to those who don’t agree with him.
Top man at Mind Capital, Mark Amaza’s mode of engagement endears him to many. Twitter however seemed to notice his NHBi interactive (Thursday-Thursday special) didn’t go on this year. Here’s hoping he sees this and remedies his breach by reviving it.
Leke Alder is the top man at Alder Consulting.
Some call her the heir apparent to Linda Ikeji but is she really? We feel Tosin Ajibade (the brain behind the blog) is doing so well for herself by carving a niche. And we are proud of her.
The technology maestro is officially the chief wailer of Nigeria and widely acknowledged sage. He commands a huge following among pro-PDP folks.
‘Twitter Senator’ ‘Common sense Senator’… these are just some of the appellations used in describing him, but the senator representing a Bayelsa Constituency doesn’t care. He must talk because it is his right and he wants to make (un)common sense.
He is vocal on Twitter and respected by many. Not to mention that he is the son of Kaduna governor, Nasir el-Rufai.
Pro-PDP today, anti-PDP tomorrow. That is fine. Who he associates with is his choice to make.
Dr. Olufunmilayo is everyone’s favourite online medical doctor (ours too). He’s the good doctor whose tweets are as educative as they come as he spares his time debunking medical myths and talks a lot of health issues with emphasis on reproductive health.
Dr. Yemi Kale is the Statistician General of the Federation as well as the CEO of the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics. This handle is perhaps, the authorized handle to dish out Nigeria’s economic statistics. The ritual which is done quarterly is one a lot of people do not look forward to, as it reminds us how bad the economy is doing.
He is Governor of Kaduna State but that doesn’t seem to have tempered him as his tweets still come out fiery… A section of Twitter wants him to run for president, and of course, there is another section that can’t bear to entertain the thought. We watch.
The official account of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar keeps setting the pace on how public figures should engage. The account tweets about solving the problems with Nigeria’s political structure, the economic issues and what have you. A lot of observers believe he is going to give the Presidency another shot in 2019.
Former management staff at UBA and Hewlett-Packard, Etienne is MD of TD Africa and a major player in the Nigerian tech space. For some strange reasons, Etienne chooses to be incommunicado, but we fished him out. Top, top guy.
Twitter Nigeria’s ‘Mr. Know-it-all’. Cheta always seems to have something to contribute whatever the topic may be. Politics, history, economics or even football (he’s an avid Juventus supporter), bring it on. Cheta’s contributions to any topic whatsoever are insightful and further drives the conversation.
Convener of the BBOG group and a staunch advocate of active citizenship.
The Special Adviser on media and publicity to President Buhari has trended on Twitter regularly in the course of 2016 as always says things that manage to come out as insensitive. We hope 2017 will be a better year for him and his team.
The Senator from Kaduna is Mallam Nasir el-Rufai’s arch-nemesis, and he seems to have dedicated his Twitter account to the cause of attacking the governor.
The official handle of Nigeria’s foremost financial crime fighting agency has in the course of the year become the chief trolling agency in the country. Arsenal fans won’t forget the ‘’Not our fourth’’ trolling from the handle in December 2016. Troll on guys.
Do you remember that very nosy class captain back then in primary school who’s always ready to report all our activities to the class captain? That is right. We are referring to Ambodeobsava. S/he sees everything going on in every nook and cranny of Lagos and reports them to the governor. Very funny and witty handle, it is the delight of many a tweep.
Gossy, a Higher Education investor founded BAU Research and Development in 2012, and it has grown in leaps and bounds. 2016 was a big year for him as the Qatar Foundation named him as one of the 50 Global Makers and Shakers of EdTech. In March 2016, he was a finalist on the Young CEO of the year 2016 award by the Africa CEO Forum.
The UK based economist who was one of Buhari’s biggest promoters in 2015 came out to issue a not-so-subtle apology this year and that got people talking. But did the ‘apology’ sway people? We think not.
When he is not touring the world, Seun is on Twitter criticizing government and speaking for the downtrodden. His dad (the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti) must be proud.
This is the indisputably most reliable security/defence Twitter handle in Nigeria. When it isn’t talking about Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram in the North-east, it’s discussing military history and also the cache of sophisticated weapons owned and operated by the Nigerian army.
Fola is one of Nigeria’s more popular OAPs. She is keen on girl rights and tweets actively on the topic.
Mr. Shogunle is perhaps, the e-face of the Nigerian Police due to his position as Assistant Commissioner of Police, Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit. He is always on Twitter engaging and embarking on sensitization programs, to launder the battered image of the police. And he has done that very well.
– Do you agree with the list or not? Let’s have your thoughts in the comment section.
Originally published at ynaija.com on January 1, 2017.