Ladies and gentlemen, we give you 2016 version of Ekekeee’s 100 most influential people on Twitter Nigeria.
Social media has come to define the way we live, work and play. The smartphone has become our bae.
And we are not even sorry.
In 2016, Twitter continued to play a prominent role in political, sporting and business discourses–the microblogging site continued to shape our view of the world.
Our smartphone experience wasn’t complete without a scroll up and down our Twitter app each day of what was a fast paced year.
We owe our 2016 Twitter experience in Nigeria to these handles; to these influencers.
In the angry and debate filled world that is Twitter, we call them overlords, because they really are that powerful. When these overlords tweet, we read and listen.
In no particular order, here are the top 100 Twitter influencers of 2016…..
Politics and Governance
There was certainly no bigger influencer in all of Twitter in 2016 than Madam Obiageli Ezekwesili. Every tweet was a hit, back-to-back. ‘Aunt Oby’ explored the power of this social media site to fight for the rescue of the abducted Chibok Girls and all other Boko Haram captives. This former Vice President of the World Bank (Africa) and former Nigerian Minister, left us all camped on her TL all year long.
Only Tolu can serve in government and still possess the powers to troll and laugh at everyone else. Sometimes, he even laughs at himself. You could sense that this dude has missed the writing beat and can’t wait to return to troll us all in his essays. A power puncher in 2016.
We’ll hand you a dollar if you’ve met this guy in the flesh and will retrieve the dollar if you say he wasn’t one handle that enraged and amused you in equal measure in 2016. Onye Nkuzi (the teacher) is all shades of smarts. He’s a “banal, philistinic, latte, effete sipping lumpropoterian, Lekki and Buhari hating jkdktgfa….” We are sorry. You have to ask Onye Nkuzi what those words really mean.
This blogger always gave as good as he got in 2016. He’s been that way. His tweets are like the gospel for haters and lovers alike. Japheth Omojuwa slipped into our timelines more than a decade ago and hasn’t left. We’ll keep him there in 2017 and beyond.
This presidential spokesperson has learnt the Twitter ropes so quickly in a one year span, he now assails us with numbered tweets every other day. Garba Shehu has joined bad gang.
This publicist has perfected the fine art of using videos and pictures to pass his twitter messages across. Plus, he never shies away from ruffling feathers while at it.
Only Chidi Okereke can call out musician Davido and get a catch-phrase from the latter’s songs, as response. Okereke had us all eating from his Tweets in 2016. A lovely and controversial Tweep, this guy.
We’ll give you a raise if Demola didn’t get under your skin as an APC supporter in 2016. And he does it with a smile–a cold blooded smile. Each time, chuckling behind his gadget, we can bet. He influenced Twitter discourses politically in 2016; courting controversies as he went along.
“The Godfather” is not even ya mate. Like, you get blocked for saying ‘Good morning’, depending on how ill-advised your ‘Good morning’ comes across. But seriously, Ayobami Oyalowo was a factor in Nigerian twittersphere in 2016. A formidable factor.
If Jubril Gawat makes it to heaven and is told at the pearly gates that APC and Asiwaju Tinubu aren’t already in there, he’ll ask to return back to mother earth. His love for those two are that deep. Plus, he was the crown Prince of tweet digging in 2016, complete with shovels, spades and rakes, because “world eez not war”.
Chioma was quite the influencer in 2016. Her blog posts were a delight to read. Each post was laced with the lucidity and wisdom of ancients. Her tweets were always a window into her heart. She took on just about everyone in 2016, no matter where your political allegiances laid.
Tola Sarumi knows a thing or two about dividing opinions by first leaving them on a stove. In 2016, she was the initiator of several debates; weighing in on every subject with a scapula. It also helps that she possesses bags of “international exposure”.
This former Vice President and APC chieftain was in our faces all year. He dabbed in our faces and sipped on sachets of (impure) water in our faces. He was one of 2016’s biggest influencers and something tells us he has a big announcement coming up in the next couple of months.
Boy, did this account influence us!!! From trolling, to debunking stories and laughing at the world. In 2016, we fell in love with this anti-graft agency account because it was so darn sarcastic and lively.
Senate President Bukola Saraki has become so adept at tweeting, he relays policy statements and pieces of legislation to his Twitter followers long before the rest of the world is apprised of happenings in parliament. His handle was the go-to account for information concerning a national assembly that remains widely derided.
This handle provided Twitter users with a front-row seat into events at the national assembly–at least to a certain degree. Pretty influential account, you’d say.
This former presidential spokesperson just won’t go away. He assailed us with his “nuggets” all through 2016.
Bloggers don’t come any more cerebral than this dude. In 2016, he was always that voice of reason above the din of madness.
On air personality who tweets on just about everything. Osikhena Dirisu was quite the feather ruffler on Twitter in 2016. Plus, courting controversy with his hair-raising tweet-style was quite something to behold.
Yemi Giwa loves to be called “baby” even offline, but there’s nothing inchoate about her tweets. She stood up for the crushed and underdog all through 2016, even though her football bants could be over the top, especially for fans of rival Manchester United.
Segun Dada didn’t pick too many fights in 2016 compared to the previous year, but he still waged enough battles to sink a Titanic. He covets the role of a one man army. Top, top influencer. He’ll make the APC a compulsory national party if he could pull it off.
Actress and OAP (On Air Personality) who has since found a home in politics where she’s pitched tent with the PDP. Ms. Henshaw’s views on governance and policy are well documented on her TL.
Dear Muhammadu Buhari, hire this guy as your Twitter spokesperson. Enough said.
Smart, witty and confrontational–Joachim has it all. You have to love him even if you loathe to. Follow him today.
The younger Ezekwesili has no qualms laughing at himself. He weighs in on governance, economics, politics and policies. And he does it all with bags of charm.
A top tweep who loves to get under all kinds of skins. Blogger at all times, ranter just before bedtime. Class.
No Senator has been this unashamedly loud and brash since a certain lawmaker had his attire ripped to shreds in the House of Representatives back in 2010. Oh wait, that was Dino Melaye as well. And then on Sundays, he takes us to church. Quite the influencer.
Before 2016, we all thought “Budget Padding” was some kind of sausage or Pizza. Rep Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano) changed all of that. He riled us with his numbered tweets and was expelled from the legislature for his troubles.
OAP with Beat FM. Dami could make you cry with sarcasm and you’ll apologise to her for making you cry. Witty, sarcastic and deep. We were glad to have her on our TLs in 2016.
In 2016, we all learned to love horses just because Nimah loves horses. She was Twitter’s sweetheart who could do no wrong in 2016.
You may not approve of his crude methods, but PDP faithful across Nigeria pay homage to this guy. Go figure.
He fancies himself the future Governor of Kogi State and why not? Gbenga has earned his stripes. Working as an aide of incumbent Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello, has broadened Gbenga’s political views and appeal.
This Senator who represents Lagos East constituency in the upper legislative chamber, didn’t tweet too often in 2016, but each time he did, he packed a punch on his TL. Super influential.
Reuben Abati spent the last quarter of the year writing about witches in the corridors of power and getting hauled into EFCC prison facilities. But that never stopped us from finding out what he had to say in his tweets. Former Presidential spokespersons seldom wield plenty of influence. This one is different.
Kayode Ogundamisi didn’t know what to do when Kemi Olunloyo ‘proposed’ to him in 2016 and that’s because nobody knows what to do when Olunloyo proposes to them. When a character like Olunloyo indicates their undying love for you, you know your social media influence has reached the ears of Olodumare.
This hunk of a charmer actually got married in 2016, breaking Twitter hearts along the way. We couldn’t get enough of Ebuka’s perspective on all issues in 2016. #Goals.
In 2016, Banky was the tweep who influenced how we saw governance and politics without actually smashing a skull open.
His views on governance were caustic for both sides of the divide in 2016, but it wouldn’t be Biola if it doesn’t come across as hard hitting and caustic. LIVE awa Biola alone.
Yinka’s grasp of issues in 2016 was perhaps second to none. A deep thinker and pacifier. He practically grew on us.
He invented numbered tweets. Literally. Ok, we lied. But trust us, we were close. Cheta Nwanze pranced around Twitter all through 2016 like he owned the place–because he fucking owned the place!
When we got lost in 2016 because we didn’t know jack about what the law or the constitution said, there was Mr. Atambi, holding us by the hand and showing us the way. We love you, Tony!!!
A cerebral lawyer who taught us all the finer points of the law from his handle. He was the constitutional lawyer your law Professor told your Daddy about.
Because not all overlords still tweet with Blackberrys. So, let’s move on…
It wouldn’t be an influencers’ list if Rinsola Abiola isn’t on it. Just ask House Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
The last time we compiled this list on here, Dipo was working his socks off on the way to annexing a Doctorate. He’s got his PhD in the bag now and dispensed knowledge all through 2016 like a don; because he really is one.
Olatunde Bakare will pick a fight in a club where he’s the only guest. He’s that influential. You just had to love his tweet-style in 2016.
If you weren’t following her in 2016, we hate to break this to you–you were doing Twitter wrong.
Only Rita could cast Yemi Alade’s lyrics as “watery Akamu” and get away with it. This writer charmed us all in 2016 with her wellspring of sagacity.
Even President Muhammadu Buhari would give anything to meet him. If that sounds too good to be true, it just goes to show how influential Charles Ohia was in 2016.
Security and financial analyst long before Dasuki discovered the sea route to the vaults of the central bank. Super influential.
If you didn’t fall in love with Etin-Osa in 2016, let’s see your hands up? No one? Good.
Chances are that all the Devaluation and Deregulation knowledge you managed in 2016, Feyi Fawehinmi taught you. Don’t even deny it, we saw you stalking his TL all through last year.
Nigeria’s Statistician General, Dr Yemi Kale, had the toughest job in 2016–tell Nigerians they are broke every other quarter–with numbers. And he did it so well through tweets and interactive sessions on the microblogging site. Top guy!
No Governor deployed Twitter to communicate his goals and objectives better than the number one citizen of Nigeria’s commercial capital. Whether it was his various road projects, his light up Lagos project, the proposed 4th mainland bridge, the carnivals or even Quilox night clubbing, Ambode’s twitter handle was quite active all through 2016.
As Twitter handles go, this was one of the funniest. Whoever is behind this naughty creation fancied himself as the ‘Lagos Class Captain’; reporting all of the misdeeds and social misdemeanors in a city of over 20 million people to Governor Ambode. It ‘apyas he was a darn good Obsarver, Sah’
Music, Arts, Culture, Consulting and Religion
You’d be hard pressed to find another artiste who won more fans and improved on her craft the way Simi did; through the sheer reach and power of Twitter. That golden voice you were swooning over at the concert last week? Yeah, Simi perfected it from feedback from her fans on the social media site. Look away now, Yemi Alade.
Editor in Chief at Pulse, Osagie Alonge has become one of the most sought after music pundits of his era. His views on the arts and popular culture scene have been documented to be taught in schools. #FactsOnly.
He may have had his “Starboy” insignia taken from him in 2016 by someone who prefers weekends to weekdays, yet Wizkid owned Twitter all through 2016–teasing his fans and rounding off the year with ‘Daddy Yo’–a tune guaranteed to end up as club anthem in 2017. He knows how to make Twitter answer to him, this guy.
This comedian has perfected the art of using Twitter so well, he doesn’t need to tweet to influence. We owe our 2016 to him and his tweets.
Falz made us laugh and then sold us good music. Two for the price of one–all in 2016. It wasn’t just Simi who shared plenty of chemistry with this guy, we all did. And Twitter was his oyster.
He told us to leave trash for LAWMA in 2015 and we did. He told us not to come to his mainland in 2016. We disobeyed him. He told us he’ll shut down Eko Hotel whenever he fancies and he did. Olamide was the ‘Baddo’ we all came to love in 2016. Who Baddo epp? Well, everyone.
Poor Dele Momodu suffered at the hands of this dude. Whether it was calling out the publisher on ‘Osinachi’ or yelling out ‘Dele na my boy’ until we could take it no more, Davido twisted our 2016 the way and manner he wished. On Twitter and elsewhere.
His opinions on all subject matters are still gospel. ‘Mr Incredible’ just gets even more incredible by the year.
Bankole Wellington ended 2016 with “The “Wedding Party” and he marketed the movie so well, it became one of Nigeria’s highest grossing flicks ever; in its first week at the cinemas. Banky’s Twitter interactivity is also top notch.
Twitter has become quite the monastery for this monk. Henry Okelue was the literature and music connoisseur of 2016; letting his followers know what he thought about that song or that artiste, or that book. He pulled no punches while tweeting on governance, either.
Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Center and convener of #ThePlatform, made new friends in 2016. The Platform became even bigger in 2016 and Pastor Poju Oyemade wooed quite a lot through Twitter.
We’ve watched Ayo Sogunro grow before our very eyes since he first caught the world’s attention with that world class response to Reuben Abati’s article circa 2011/2012. Sogunro has become an author of international acclaim and a renown social critic. He’s certainly going places and Twitter cemented his place in the universe in 2016.
Pastor Sam is everyone’s favourite leadership coach and in 2016, we zoomed to his TL to check out in which direction he wanted our lives to head. His tips on governance and politics were well received in 2016.
Mr. Alder is proof that good things really do come in smaller packages. There are testimonies all over his TL of how many relationships and marriages he saved through the invention that is numbered tweets. Alder made our 2016 rock. Simple.
‘Uncle’ Sola Adio made the fan belt even more popular in 2016. He was the relationship expert everyone on Twitter loved to hate.
One of Nigeria’s smartest entrepreneurs continued to break newer grounds in 2016 with Statecraft, Ynaija, Rubbin’Minds and The Future Awards. Chude looks set to have us all eating from his palms way into 2017 and beyond.
He keeps reinventing the wheel with his Twitter account. Don Jazzy is not just some music producer from outer space, he’s one of the smartest PR chaps around–always giving his image a boost, one tweet at a time.
A fine mind by any stretch of the imagination. She’s always been an adept Twitter user. In 2016, she just took it to newer heights. Boss.
A smile to die for, smarts and a pretty face. Esther Agbarakwe has got them all.
In Nigeria’s emerging ‘Silicon Valley’ landscape, Seun Onigbinde stands tall, unwavering and unnerved. He’s got the breakdown of all our budgets on his laptop. He sees and knows what we don’t–including a website that will cost millions of Naira to build in 2017.
Arit Okpo is the pretty face behind “The Crunch” on EbonyLifeTV. She’s passionate about good governance and good food…and making guests feel really comfortable on her award winning show. One for the stars, surely.
The Head of Content on NotJustOk.Com is a suave and analytical mind when music and the arts are on the menu. Ovie has earned his place in the sun.
An award winning music and pop culture enthusiast, Joey Akan is one of the biggest names at ‘Pulse Nigeria’. His critiques of albums and singles alike are taken very seriously by artistes.
‘Ada Nwa’ achieved overlord status in 2015 and cemented her place among the big boys and girls in 2016. We never got tired of stalking her tweets about urban life and culture in the year that was.
Wonderfully and lovably acerbic. The best trolls on the planet have got nothing on her when she does her thing. You go, girl!
SPORTS, Media and Gossip
A fantastic sports analyst on and off air. Colin’s Twitter account is where you head to for the best in the sporting circles. He’s been around long enough, but spewing fresh content on his TL makes him that more influential.
Anyone who analyses football with bottles of Orijin, gets our vote, because those two cannot walk together unless they agree. Emmanuel Nwachukwu was one of 2016’s biggest Twitter influencers across all subjects–but it is when he discusses footy that the Orijin in the man brims to the surface. Class.
Bold and fearless, Yomi’s natural turf is football but he traverses all subjects. One of this generation’s finest writers nationally and internationally. We love you, Yomi, oh yes we do!
When Arsenal is in the mood, he
cums comes–literally. One of the 5 things we learned in 2016 was that this guy has only just scratched the surface with his lucid journalism and writing style. ‘Ifreke Inyang is here to stay.
Kelechi Iheanacho influenced us on the pitch and on our TLs all through 2016. This Manchester City forward is so lovable, we want him to marry our sisters–like all of them, at once.
Still several months shy of his 21st birthday, Alex Iwobi of Arsenal grew into a man on our TLs in 2016. He’s barnstormed his way into the Arsenal first team and hasn’t looked back since.
Banging in goals for the Falcons and Arsenal was something we thoroughly enjoyed on Twitter in 2016. Asisat is thoroughly lovable and influential. End of.
Charles Anazodo bags plenty of influence on Twitter. Last year, he could sell water in the rain on Twitter and still make a killing.
His lines have always fallen in pleasant places from his days in print journalism, to presenting sports on ChannelsTv and working with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). We all made a beeline for Oluwatoyin Ibitoye’s handle in 2016.
The thing about gossip is that it sells. So, SDM (SubDeliveryMan for short) now has branches in Kenya, Ghana and most of the West Coast–dispensing subliminals and gossip for free. He caused so much trouble in 2016, he’ll need a statue in 2017. One of our biggest influencers of 2016 without a doubt. Because we all love ‘Tatafo’.
How exactly is Ms. Ikeji not verified with 1.41 million Twitter followers to her name? Her blog continues to defy all logic like the lady herself. In 2016, she became even bigger–floating her own social media site and shaking her bum in our faces as birthday gifts. And Twitter certainly helped.
‘Oga Boss’ on ChannelsTV and on our TLs. Chamberlain is humility and brains personified when you do get to meet him. His influence hasn’t waned over the years.
And she really is super. Tosin Ajibade has taken her blog several notches higher and she sold us everything via Twitter. When you are good, you are good.
She improved on content in 2016 and delivered. She deserves her place on the power list because she fucking deserves her place on the power list.
We suspect that one of the Kazeem brothers is behind this handle. It just has to be, seeing as this creative account has got us all laughing and hurting on match days. Sheer brilliance, this nation.
Spent all of 2016 changing his Twitter names, but we could smell his ‘Nsogbu’ from a mile and pick him from a crowd. His analyses on match days are often spot on, save for when he hailed Arsenal’s Ramsey as some Maradona. Sarcastic and brilliant. Plus, he plays the game too.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) couldn’t pay the Super Eagles or Falcons and owed just about everyone else in 2016; couldn’t market a product as good and popular as football, but its Twitter handle still blew. NFF is just a sad, sorry case, but still influential online.
We just couldn’t get enough of this BeatFM beauty in 2016. There’s only one explanation–Toolz has ‘jazzed’ us.
“Dear Oloni, my man’s dick is so small…what do I do?”, “Dear Oloni, she smells like shit, do I leave her?”….”Dear Oloni, she can’t cook ordinary Indomie….” “Dear Oloni, he’s a one minute man behind the sheets”
....and on and on we went. In 2016, each time we had a relationship or sex problem–the same one we can’t tell anyone else (not even our Pastor or parents) about–we told Oloni. Influence is her middle name.
News and entertainment stories in digestible, bit sizes drove Uncle Simon Kolawole’s ‘baby’ into our hearts and TLs. TheCable certainly came of age in 2016. For a site that’s barely two years old, it says a lot about this platform that we think it has been around forever.
Bonus Track: 11 Tweeps to look out for in 2017
We set out to do a list of 100 influential Twitter personalities, but there were more than 100 Tweeps who caught our eye in 2016.
Call this the ‘Bonus Track’ if you would.
Here are the 11 influential handles you should add to the 100 above:
Cool and calm under pressure, his tweets in 2016 could have come from a refrigerator. Dr Joe is on a mission to help reform Nigeria’s civil service and he’s set out his stall rather nicely. He took us all back to school last year.
Super powerful handle. Seyi interrogated just about everything in 2016. It’s little wonder he made the roll call.
Salihu Tanko Yakasai is the self-styled DG (Director General) of Media and Communications at Government House, Kano. We saw snippets of just how powerful he can be during the Kano Durbar festival. He got all of Twitter crooning and tweeting about the Durbar.
Nice, urbane and aiming darts all over the place, even when Liverpool isn’t in action. You know that gist about a guy who can last hours in bed? Oh yeah, Kolo was the legend behind it all.
He needed no second invitation to take on anyone. One short prayer for Bello Elrufai in 2017: May the force be with you.
Incredible tweep who has stayed true to his Twitter calling all these years. And then he’s got this amazing, pretty wife he loves to flaunt in our faces. Consistency is the word we’ve been looking for to describe Batarhe.
This handle is called ‘Monitoring Spirit’ for a reason. Nothing escaped his/her sights in 2016. Top tweep.
Witty and sarcastic tweep–just the way you should go about selling your wares on Twitter. Contact her for your customised handcrafted jewelry and personalized hand bands.
Soft spoken Alkasim Abdulkadir has certainly carved a niche for himself on Twitter. These days, his work takes him to the troubled north east region of Nigeria and camps for the internally displaced. Heavyweight.
TV personality Funmi Iyanda is here to stay. We’ve always had a crush on her, to be honest. In 2016, she stayed on message and influenced discourses the way only Ms. Iyanda can.
What more can we say?