Putting this list together took a significant while as we intently sought to honor the best of leaders the great country of Nigeria has ever had. It is easy to constantly berate leaders and forget to appreciate them mainly because Nigeria is currently running (and for the past 30+ years) as a failed state with over 70% of her citizens living below the poverty line. It is difficult to appreciate leaders when a country isn’t living up to her citizens’ potentials but here we have compiled a list of the Top 5 greatest leaders of all time in Nigeria’s history and today.
- TAFAWA BALEWA
- MURTALA MOHAMMED
- OLUSEGUN OBASANJO
- CHARLES SOLUDO
- WILLIE OBIANO
This list cuts across the living and the dead, tribes and geographies, religion and culture, law and financial services. The first 2 are well-known legends to Nigerians. Their Names are on many streets, currencies, airports and schools. Charles Saludo is an intelligent voice for Nigeria. He fights against corruption, he spoke publicly against Ngozi Okonjo Iweala‘s hidden corrupt ways (she authored “Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous“) and he was a good leader at the Central Bank of Nigeria during his tenure as president. Olusegun Obasanjo and Charles Soludo are far from angels but some of their achievements are exemplary to all the leaders Nigeria has had in recent past. Babatunde Raji Fashola did not make the cut as he has disappointed millions of Nigerians through his lack of achievements under President Muhammadu Buhari. Many expected that Fashola holding 2 ministerial titles during President Mohammadu Buhari‘s first term either speaks well of Fashola’s capabilities but it seems to speak more of Buhari’s weaknesses. Willie Obiano continues to fight corruption exemplary in eastern Nigeria.
Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was close to making the list. What limited him from making the list included his increased comfort since his Central Bank of Nigeria tenure despite many Nigerians still living below the poverty line; and reports of him marrying and/or dating under-aged girls. No recent or living past president of Nigeria made the list. Muhammadu Buhari did not make the list. A president that would appoint unqualified Kemi Adeosun as Finance Minister of the nation cannot make the list. Former President Musa Yar’Adua could have made the list but he was too sick to accomplish much during his political peak and his wife, Turai Yar’Adua, was reportedly too corrupt especially during Yar’Adua’s years as president of Nigeria.
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