Politics, as is well known, is a dirty game all over the world. In Nigeria, it is no different. The Nigerian brand of politics is highly rewarding for the winner as the winner takes all while the loser is left to lick his wounds. In Nigeria, there are some politicians that are considered to be highly influential within the political sphere. They are constantly involved in the decision-making process of the country or they wield significant influence over a section of the country. The elite politicians have money, they are highly respected and in some cases are elder statesmen. Their words and actions are constantly being monitored as even their silence on important national matters are given meanings. They have several politicians under their influence and have some measure of control over the affairs of state. They have loyalists in the government, military and also paramilitary setups of the country and as such they get access to information on critical national matters that are hidden from the public. These men are highly respected and are not toyed with at all.

Top 20 Most Influential Politicians In Nigeria 2019

  • Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Popularly known as Jagaban, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu was born on the 29th day of March year 1952 in Lagos, Southwestern Nigeria. Chief Tinubu is a political heavyweight whose mastery of politics is widely acknowledged within and outside the country. He has been called upon by Presidents of some other African countries to aid their cause towards reelection when the storm of opposition threatened to drown them. His influence all over Lagos state, the economic capital of Nigeria is obvious. He has singlehandedly picked governors in the state for years. His is credited to be one of the main brains that led to the emergence of the current ruling party in Nigeria, the APC. Je helped midwife the party which came into being through the merger of his then Action Congress of Nigeria (APC) party, President Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) party and several other political parties. He helped to turn this uneasy alliance into a winning one that now controls the affairs of state in the country. He is a leader of the Yoruba people and is widely acknowledged as the National leader of the APC. His own political journey has taken him to the Senate when he was elected as Senator representing Lagos West constituency in Lagos State, Nigeria in the year 1993. The election took place just prior to a military take-over in December 1993. He became the governor of Lagos state on the 29th of May 1999 after the country returned to democratic rule. He then contested and won reelection in the year 2003. Since then he has been playing the role of political godfather to many who are desirous of holding political office. His wife is currently a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing the good people of Lagos central senatorial constituency. He currently holds the chieftaincy titles of the Asiwaju of Lagos and the Jagaban of the Borgu Kingdom located in Niger State, Nigeria. He is estimated to be worth over $1.5 billion. He is without a doubt one of the strongest politicians in the country as of today.

Most Influential Politicians In Nigeria
  • General Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari GCFR was born in the year 1942. He is the current President of Nigeria and has been in office since 2015. He defeated the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in a keenly contested election that held in 2014. PMB as he is now called, retired from the Nigerian Army as a Major General. He previously served as the nation’s Head of State from the 31st of December 1983 to the 27th of August 1985 after grabbing power in a military coup. He is the leader of the Fulani/Hausa people of Northern Nigeria. He enjoys a cult-like following amongst his people.

  • Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Ph.D. was born on 5th day of May year 1937. He is a retired General in the Nigerian Army and also served as Military Head of State of the country. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is popularly called “OBJ” or “Baba” and was born in Ogun state, a border state with Lagos. He is often tagged as the most successful politician in Nigeria as he has led the country twice, first as military Head of State and more recently as civilian President. He served as a military ruler of Nigeria from the 13th of February 1976 to the 1st of October 1979. He then contested and won elections as a civilian and was on the 29th day of May 1999 sworn in as the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria. He led the 4th Republic in the country. Chief Obasanjo again contested and won reelection as President in 2003 and he held office until 2007 when his term expired. He tried to amend the constitution to allow him a third term in office but he was blocked by some other top politicians who felt he was trying to hijack power for life and install himself as life President of the country. He then handpicked the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua as his successor and the latter ran under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and won.  Chief Obasanjo is well known to be the owner of the famous Otta Farms as well as several other businesses and investments within the country. He is also reported to own some oil blocks as well as some business stakes in some other countries of the world. Baba Obasanjo is known as a leader of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria, one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria and he also enjoys international recognition. He has been deployed by the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and some other international bodies to observe elections all over the world and also helped to resolve some very critical issues in some African countries that have threatened to lead to full-scale war. He is a wealthy man and is estimated to be worth a whopping 1.6 billion dollars.

  • Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar is a former Vice President of the country and served under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007. He is the 11th VP in the countries history.  He was born on the 25th of November 1946. He is a Nigerian politician, businessman, and a former customs officer. He hails from present Adamawa state. He has contested for President several times in the past and is still hoping to occupy the number one seat in the land as he seeks to get the Presidential ticket of the PDP in next year’s election. He is worth around 1.4 billion dollars.

  • Bukola Saraki

Abubakar Bukola Saraki was born on the 19th day of December 1962. He is a Nigerian politician and is currently the President of Nigeria’s Senate since 2015. He previously served as the Governor of Kwara State under the platform of the PDP (People’s Democratic Party) from 2003 to 2011. He first came to the Senate in April 2011 under the platform of the PDP, representing the Kwara Central senatorial district, but sought and won re-election in 2015 under the platform of the APC (All Progressive Congress). He recently decamped back to his former party, the People’s Democratic Party on 31st of July 2018. He is currently seeking to clinch the Presidential ticket of the PDP in the forthcoming general elections.

  • General TY. Danjuma

General Yakubu Danjuma is a politician and multi-millionaire businessman in Nigeria. He is a former military man and served as the Nigerian Army Chief of Army Staff from July 1975 to October 1979. He is a leader in Northern Nigeria especially the Northcentral and he is a prominent figure in the country.

  • General Ibrahim Babangida

The retired Army General is one of the most political figures in the country. He is popularly called IBB and is one of the richest politicians in the country. The retired General was born in Minna, Niger state on the 17th of August 1941. He is a former military President in the country and is known to be an influential figure in the North. He was the Military President of Nigeria from 27th August 1985 to 26th August 1993. IBB served as the 8th Head of State of the country. He was previously the Chief of Army staff from January 1984 to August 1985 and was a major player in the majority of the military coups that took place in the country. He took part in the military coups that occurred in July 1966, February 1976, December 1983, August 1985, December 1985 and also in April 1990. He usurped power from General Muhammadu Buhari as Military Head of State on 27th August 1985. IBB is one of the most influential politicians in Nigeria and also one of the richest. He is widely known to have annulled the June 12, 1993 elections which were won by free and fair by the late Moshood Abiola. General Babangida is estimated to be worth around $5 billion dollars.

  • Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is the immediate past President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He held office for 6 years after succeeding the late Umaru Musa Yar Adua. He lost the 2015 general elections to the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari. He is loved and adored by many and was given international recognition for conceding after losing the election, the first time an incumbent will lose an election in the country. He holds massive influence in the South-South and the South-eastern parts of the country.

  • Sule Lamido

Sule Lamido was born on the 30th of August 1948 and served as Foreign minister of Nigeria from 1999 to 2003. He got elected as governor of Jigawa State in April 2007. He contested for the office of Governor again in 2011 and won, he finally left office in 2015. He is a member of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and is currently a Presidential aspirant on the platform of the party. He alongside his sons were put on trial for embezzlement of state funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2015. His influence is in Northern Nigeria.

  • Ibrahim Kwankwaso

Engineer Rabi’u Musa popularly known as Rabiu Kwankwaso is a Nigerian politician that hails from Kano state in Northwestern Nigeria. He is a two-term Governor of Kano State first from 1999–2003 and then from 2011–2015. He served as the first governor of Kano State in the 4th republic and was elected on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Kwankwaso lost his re-election bid in 2003 to Ibrahim Shekarau and was in July of the same year appointed as Defense Minister by then President Olusegun Obasanjo. He then won his second attempt at reelection in 2011 and served till 2015. He is currently a senator representing Kano central at the upper arm of the National assembly and is also seeking to become President of the country cum 2019 under the platform of the PDP. He commands a massive following in his home state, Kano and also in the entire NorthWestern region which also has the highest number of registered voters in the country.

  • Chief Edwin Clark

Chief Edwin Clark is a Nigerian politician who hails from Delta State and served under the administrations of Military Governor Samuel Ogbemudia and Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon between 1966 and 1975. In the year 1966, he was a member of an advisory committee to the Military Governor of the Mid-Western State, David Ejoor and was subsequently appointed Federal Commissioner of Information in the year 1975. He was an unofficial advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan and is a philanthropist who founded the Edwin Clark Foundation and also established a university in his hometown. He is widely acknowledged as a leader of the Ijaw people in South-South region of Nigeria.

  • Nyesome Wike

Woke is without a doubt one of the most influential politicians in the country. He wields so much influence in the opposition PDP and is one of the most powerful governors in Nigeria today. He governs the affairs of oil-rich Rivers state. A strongman within the PDP, he was quite instrumental in the emergence of the party’s current chairman, Uche Secondus.

  • Owelle Rochas Okorocha

He is currently a second term governor in Imo state, SouthEast Nigeria. He is currently the chairman of the APC governor’s forum. He was born on 22nd of September 1962 and was a businessman and education philanthropist before he became a politician. Rochas Okorocha is one of the richest politicians in the country and is estimated to be worth a whopping 1.5 billion dollars.

  • Rotimi Amaechi

Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi is the immediate past governor of oil-rich Rivers state. He governed the state from 2007 to 2015. He formerly served as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. He was the chairman of the campaign team that won the election for President Muhammadu Buhari and he is charged with repeating that same feat in 2019. He currently serves as Transport Minister of the Federation, a position he has held since 2015. He is reported to be worth around 780 million dollars.  

  • General Abdulsalami Abubakar

He is a Nigerian Army general who was President of Nigeria from 9th June 1998 until 29th May 1999 following the death of General Sani Abacha. Nigeria adopted its latest constitution on 5th May 1999, which provided for multiparty elections under his leadership and he successfully transferred power to Olusegun Obasanjo on 29th May 1999.

  • Orji Uzor Kalu

Orji Uzor Kalu is a former governor of Abia State located in Eastern Nigeria. He is ranked as one of the richest politicians in Nigeria currently. He is the chairman of both the Sun Daily New Telegraph. He is quite influential in the eastern part of Nigeria.

  • Adams Osiomole

He is a former labor leader and also a two-term governor of Edo state in Nigeria. He is currently the chairman of the ruling party in Nigeria, the APC.

  • Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi

He is a two-term former governor of Kaduna State in Nigeria from 29th May 1999 to 29th May 2007. He was elected Senator for Kaduna North in April 2007 and is a member of the PDP. He is seeking to contest next year’s elections for the office of President.

  • Alhaji Bamanga Tukur (CON)

He was born on the 15th of September 1935. He is a prominent Nigerian businessman and politician. He served as Minister for Industries during the administration of late General Sani Abacha in the 1990s. He was the chairman of the PDP from March 2012 to January 2014.

  • Chris Nwabueze Ngige

He was born on the 8th of August 1952. He was governor of Anambra State in Nigeria from 29th May 2003 to 17th March 2006 under the People Democratic Party (PDP). He was elected as a senator representing Anambra Central Federal constituency in April 2011. He is currently a member of the APC and is the Minister of Labour for the country.

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Conclusion On The Most Influential Politicians In Nigeria 2019

These are some of the most influential people in Nigeria’s political sphere. They wield so much influence and have the support of millions of people.

Tags: Most Influential Politicians In Nigeria, Most Powerful Politicians In Nigeria

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