Nigerian politicians have it all, be it comedy or action-packed thriller with fight scenes in various houses of Assembly that would give James Bond or Tom Cruise a run for their money.
In actual sense Politics and drama shouldn’t mix. But not so in Nigeria, a country where the political landscape often plays out like scenes from a Hollywood comedy film.
Gistmania took time to draw out the amateurs from the professionals whose gimmicks are worthy of an Oscar nomination or the “Razzie Awards”, if you will.
Number One on the list was so good that Nollywood filmmakers had no choice but to give him a couple of roles.
Ladies and gentlemen, here are four most dramatic Nigerian politicians so far:
- Dino Melaye
Dino Melaye represented Kogi West Senatorial district as a Senator in the 8th Nigerian National Assembly.
He was involved in various certificates scandals. His claim to have graduated from Ahmadu Bello University with a B.A degree in Geography was cleared by Ibrahim Garba the former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University. However, his claims to have earned degrees from Harvard University and London School of Economics were refuted by both institutions, with Harvard specifically stating that the Senator only participated in a weeklong workshop at the university and never earned a degree from there, and London School of Economics stated that no existing records show he ever obtained a degree from the university.
In 2019, Senator Dino Melaye slept outside the DSS hospital after he was moved there by police personnel.
For his efforts in politics, Melaye landed two film roles. In October 2019, it was revealed he would feature in a television series “Equity Unbound” and in November, he starred in the film “Lemonade”. However, he landed his first lead role in the film “The Bean Shaped Super Hero” in 2020.
If politics in Nigeria were a film, Melaye would be the director, scriptwriter and star lead. You really do not want to undermine his acting skills.
- Olisah Metuh
Olisa Metuh is a lawyer and politician who served as the former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party until 2015 when the party lost power. However, his drama breakout was not until he was arrested in 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) for the N400 Million he and his company Destra Investment Limited allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in 2014.
What followed the arrest was a series of gimmicks by Metuh. First, he went on a self-imposed hunger strike in detention. Then, perhaps his best performance till date, while in detention, he snatched and tore his confessional statements from EFCC operatives then he attempted to chew them.
For his court appearances, Metuh wore full grey beards – a testament that he had a hard time in Kuje prisons.
On February 5, 2018, Metuh appeared in court on a stretcher after Justice Okon Abang ruled that he would have his bail revoked if he didn’t show up for the continuation of his trial. Again on March 14, 2018, Chief Olisa Metuh appeared in court on a wheelchair. And on May 21, 2018, Metuh collapsed while making his way to the dock for cross-examination.
- Ayo Fayose
Peter Ayodele Fayose is a former governor of Ekiti State. He is best known for wailing “I am in pains”, “I am in severe pains” on national television.
In 2018, Fayose appeared in bandages on his right arm and a neck brace while addressing a crowd of [PDP] supporters.
“How can I be Governor of Ekiti State and be treated like this in my own country? My people, I call on all of you: stand and remain standing,” he said to the crowd. “I will go back to the hospital for a while to rest… I am having a lot of pains, but I prefer to bear these pains because of you. I prefer to bear these pains because of you…”
Fayose claimed to have been “shot at” and manhandled by security agents who attempted to break up a PDP road rally.
- Daniel Pondei
And the latest drama king emerged recently, introducing Daniel Pondei though not a politician, however, his recent “performance” during a House of Representative probe earned him a mention from star performer Dino Melaye who rated him an “amateur” on Twitter.
Daniel Kemebradikumo Pondei is a Professor of Medicine from the Niger Delta University (NDU) in Bayelsa, was appointed as Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on February 19, 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Monday, Professor Pondei slumped during an interrogation by the members of the House of Representatives on the misuse of N81 billion by the NDDC.
Professor Pondei first began to lose his composure when the lawmakers queried him on the expenses he made without the approval of the National Assembly. Later he was asked to explain the payment of the sum of N336m to Save Life Campaign in the Niger Delta but Pondei suddenly collapsed. NDDC officials promptly attended to him; one of them was sighted fanning him with a white handkerchief. Within a minute, Pondei regained ‘consciousness’ and he struggled to put on his shoes, which were removed as part of efforts to revive him.