There was a phenomenon that dominated the Nigerian political space in 2015. It was there at the dawn of the year, rocked the space in the first quarter and endured even as the curtain fell on the year.
This phenomenon became emotive as the country moved closer to the general elections, determining to a large extent the direction of the polls. But even after the All Progressives Congress, APC, the party that used it as its slogan took over the mantle of leadership the phenomenon, Change, hung like the proverbial scarlet or the attractive ornament, depending on the direction from where it is viewed.
So, for us when we considered the subject of the Person of the Year, Change came as the overriding issue that surpassed Boko Haram, that six-year-old vermin, which has sucked blood more than any other thing including the civil war or any other terror group in the world. The insurgency group took a beating from the military anyway, before the March polls and in the last quarter of the year.
The Change phenomenon also beat other candidates like the National Peace Committee led by former head of state Abdusalami Abubakar or former president Goodluck Jonathan who by his acceptance of defeat doused the tension hitherto expected to cause a conflagration capable of consuming Nigeria; or Attahiru Jega, professor of political science whose reform impacted the electoral process in Nigeria.
That is why Change is our person of the year! We could not think of a more appropriate person to anchor the story than the man to whom the year has been very kind. Anthony Akaeze, an associate editor, submitted the story to Dipo Onabanjo, editorial director before he went to Victoria Island last Tuesday to collect two awards [see story on media awards] that capped his string of awards for the year 2015. It is the cover, Person of the Year: CHANGE!
This phenomenon featured in the analysis of the 2016 budget presented to the National Assembly last week by President Muhammadu Buhari. For Nigerians, it was not just the annual ritual of expenditure and earnings, it was a way of looking at what the new year holds for people who hangs onto the promise from Change. How do we finance the budget? How can the government realize the deliverables? Those were some of the questions the story, Buhari Stakes Integrity on Budget 2016, written by Anayochukwu Agbo, general editor, tries to answer.
We also bring back to memory some of the landmark events in the past year.
There was a hitch and the Random Jottings; editor-in-chief Ayodele Akinkuotu’s analytical column that speaks to all could not make it this week. It will return next week, by God’s grace.
Meanwhile, from all of us at TELL, we wish you the best of the season!