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  The political landscape of Nigeria in 2023 is vibrant and dynamic, with key figures playing pivotal roles in shaping the nation’s trajectory. Here’s a closer look at the top 10 political figures who have left an indelible mark on the country this year.
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1. Peter Obi: A Youthful Force in Politics

Daily Post NG
Former Anambra State Governor and Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, secured a spot as one of the most searched individuals on Google between January and March 2023. Despite finishing third in the presidential race, his influence remains strong, particularly among the youth and urban population.

2. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: A Global Economic Powerhouse

Arise News
Heading the World Trade Organization as Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stands as a global economic force. As the first woman and African to lead the WTO, she tackles significant challenges such as economic inequality, climate change, and trade wars, leaving an undeniable impact on the world stage.

3. Akinwumi Adesina: Driving Africa’s Economic Future

African Development Bank
As the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has steered the institution towards remarkable growth. His “High Five Agenda” focuses on crucial areas such as energy, infrastructure, industrialization, food security, and gender equality, to improve millions of lives across the continent.

4. Amina J. Mohammed: Championing Sustainable Development

Forbes Africa
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, has been a consistent champion of sustainable development and global progress since 2017. From advising Nigerian presidents on poverty and development to shaping the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, her career reflects dedication and vision.

5. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi: Fearless Advocate for Transparency

Council on Foreign Relations
Despite facing exile due to his outspokenness, the legacy of former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi endures. A fearless advocate for transparency, he reshaped Nigeria’s financial and religious landscapes, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s history.
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6. Datti Baba-Ahmed

Daily Post NG
Datti Baba-Ahmed, the Labour Party’s vice presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election, emerged as a prominent advocate for change. He passionately called for an end to corruption and violence, emphasizing the need to “stop the stealing and start the keeping” and “stop the killing and start the healing.”

7. Obi Ezekwesili: A Multifaceted Contributor to Nigeria’s Progress

Bella Naija
Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili’s contributions to Nigeria are multifaceted. As a co-founder of Transparency International, she played a pivotal role in promoting global government transparency. Her ongoing efforts involve speaking out against corruption and advocating for good governance, holding leaders accountable.

8. Pat Utomi: A Living Legend Shaping Leadership Discussions

Daily Post NG
Professor Pat Utomi, a distinguished scholar in political economy, has left an indelible mark on various sectors. His founding of the Centre for Value in Leadership and the African Democratic Congress showcases his commitment to growth economics, comparative development, and international leadership discussions. His recognition as one of Nigeria’s top ten Living Legends underscores his enduring influence.

9. Alex Otti

Wikilife NG
Alex Otti emerged as a beacon of hope for the people of Abia state. His early actions, particularly in cleaning up the Aba and Umuahia areas, suggested a positive direction for the region. Otti’s efforts aimed at providing genuine leadership and fostering positive change.

10. Aisha Yesufu: The Voice for Free and Fair Elections

The Guardian NG
In 2023, Aisha Yesufu emerged as a vocal advocate for electoral participation. Utilizing her social media platform, she passionately called for free and fair elections during Nigeria’s February 2023 elections.
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These political figures have not only influenced the 2023 political landscape but have also contributed significantly to the development and progress of Nigeria. As the year unfolds, their roles will likely continue to shape the nation’s future.
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This article was first published on 27th December 2023

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