by Umar Faruk Hassan,
This year went well and I thank God for that.I was picked to be an observer for my NBA branch at the 2015 General Elections and being a founding member of the Kano state Young Lawyers Forum, i was glad to leave something to be remembered for when it held its inaugural congress.It was conceived and birthed within a week and that is no mean feat.
My articles got published at twice the rate they did last year when I first started out and that is a huge blessing.
Here are some of the other things that made my year tick.
BEST TV SERIES
I didn’t do too many movies this year and the few I did just didn’t cut it for me.However I binge watched series dating as far back as 2012 to almost everything made this year and NARCOS takes my top spot.Pablo Emilio Escobar De Gaviria is probably the most infamous drug lord the world has ever known and to see his story depicted so well gave me fat thrills.Guy fought Colombia to a standstill, built his own jail which was more or less a resort and was making like $70 Million a week with an average $10,000 being spent daily on rubber bands to tie the cash.Stories don’t come more intriguing.
COUPLE OF THE YEAR
Pique and Shakira. Gerard had what was perhaps his worst season ever under his Argentine namesake, Gerard Martino with a lot of people in the Barca fold attributing his bad form to his relationship with Shakira.They felt she was becoming a huge distraction and were always quick to cite his skating trip with her to the States contrary to doctors’ instructions.
No one could wave off claims he was placing her above his career because he simply wasn’t giving his best on the pitch. When reports surfaced that he had banned Shakira from having men in her videos, you kinda felt it was getting to him.It sounded too ’10 years between the lovebirds’.
She wasn’t only a superstar songstress but she was a latin one at that.Would’ve been better if he just made her retire.A top notch video for virtually every song she puts out would mean she shoots a romantic scene or two.
But then came Luis Enrique who afforded Pique the right climate for a rebirth and he has been giving his best without cutting down on ‘Shakira time’.He helped the team win a treble and had another son with her in the process.
Their love seemed to wax stronger amidst the challenges and they are now reaping the rewards of their patience.They have been spotted getting cozy a lot more times this year and for a busy lady like Shakira, she sure attends quite a lot of Barca games these days.Sounds Shakespeare but with a nice ending, don’t it?
BOOK OF THE YEAR
As unbelievable as this may sound,it is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.Happenings over the last year have made me resort to it quite a number of times.Whether it is to recommend Kwarans recall Saraki instead of Stoning him or when canvassing for a lesser number of Ministers to be appointed than the 36 a lot of people erroneously believed President Buhari is obligated to appoint in one fell swoop.
The ‘quality time’ I gave it opened up instances of highly regrettable lack of foresight on the part of the draftsman.In a polity like ours, the phrase ‘Federal Character’ ought to have been dealt with in figures.For example-No 11 appointments shall be made without each of the geo-political regions getting at least one each.PMB’s total disregard for the ibos in the 29 appointments preceding the Ministerial ones opened up my eyes to just how shallow and inadequate some provisions of the grundnorm really were.We have always had cries of marginalization since the civil war so theres no possible excuse to hide behind.
Section 147 empowers the President to create offices of ministers as he deems fit and in a proviso, also obligates him to appoint one from every state.Both provisions contain the operative word ‘shall’ and that is most ridiculous.
If he creates just two ministries then he would have to keep changing Ministers every few months till he hits the 36 states mark.
A lot of work needs to be done on that document.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
That would be Neymar Jnr. He along with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi form unarguably the most lethal front three in World Football. So much controversy surrounded his move to Fc Barcelona which resulted in litigation and the resignation of Sandro Rosell as President but whats worse?-The player wasn’t exactly delivering the goods on the pitch then and the inevitable whispers of a transfer kept resonating round Camp Nou.Some felt he would have been gotten rid off after just a season if it wasn’t going to speak too badly of the Club’s transfer business.
The 2014/2015 season saw a young man whom many doubted his ability to brush off a bad World Cup and off field troubles do just that in great style.He kept banging in the goals;second only to King Leo in the club’s historic campaign and for the first time in quite a long while, Barcelona no longer look like a one man army.Neymar rose above every challenge to be counted and thats real champion stuff.
Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather is my number two.He beat pacman in the most expensive boxing bout ever and whether or not you loved his ‘Mourinhotesque’ boxing strategy, it won’t change the fact the he is leaving the sport undefeated and with a lot of cash.As for saying he was better than Ali, please go at him all day.
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
Serena Williams.The Best Womens Tennis player of all time no doubt.She stayed Number one all through the year and became the first lady to have won each of the Grand Slams at least thrice.Sometimes I wonder if this lady still has any room for trophies at her house.This year it was Wimbledon, Miami Open, US Open and….others.She wins, thats basically what she does.
COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR
hand this to Dr Peregrino Brimah.Thing about the ‘Good Doctor’ is that most of his articles have a real feel to them.They don’t try too hard to ‘wow’ you with knowledge and facts, its basically how you and I would discuss our problems in a bus, restaurant, bar or an ATM queue.
I laughed my head off when I read the beginning of his ‘Legislooters’ article.He cracked an old joke-‘Master, Master Shaolin dey fight inside temple..and Master says-‘Him chop belleful be that’.
The one on DECREE NO.4 was insightful.It came at a time a lot of stories were being fabricated against the First family and Hate it or love it, Buhari had it enacted to check falsehood when he was Head of State and not what a lot of bandwagon activists tell us. His 2cents on matters arising are ones I take very seriously.
ARTICLE OF THE YEAR
Has to be Uche Onyebadi’s WHY I’LL VOTE DONALD TRUMP.It was such a great read.Onyebadi took sarcasm to new heights and I hardly went five lines without cracking up.
Everything I had against Trump was encapsulated in Mr Onyebadi’s article and like he succinctly put it-‘Trump adroitly articulates nothing to his admirers and makes them appreciate the virtue in nothingness’.That was genius.
Ayisha Osori’s A CASE FOR A TRANSITION ACT was sublime as well.An act like that would do us much good.It would put an end to the late submission of handover notes by outgoing governments and tackle a host of other problems awaiting a new government.
I couldn’t help but love the thought of having it more when the President had to work out of the villa for the first few months of his administration.A properly prepared legislation of that nature would handle issues like renovation and the sorts.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Yea,you guessed right-Fc Barcelona it is.The team won a treble with a new ‘effectiveness over everything’ philosophy.They blew everyone away in some style without playing maximum tikitaka.Messi, Suarez and Neymar had just over 120 goals between them and what strikes you most is the fact that they created most of the goals for themselves.
As far as stats go, it was a case of getting the ball to any of them and watching things fly from there for a whole season.But those are stats, everyone was vital. They had legal problems, lost a President, got banned from transfer business for a year and conquered the world. The Victories illustrate the true character of champions.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Luis Enrique hands down.He modified Barca’s tikitaka into a more result-oriented playing style.Nobody had the guts to do that since Cruyff put it in place and it was interesting to watch a man from the old brigade do so.He beat Pep Guardiola’s 40 wins in a debut season en route his treble with a few games to spare.
A lot of people overlook his neutralization of Barca’s over-dependence on Xavi Hernandez for creativity and that is enough to earn any coach respect.
Watching my little sister graduate from elementary school was my best moment of 2015.Wouldn’t trade the sight of her singing in her graduation gown for all the gold in Dubai.She wants to be a lawyer like her ‘Yaya Umar’ and she just took her first huge step towards realizing that dream.
Watching the Golden Eaglets retain their U-17 World title felt really good too.
My momz was ill for a while and it really weighed me down.Nobody matters more in this world to me and to see her in such bad shape really weighed me down.I was shattered to the point of tears as I drove her to Kano and I thank Almighty Allah she recovered fully.Nothing beats her in real elements.Alhamdulillah
MAN OF THE YEAR
Luis Enrique.A Blaugrana old boy who returned home and achieved a record-breaking lot.In adding and subtracting from Barca’s tikitaka style, he made the team play with longer passes and a much more efficient counter-attacking model while ridding the team of its defensive frailties.Barcelona has started 2016 well and seem destined for another great season. So beefers calm down,Its no fluke.
The short passes previously used allowed players swarm round an opponent when the ball is lost in no time.Nevertheless, the team was left exposed to vicious counter-attacks that caught almost everyone except the goalie out of place.
What Enrique did was to curtail the attacking forays of key defensive players like the full backs and added Ivan Rakitic to an attacking midfield that had two of the most creative players ever known to the game in Xavi and Iniesta to make it steely.This effectively killed off Barca’s defensive worries even with a longer passing style.
Xavi was relegated to second fiddle because Rakitic not only had a better eye for goal but also defended well.This style allows them stay in top shape all through the season.Barca is doing great even after virtually all its South American players featured in this year’s Copa America and there are still no signs of fatigue.
It takes someone really special to pull that off in his first season and winning everything there is to win while doing so.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Zahra Buhari. Zahra’u like my hausa folk would say or Zahra-ouuuh!! if the good looks overwhelm you just as they do me.She is Ace Charity’s ambassador and together they have accomplished quite a lot in just under 7months.
This young lady with a heart of gold has gone to astonishing lengths to help the displaced victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.Over N12 Million was realized from the Ace Charity fundraiser and that sum is being used to build schools and libraries for kids.She is also an ambassador for a sickle cell awareness NGO and is most enthusiastic about making our world a better place.
In an era where most women her age are more concerned with what the Kardashians are up to and what Chanel bags cost, its nice to see a First daughter worry about the plight of the less privileged.Her huge strides are unprecedented in the history of Nigerian First families and she has my unflinching love and admiration for them.