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Tinubu, Biden, King Charles Make TIME 100 Most Influential People 2023

Also profiled were Argentine footballer, Lionel Messi, Twitter Chief Executive, Elon Musk and Nigerian professor of epidemiology, Dr Dimie Ogoina.

Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu, President of the United States, Joe Biden, King Charles III and Ghanaian-born, Nigerian-based sculptor,  El Anatsui, have been named among  Time’s  most influential personalities in 2023.

Also mentioned in the list were Argentine footballer, Lionel Messi, Twitter Chief Executive, Elon Musk and Nigerian professor of epidemiology, Dr Dimie Ogoina, among others.
Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world accords recognition to people “for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions”.

Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner of the 2023 presidential election on February 25 ahead of his rivals. He polled 8,794,726 votes.
According to the Time’s citation on Tinubu, winning an election in Africa’s most populous country is no easy feat. But it noted that  Nigeria’s newly elected leader has had nearly two decades to prepare.

“Called Jagaban, or ‘leader of the warriors’ by his supporters, the now 71-year-old ran in a presidential election for the first time this March. His campaign slogan, “It’s my turn,” was a nod to his role as a long-time political power broker. Tinubu helped restore the country’s democracy in 1999 after fighting military rule and then served two consecutive terms as governor of Lagos.

“But Tinubu’s win with the ruling APC came in a fraught election and by a slim margin over Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi. It was the first time Nigerian voters contended with a third-party candidate, and many discontented young Nigerians yearning for change pinned their hopes on Obi.

“Marred by allegations of intimidation and vote rigging, the outcome of the ballot is being challenged in court,” the magazine stated.
However, it added that Tinubu now faces a litany of crises in a fractured nation, including deep-rooted corruption, religious insurgencies, and shortages of cash, fuel, and power in a crumbling economy.

“But the president-elect seems aware of his inheritance: “(Nigeria) is one country and we must build it together,” Time quoted him as saying in his acceptance speech.
In addition, Charles’ appearance on the list comes as he prepares for his and Queen Camilla’s coronation on Saturday 6 May. Some entertainers on the list included US actor, Michael Jordan; US singer, Beyonce; US actress, Angela Bassett, amongst others.

The new monarch appeared on the list under the Icons category, alongside author Salman Rushdie, Chinese dissident Peng Lifa, actor Jennifer Coolidge, trans journalist Imara Jones, and others.
The list pairs awardees with guest contributors who are specially selected to write about them, with British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful penning a tribute to King Charles.

Also mentioned were Mr. Evan Gershkovich, one of the imprisoned journalists in Russia and Iranian reporters Elaheh Mohammadi and Niloofar Hamedi for what the magazine described as their crucial coverage of protests against the regime.

Interim Editor-in-Chief of Time, Sam Jacobs, said the inclusion of Gershkovich as well as Mohammadi and Hamedi on the list on Thursday was meant not only to highlight the importance of their work, but also to bring attention to their situations and join in calls for their release.

El Anatsui, a sculptor from Ghana who currently lives and works in Nigeria was also listed. His interest in African craft led him to be associated with the 1970s art movement Nsukka group. In 2008 he won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale.

“El Anatsui is one of the most impactful artists of our time. As a sculptor, he shows an incomparable capacity to experiment with his materials, medium, and process. El collects diverse materials, puts them aside in his studio for years, and then returns to them intermittently, until he figures out the right language for inventing completely new sculptural forms.

“The breath-taking combination of experimental rigour and inspired vision turns such unassuming materials as printer’s plates or liquor-bottle caps into the magnificent constructions and compositions displayed around the world, from a recent solo show in Seoul to his upcoming commission at London’s Tate Modern.

“Less public, but just as important, is El’s unflinching generosity of spirit. As his career grew, so has his remarkable propensity to support not just other artists but also individuals, families, and institutions in his community in Nsukka and across Nigeria. And he does all this without fanfare, as if it is only but a life mission. That, for me, is the mark of greatness,” a Time citation stressed.

On Ogoina, it stated that he sounded the alarm on a new presentation of Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) that he was seeing in his home country of Nigeria.

“Recognising the importance and potential implications for global spread, he persisted, documenting the potential for sexual transmission of Mpox and publishing the data in high-impact scientific journals. As the global Mpox outbreak unfolded in 2022, Dimie’s insights became critically important to developing better strategies to prevent and control outbreaks.

“Dimie is also a passionate champion for global health equity. He has often made the point that Mpox is not a new disease and that had the world paid attention sooner, we could have avoided a global outbreak.

“It is this drive that has led Dimie to make significant contributions to the field through his advocacy, leadership, and research,” the magazine said.

Other notable figures and celebrities who have been named on this year’s list include supermodel Bella Hadid, actor and TV host Drew Barrymore, author Neil Gaiman, US fashion designer, Thom Browne, and Mexican activist Maria Herrera Magdaleno.

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

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