[Hilda Baci / Channels]
The name on everyone’s lips over the last four days is Hilda Baci. The 27-year-old self-taught chef from Akwa-Ibom has now eclipsed the Guinness World Record (GWR) of 87 hours for the longest cooking marathon by an individual. Although the GWR says it still needs to review the evidence, they wished her luck in her quest on Instagram. Hilda’s not stopping, regardless. Her eyes are set on the 96-hour mark.
Nigerians worldwide have shown Hilda immense support in their numbers, pushing her to the finish line in a physically and mentally exhausting feat. In his usual “Mr Predictable” manner, the Lagos state governor also showed up, even as some people suggest it’s PR.
Peter Obi and Bola Ahmed Tinubu also gave their shoutouts. Instead of them famzing, we came up with some suggestions for world records they can also break and set. Here are a few below:
Most liked tweet by a politician
On August 12, 2017, a white supremacist carried out a terrorist attack in Charlottesville, USA. This led to one death and 35 injuries. In response to this tragedy, former American President, Barack Obama, took to Twitter to quote the words of former South African President Nelson Mandela from his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”. The tweet has received 3.9 million likes.
The most expensive election ever
The first requirement for becoming president in Nigeria is to have bullion vans filled with money.
[Bullion vans in Bourdillion / ICIR]
But just how much would you need in your war chest to set the record for the most expensive election ever? The 2020 American presidential election holds the record for being the most expensive in history. Open Secrets said the election cost a staggering $14.4 billion, more than double the 2016 election. That’s about 40% of Nigeria’s gross external reserves. Nigerian politicians reading this should better not get funny ideas. Moving on.
Longest legislative speech
Patrick Obahiagbon has already made a name for himself in the Nigerian National Assembly for his crinkum-crankum speeches that can turn you insane. Yet, he’s still a learner.
According to the Guinness World Records, the record for the longest legislative speech belongs to Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a Zulu leader from South Africa. He addressed the KwaZulu legislative assembly between March 12 and 29, 1993. He spoke on 11 of the 18 days, averaging nearly 2½ hours on each of the 11 days.
However, Stewart Stevenson, a Scottish politician, may hold the record for the longest parliamentary speech at one stretch. In 2004, Stevenson delivered a speech lasting 23 hours and 51 minutes during International Suicide Prevention Week. He started at 5:21 PM on Wednesday, September 7, 2004, and completed it at 5:12 PM on Thursday, September 8, 2004. Even Obahiagbon would be impressed.
Countries with the most female heads of government
Nigeria has a notorious imbalance when it comes to female participation in politics. Only one woman out of 18 candidates contested the last presidential election. The numbers keep dropping alarmingly. The national average is 6.7%, which is very low compared to the 23.4% African average and the 22.5% global average.
Meanwhile, a few other progressive countries are leading women’s political participation. According to the GWR, excluding acting prime ministers, the countries with the most female heads of government are Finland, Moldova, New Zealand, Poland, and the UK, all with three. Nigeria is still yet to get one. God when?
Poorest president ever
No Nigerian politician ever wants to be on this table, but there’s a case to be made for having a frugal president for a country whose resources have been run to the ground by wicked leaders. Take a cue from Jose Mujica, the former president of Uruguay, whom the BBC has described as the “world’s poorest president.”
His story is fascinating. As president, he refused to live in the luxurious government residence and chose to live in his wife’s farmhouse. Only two police officers and a three-legged dog were watching over his house. He also donated 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charity—a very “unNigerian” thing to do.
[Jose Mujica / Getty Images]
No one realistically expects President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu to toe this path, but the least we can expect is that he declares his assets. Since he recently said he’d like to emulate former president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a public declaration of his assets would be a great place to start.