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How Did Reno Omokri Become So Influential?

Reno Omokri is a former new media adviser to Nigeria’s ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and a social media influencer with 1.5 million Twitter followers, more than 300,000 Facebook followers, and over 700,000 Instagram followers.

Until he served as Jonathan’s aide, Reno was relatively not known by many Nigerians. He came to national relevance during his time as a presidential adviser. Reno passionately defended his principal, countered his critics and did not hesitate to cross the messy line if need be. 

During this time, Reno Omokri also became one of the biggest critics of Nigeria’s incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, who was then contesting the Presidency seat with Jonathan. Reno became even more critical of Buhari and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) after he took office.

He is a self-acclaimed bestselling author, Nigerian lawyer, and human rights activist. He’s also known for making no-hold-barred and controversial statements on diverse national issues, including religion.

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Why Reno Omokri is so influential  

Since 2015, after Buhari became President, Omokri has continued to criticise his administration and has had numerous clashes with the authorities. 

Reno Omokri’s unmistaken stance and sometimes vile comments on trending national discourse set him apart. His deep thinking thoughts are also reasons many are endeared to him.

He is also a prominent conservative, pushing for the restoration of society’s moral fabric.

His controversial opinions made him a force to reckon with on Nigeria’s social media space. His content initiative, ‘RenoNuggets’, where he shares motivations and life wisdom, has become very popular on social media, so much that it also sparks controversy from time to time.

Advocacies 

1. Buses for Democracy 

During Nigeria’s 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the elections by a week. 

Nigerians were outraged when the election was postponed only 5 hours before the polls were to open, as many had travelled vast distances to vote only to be disappointed. 

Considering their dissatisfaction, Omokri launched #BusesForDemocracy, an initiative that gave free transportation to voters to their voting station, regardless of who they intended to vote for.

2. Free Leah Sharibu movement

Omokri is the initiator of the Free Leah Sharibu movement, a media campaign for the release of Leah Sharibu, a Christian girl abducted by Boko Haram on February 19, 2018. 

Boko Haram promised Sharibu freedom in exchange for her conversion to Islam, but she refused to give up her Christian belief.

Boris Johnson, Member of Parliament (MP), former British Foreign Secretary, introduced the #FreeLeahSharibu bespoke apparel line at his office in Parliament, SW1, in 2019. 

Omokri has raised approximately $5000 for Miss Sharibu’s parents through his clothing brand and book. He wore the #FreeLeahSharibu tracksuit over Mount Everest in Nepal on April 11, 2019.

Due to his work on the #FreeLeahSharibu campaign, Omokri received the Humanitarian of the Year award at the Hollywood Weekly Magazine Film Festival at Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California in 2019. 

On the 4th anniversary of Leah Sharibu’s kidnapping, Omokri worked with veteran musicians Onyeka Onwenu, Panam Percy Paul, and Leah’s Father for a Charity Single for Leah Sharibu in February 2022.

3. #ENDSARS

Reno Omokri had supported a campaign to unfollow the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari on Twitter.  

In just three hours, his campaign #UnfollowBuhari resulted in a 100,000 decline in the Nigerian President’s Twitter following.

4. #HarassBuhariOutofLondon

Omokri staged a series of rallies in London in 2021 to persuade Buhari to return to Nigeria rather than be dependent on the UK for treatment.

Reno Omokiri’s Awards

Business Influencer of the Year

On Monday, March 21, 2022, Omokri was nominated as the Business Influencer of the Year, 2022 by Business Insider magazine, one of the world’s largest business-focused publications. 

Alongside him were four other notable figures: Tony Elumelu, Dr Ola Brown, Vusi Thembekwayo, and Victor Asemota.

Reno was announced the prize winner on April 12, after receiving 74.67 percent of nearly 200,000 votes.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar congratulated Reno.

He also received video congratulations from Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, Mrs Dere Awosika, Chairman of Access Bank, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, Dele Momodu, and Onyeka Onwenu.

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