Big Brother Nigerian in London (BBNIL) started on 19 January when the only contestant, a 74-year old known as Muhammadu Buhari, checked into Abuja House in London. The show has now run into its fifth week with no end in sight.
Housemate Buhari has isolated himself from the outside world, although many Nigerian viewers say he isolated himself from Nigerians even before he checked into the Big Brother House.
Buhari has refused to speak to the public since he checked in and they have voted every single day for him to be evicted from the house. But he continues to ignore them and has refused to check out.
All the housemate does is get his friends outside the house like Femi Adesina, Lai Mohammed and Yemi Osinbajo to say he is hale and hearty and doesn’t know when he will leave the house. This only serves to increase the public vote for him to be evicted. However, Lai Mohammed and co have refused to accept the massive vote to evict the housemate, claiming that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the vote as “inconclusive”.
The housemate has received visitors in the house including frenemies like Bola Tinubu and Bukola Saraki. He also took a call last week from another housemate in the White House – Donald Trump.
A familiar face when the housemate receives visitor is one Mamman Daura, who is like a “big brother” to the housemate, although some people suggest he is something more sinister. Viewers are not quite sure if Daura is also staying in the Big Brother house.
This series was supposed to end on 6 February with the housemate winning the prize of moving back into a bigger house – Aso Rock in Abuja, Nigeria. But he extended the series indefinitely. The show has become a big hit in Nigeria, with talk about it spreading on social media, in offices, living rooms, beer parlours and so on.
The questions on most viewers’ lips include: Why is his Aisha wife not with him in the Big Brother house? Is she in the kitchen, the living room or the other room? When will the housemate leave? Can he still talk? Will he be able to move back into the house at Aso Rock? What difference has it made to the price of garri with him locked away in the Big Brother house? Will he stay in the house forever? If he comes out will he come back for a second series?
One Nigerian viewer told Naijiant.com: “The producer of the show should be arrested by DSS as it is embarrassing to the housemate”. An angry Nigerian tweeted: “How much is it costing us to host this housemate in the Big Brother house?”
While viewing figures are still holding up, many Nigerians are switching off this never-ending saga because there is no electricity and the cost of diesel for their generators has gone through the roof.