Year 2014 has come and gone, we have selected some of the events that shaped our national life and got us talking. Some leaves us good memories, others are best forgotten. These are some of the trending topics in Nigeria in 2014. Enjoy!
Nigeria turns 100: Year 2014 marks the 100 years of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorate by the British Colonial Administration in 1914. A new commemorative N100 note was introduced and several other commemorative events and programmes such as the Centenary City, Centenary Concert, Centenary Award, top 100 businesses amongst others.
Immigration job stampede: March 15, 2014 will still remain fresh in the minds of those who lost their loved ones in an employment test gone sour conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Services under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior. About 16 people lost their lives and several others injured. The test was conducted in Stadia and several unconducive venues across the Federation. There were calls for the sack or resignation of the Minister of Interior, Abba Morro but Morro is still a member of the cabinet till date.
The Chibok Girls adoption: The news of the abduction of about 279 female students of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State by the Boko Haram terrorist group broke on the 14th of April. The eyes of the world was upon Nigeria with several influential individuals around the globe calling for the release of the girls. The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was trending for several weeks on social media and the rise of the Bring Back Our Girls pressure group. Some of the girls are reported to have escaped while others are still held captive.
Ekiti and Osun polls: INEC conducted the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun on June 21 and August 9 respectively. Observers see these elections as the benchmark for INEC’s preparedness for the 2015 general elections. Ayo Fayose defeated the incumbent Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti while Governor Rauf Aregbesola defeated his closest rival, Senator Iyiola Omisore to secure a second tenure in Office.
Missing money: The former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi raised alarm about some money that have not been remitted into the Federation account by the NNPC. By the time he was sacked from office, he and many Nigerians are still unsure of the exact amount that was missing or not remitted into the federation account. Whether it is $49.8billion, $20billion or $12billion, what was the last thing you heard about the money? What about Sanusi’s investigation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)?
Bomb blasts and female suicide bombers: The attacks by terrorist group, Boko Haram took a more deadly turn, Boko Haram have reportedly killed more people and displaced thousands in 2014 than previous years. Bombings are now carried out in states outside their ‘territory’. Female suicide bombers are now used to carry out attacks, many believed that some of the girls in the captivity of the Sect are being used as Suicide bombers. It is better to leave the statistics out of this post.
Insecurity in the land also took a dangerous dimension, apart from the Boko Haram sect mercilessly killing about 29 boys in their hostel in Buni Yadi, Yobe State. Several government properties, schools, banks and shops were looted and destroyed. Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes, gang conflicts, kidnappings and abductions all over the Country, robbery, ritual killings, extrajudicial killings and several other social vices have compounded the security worries in the land.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi emerges Emir of Kano: Soon after the missing money saga, the former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who was suspended from Office by the President Goodluck Jonathan on June 8, emerged as the new Emir of Kano. He succeeded Ado Ibrahim as the 14th Emir of Kano, protests followed his appointment as some have expected the late Emir’s son, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi would ascend the throne.
Impeachment and sack dramas: Murtala Nyako, former Adamawa State Governor, was impeached by the State House of Assembly. He alongside his Deputy, James Ngilari were alleged of stealing state fund amongst other allegations. But smart Ngilari resigned before the conclusion of the impeachment process.
The Speaker of the House Umaru Fintiri was sworn in as the acting Governor. Ngilari asked to be swron in as substantive Governor of the state and later headed to court for his purported resignation to be declared illegal. INEC fixed October 11 to elect a new governor, with just days to the bye-election precisely October 7, the court sacked Fintiri and declared James Ngilari governor.
Also in Nasarawa State, Governor Tanko Al-Makura survived impeachment after several months of political bickering.
National Conference: The National conference was inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17 to discuss and find solutions to Nigeria’s numerous problems. Many people in several quarters believed it will be another ‘talk shop’ like those that have been held before it. The National Conference leaves many exciting memories in the mind of many Nigerians such as some delegates who were pictured sleeping during proceedings, ‘it is not a representative conference’, the involvement of Youths in Nation building, whether to take their resolutions to the National Assembly, the death of some delegates including Prof. Dora Akunyili, rowdy sessions amongst other moments. Since the last day of the National conference, how many of their resolutions have been implemented?
Dora Akunyili died: The death of Prof. Dora Akunyili was announced on the 7th of June. She was known for the reforms carried out during her tenure as the Director General of NAFDAC. She will also be remembered for the ‘Good People, Great Nation’ slogan she introduced when she was appointed Minister of Information.
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak: EVD claimed many lives in 2014 with many killed in West African States of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea and Mali. There were reported cases in the United States, United Kingdom and Spain as well. The outbreak began in Guinea in December, 2013 and started spreading through imported cases into neighbouring States.
The synagogue disaster: The six-storey building of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos collapsed. The building collapse claimed the lives of dozens of Worshipers majority of whom are South African nationals. The incident further sparked the diplomatic row and rivalry between Nigeria and South Africa.
Arms deal, Military hardware and failed ceasefire: After the statement by Borno state Governor, Kashim Shetima, that the Boko Haram terrorist group is well equipped and better motivated than the Nigerian Military, the Federal government swung into action to better equip the Nigerian military. It was reported that the United States is not willing to supply arms to Nigeria therefore the government had to buy somewhere else. Then the news of the $9.7million arms deal broke. The South African government seized the said money believed to have been carried into their territory undeclared with the jet of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
The government also announced that the Boko Haram group have agreed to a ceasefire deal and the release of school girls kidnapped in Chibok; the deal was said to be brokered by the Chadian government. Though many Nigerians were pessimistic about the deal. It did not take days before fresh attacks were carried out by the sect putting an end to the phantom peace deal.
Prison breaks: The conditions at Nigerian Prisons is inhuman, pathetic and mind-burgling. Earlier in the year, a riot broke out at the Kirikiri medium prison in Lagos that left 1 inmate dead and 7 others injured. Just before the end of the year, a total of 435 inmates broke out of the Ado-Ekiti Prison.
Still in December in Minna, Niger State, about 275 prisoners escaped from Minna Medium Security Prison. What is so disturbing is the shady defence by the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS).
PDP vs APC: In 2014, APC gained stability and prominence, APC is now perceived as a strong opposition. The wave of defection was blowing with both parties at the loosing and receiving ends. Both parties did not relent in trading words with several claims and counter-claims and the use of ‘inflammatory statements’.
The PDP haven made it clear earlier on that President Jonathan will be her candidate in the 2015 Presidential elections, the party later adopted him at their National Conference. The APC on the other hand conducted a presidential Primary that lasted for about 24 hours where Gen. Buhari emerged as the Presidential Candidate of the party.
The world cup and Super Eagles failure: The Super Eagles broke a 16 year jinx at the world cup; they won their first game in 16 years by beating Bosnia 1-nil in the group stage. They were sent packing in the round of 16 by France.
The performance at the world cup was not that impressive, fans were expecting them to live up to expectations in the Nations Cup qualifiers but a lack-lustre start in Sudan and a shameful exit at the new Akwa-Ibom Stadium was all we got.
National Assembly lockdown: This is one that got the whole Nation talking. The Police and the DSS locked out the Speaker of the House of Representative, Aminu Tambuwal and some of his colleagues from gaining entrance into the premises of the National Assembly. This prompted some of the Lawmakers to scale the gate locked by the Police. The video of the incident went viral and got us talking for weeks.
2015 is here, we hope and pray the general elections in February will not turn violent. We also pray that that all the predictions about the disintegration of Nigeria does not come to pass; all the plots by internal and external forces shall fail. God please guide our leaders right for you have blessed our Country abundantly. Dear God, we want leaders that will consider the masses in everything they do in 2015. (AMEN)