As the New Year, 2019 approaches, we can’t but reminisce on some of the dramatic news occurrences that marked 2018 a year like no other.
In the last 12 months, Nigerians have been faced with faced with topical news events ranging from historic power play and political handovers, to certificate scandals, to the killings of soldiers and robbery, Let’s take a look back at the key moments of 2018, as they were reported by TheNewsGuru, TNG.
Here’s a look at the biggest events which happened in our country in 2018.
Public outrage over alleged atrocities by the men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has been ongoing since 2017 but it reached a cross road after an order by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to overhaul the outfit.
On 14 August 2018, Osinbajo directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to dismantle the outfit, citing persistent complaints and reports on the activities of the SARS that border on allegations of human rights violations.
He ordered the IGP to overhaul the management and activities of SARS and ensure that any unit that will emerge from the process will be intelligence-driven and restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery and kidnapping.
2. Ekiti election:
The Ekiti 2018 governorship election is one that Nigerians will never forget anytime soon, apart from the series of drama that ensued in the state the electorate were highly polarized in the contest which saw Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated Fayose’s deputy-governor, Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The division showed in the result and the violence that trailed the exercise. Fayemi scored 197,459 votes to Olusola’s 178,121. President Muhammadu Buhari, in congratulating Fayemi for his victory, said it showed an acceptance of the APC.
The height of the footprint of the violence amid the election was the point a former member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele, was recently shot in the belly has been flown to the United Kingdom for treatment.
3. Osun election:
The lessons of the governorship election in Osun State are very instructive. The succession battle was full of surprises. The candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Gboyega Oyetola, was pushing for continuity. His Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, Senator Ademola Adeleke, disagreed, saying that change was the answer. The people went to the poll and it was ‘Continuity’ that won the day, Gboyega Oyetola emerged as the governor of the state.
4. Certificate Scandals:
The gale of certificate scandals that rocked the polity in 2018 was rather embarrassing and will remain unforgetable.
Ms. Kemi Adeosun would probably be remembered more in Nigerian history – she reportedly forged a compulsory one-year national service for higher institution graduates.
Her example generated a conversation around the rights and citizenship of Nigerians in diaspora, their relationship with their ancestral country.
Others include in the certificate scandal list include, Okoi Obono-Obla, who is a senior special assistant to President Buhari and the chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property. Obono-Obla allegedly forged the certificate he used to gain admission into University of Jos.
Flag bearer of the PDP in the Osun governorship election, Ademola Adeleke was also paraded in connection with a forged O’level result, shortly after emerging the candidate of the party.
5. Offa Robbery
In April 2018, an armed robbery attacked about five banks in Offa communities, Kwara state and carted away an unspecified amount of money in different currencies. The Offa bank robbery is also another prominent issue in the fraud and forgery cases recorded in Nigeria in 2018.
What made this news striking is the fact that the Nigeria Police connected evidences and tried to pin the the robbery on the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
6. Lagos APC primaries: Ambode loses
The Lagos APC primaries set another landmark in the political arena of the country as an incumbent governor lost a re-election bid. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu emerged as APC flagbearer for the 2019 gubernatorial election in Lagos backed power brokers led by Bola Tinubu.
Ambode became the first governor of the Fourth Republic in the state to be denied a second term by his party.
7. Slain soldiers: Metele attack:
On Monday, November 19, 2018, members of terrorist sect Boko Haram, stormed a military base in Metele village, Guzamala local government area of Borno State and killed dozens of soldiers.
The Metele attack sparked outrage on the internet and because the Nigerian military and federal government were not quick to issue a statement on the development, lots of speculation were made around the news and this furthere worsened the case.
At the time, the nation was so devastated that the Senate had to suspend plenary on November 22, 2018, in honour of the fallen Metele soldiers.
8. Minimum wage
In September, Nigerian workers declared an indefinite nationwide warning strike to press home demands over a meagre $50 (N18,000) monthly minimum wage. The Nigerian workers under the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) are demanding an increase in the minimum wage to about $140 (N50,000).
9. Buhari’s cloning saga
Part of the news that has ushered in the campaign for 2019 election in Nigeria is the news that President, Muhammadu Buhari is dead and the person currently occupying Aso Rock is a cloned version known as Jibril Aminu from Sudan.
The news got an international mention when Buhari himself spoke on the insinuations while he was in Poland on a visit.
“It’s real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong,” Buhari declared in Krakow, Poland, at an interactive session with the Nigerian Community in that country.
10. Emergence of Atiku/Obi’s candidacy
In October 2018, the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Pary (PDP) conducted presidential primary elections and the whole politicking that saw Former vice President, Atiku Abubakar emerged as the party’s flag is one big moment in the year 2018.
Atiku later picked the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, as his running mate for the 2019 election and to a large extent their candidacy has attracted lots of headlines as well as trouble the camp of the ruling government.
11. SEX-FOR-MARKS SCANDALS
A professor at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Richard Akindele, in a leaked conversation with a postgraduate student, Monica Osagie, was caught demanding five rounds of sex from the lady. The audio recording, which went viral and generated controversies from people within and outside the university community, led to the dismissal of the lecturer.
Although Mr Akindele denied and said it was a ‘set-up’, he was arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC, and was eventually sentenced to two years imprisonment by Justice Maureen Onyekenu of Osogbo high court in December.
12. Death of former President, Shehu Shagari
Mr Shagari, 93, died Friday evening at the National Hospital Abuja after a brief illness.
The death of the elder statesman was announced by his grandson, Bello Shagari, via his Twitter handle.
Mr Shagari was elected president in 1979 and led Nigeria between 1979 and 1983 on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
He was removed from office via a military coup in December 1983.
The coup plotters eventually named then Major General Muhammadu Buhari as the Head of State.