By Arogbonlo Israel
Nigeria, one of the most populous countries has weathered the storm of an unusual healthcare challenge occasioned by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic that is still ravaging the world.
In 2021, a lot of events (both positive and negative) have taken place with many lessons to learn from them.
Against the backdrop of these challenges, Quest Times takes a run-down of the notable events that shaped Nigeria in 2021.
On 25th January 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari shakes up the top military command. Leo Irabor was named Chief of Defence, Ibrahim Attahiru became commander of the Army, A. Z. Gambo became commander of the Navy, and I. O. Amao became commander of the Air Force.
After the South Korean trade minister drops out from the race, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the leading candidate for the post of the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), and she was appointed WTO DG on 15th February 2021. The Nigerian became the first woman and the first African to hold the post.
March 11 saw the kidnap of thirty students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, in Mando, Kaduna. The gunmen ran past the boys′ dormitory to capture the largest number of girls possible.
Eleven armed forces personnel were killed in an attack in Benue on 8th of April.
On 19th May 2021, the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau allegedly committed suicide following heavy fight between ISWAP fighters and the Boko Haram troops. Shekau’s death was regarded a major event by outside observers, as he had been one of the driving forces in the Islamist insurgency which has affected Nigeria and neighboring countries since 2009.
Three notable events happened in June. They are as follows:
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on 4th June, announced that Twitter’s operations in Nigeria would be “suspended” indefinitely, arguing that the company engages in activities that “are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. Recall Twitter had earlier removed one of President Buhari’s tweets and temporarily suspends his account on 2nd June.
On 5th of June, Nigerian preacher TB Joshua, one of Africa’s most influential evangelists, died at the age of 57, shortly after a live broadcast and just days before his birthday. His death was described as one of the major events that shook Nigeria and the entire world in 2021.
On 28 June, Nigerians witnessed the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who has been on the run after jumping bail in 2017. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made the announcement in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital a day after the IPOB leader was intercepted in an African country by joint security operatives of the government and INTERPOL.
19 July 2021, intense gunfire from bandits caused a Nigerian fighter jet to crash in northwestern Zamfara, but the pilot survived by ejecting from the aircraft. Lt A. Dairo, the pilot who reportedly ejected and escaped from the terrorists after his jet was shot, gave a graphic details of the incidence, concluding that it was all made possible because of his strong belief in Almighty God.
27 August saw the release of the scores of students kidnapped from an Islamic school in May by gunmen. Recall sometime in May, some students (around 136) from the school in Tegina, Niger, were seized by gunmen demanding a ransom while killing one person and injuring another.
The Daban Masara airstrike hit a fish market in the village of Kwatar Daban Masara, Borno, Northern Nigeria on 26 September 2021, killing between over 50 people.
On 25 October 2021, gunmen attacked a mosque in the northern Nigerian state of Niger during Fajr prayers. They killed 17 worshippers and an imam and injured four other people. The mass shooting reportedly took place in the village of Mazakuka in the Mashegu area of Niger.
On 1 November 2021, tragedy struck the city of Lagos as a 21-storey building collapsed. At least 42 people died. The company (Fourscore Homes Limited) was headed by the Nigerian developer Femi Osibona who reportedly died days after being trapped under the rubble. The Lagos State Government is conducting an investigation to ascertain the cause of the collapse.
Death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College who was allegedly bullied by some colleagues forcing him to join their secret cult gang, trended for the first half of December, 2021. The Lagos State Government has sealed off the school until the completion of police investigation.