The year 2018 has come and gone and will be remembered for the good, bad and ugly.

In this piece, we look back at the 12 months of 2018 and some of the worst news stories that broke.

They have made it here for different reasons.

Some events were horrible because they were disasters that claimed lives, some were national embarrassments, while others threw an entire sector of the economy into sadness.

But if you are lucky to be reading this article, consume it with a heart of gratitude for the opportunity to survive the evils of 2018.

Life is obviously not a government priority in these climes.

JANUARY – Mass Burial For 73 People Killed In Benue

Benue state became synonymous with bloodshed in 2017.

The violence opened the year with 73 people left dead in killings that happened on New Year’s Day.

Tears flowed freely in the Benue State capital, Makurdi, on January 11 as the state government conducted a mass burial for the victims.

The burial followed a solemn and emotional memorial service, attended by a crowd of mourners, at the IBB Square in Makurdi.

The pain of the brutal attacks was evident as bereaved families and friends of those killed wept uncontrollably in the presence of Governor Samuel Ortom.

The constant clashes between herdsmen and farmers occurred in remote parts of Benue state, amid tension over the decision of the government to implement an anti-grazing law it believes would end the protracted dispute between herdsmen and farmers in the state.

mass burial


FEBRUARY – Dapchi girls 'abducted' or 'taken'?

After silently watching APC’s claims of victory, Boko Haram kicked of the year by giving us a replay of the April 2014 scenario when over 200 schoolgirls were abducted from Chibok.

The February 19 abduction of Dapchi girls was another event that dampened the spirits of Nigerians on security, particularly those who bought the “technically defeated” narrative of the Army.

The girls returned home about a month after and Nigerians rejoiced with the parents and praised the federal government for being proactive.

But when the whole euphoria cleared from our eyes, we realized that we should not have walked this lane in the first place.

For a country that is yet to recover from the April 14, 2014 abduction of the Chibok girls in Borno state, another mass abduction of schoolgirls was a big shame and a reminder that we were not free from Boko Haram.

March – Renewed Xenophobic Attacks 

Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa had been a lingering problem that seemed to be under control until two young Nigerians residing in the country were killed in March.

The first victim was Francis Ochuba, a native of Ngodo community in the Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia. The other one was Chidi Ibebuike, native of Uturu in the Isikwuato Local Government Area also in Abia.

Ochuba, a property owner, was shot dead alongside his estate agent on May 5 as they visited the tenant occupying Ochuba’s house to collect rent, while Ibebuike was shot dead at the entrance to his house at Hazyview in Mpumalanga on May 13.

The xenophobic attacks continued into April when Clement Nwaogu was burnt alive by a mob. Which way forward Africa?

APRIL – Offa Bank Robbery

Sorrow, tears and blood.

This was one robbery operation that made the Imo bank robbery of 2017 seem like dress rehearsal.

Dare-devil armed robbers stormed the ancient Offa town in Kwara State and robbed five new-generation banks successfully with police unable to stop them.

Armed with superior weapons, they killed over 17 people including seven police officers as they robbed Union Bank, Eco bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank.

Police arrested some suspects, on of which had died in custody, but none has been convicted.

MAY – Aisha Abimbola Died

Nollywood lost a big one when beautiful actress, Aisha Abimbola died.

Highly talented and lived a happy life but also secretly battling with breast cancer.

She died in Canada and was buried there.

Her death created more awareness about the dangers of breast cancer in Nollywood with a number of her colleagues announcing plans to set up a foundation in her memory.

 

JUNE – Otedola Bridge Fire

June 28, 2018 was a bad day in Lagos and would not be forgotten in a hurry by all Nigerians, especially those who lost loved ones.

A petrol tanker lost control on Otedola Link Bridge in Lagos and exploded. The wild fire burnt several cars and left 12 persons dead.

According to the state government, 10 of the victims, including a minor, died at the scene of the accident, completely burnt, while two others died at the hospital.

Seven people were taken with varying degrees of burns to various hospitals.

Many who managed to escape with their lives lost their cars and other valuables to the inferno.

Churches were flooded with testimonies the Sunday after this dark Thursday, as many escapees could not believe their luck.

Worthy Of Mention: Ras Kimono

June was also the same month we lost one of the pioneers of the reggae music genre in Nigeria, Ras Kimono.

The Rub-a-Dub master died on June 10, 2018, few weeks after his 60th birthday.

 

JULY – Man Dies After Rescuing 13 Boat Accident Victims

The was one pathetic story but it also reminded us that there were still good Nigerians and we can register some persons as heroes of our generation.

Mr. Joe Blankson was a 36-year-old father of two. He was involved in a boat capsize, where he rescued 13 fellow passengers all by himself.

The entire community wished he would return home to a heroic welcome.

But at the end, while trying to save the 14th person, he lost his life, leaving behind his wife and two children (a boy and girl).

That was the lot of Bakana community in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State on Saturday, July 28.

joe blankson, boat accident hero

AUGUST - Is Our President Really Lifeless?

US President Donald Trump reportedly told his aides he never wanted to meet someone as "lifeless" as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari again.

Trump's remarks came after Buhari’s visit to the White House earlier this year, said a BBC report quoting Financial Times.

That really hurt Nigerians.

buhari,trump

SEPTEMBER – Osun Rerun Violence (Not Election)

The Osun state governorship election was declared inconclusive, leading to a supplementary election being fixed for Thursday September 27 and we thought this would be an easy task.

Why not? The rescheduled polls affected only seven polling units across four local government areas with the total number of affected voters being just 3,498.

But alas! Everything turned into a war in Ife North, Ife South, Orolu and Osogbo local government areas of the state, where the rerun held.

Party thugs attacked opponents’ supporters at will, party agents were beaten and evicted from polling units, journalists were attacked by security agents.

Weapons were freely used by thugs, and security agents did nothing about it. How could they have when they were busy firing gunshots into the air and shooting tear gas at protesters?

A duly accredited journalist was teargassed at close range and beaten by the officers, with his phone also seized.

He was accused of snapping photos of them while they were shooting tear gas to disperse protesters who were approaching INEC headquarters.

The Osun state governorship election killed any hope that Nigeria’s democracy was beginning to mature.

If an election could still be held like this in 2018, then it is shame on Nigerian politicians.

Osun reruns


OCTOBER - 260 Christian Deaths Recorded

2018 was practically Nigeria's year of bloodshed. Living in Lagos or Abuja or perhaps any other relatively calm part of Nigeria would not give you clear picture of happenings within your own country.

The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law on has described 2018 as “the bloodiest year in the Fulani jihad attacks in the history of Nigeria.”

It said, “The total number of defenceless Christians killed by the Fulani Herdsmen jihadists and their collaborators in the Middle Belt of Nigeria in the past ten months of 2018 has risen to at least 2,262.

“By this, 2018 that remains two months away to end represents the bloodiest year in the Fulani jihad attacks in Nigeria solely targeted at members of the Nigerian Christian faith and their sacred places of worship.

“This is followed by 2016 when not fewer than 1,700 Christians were slaughtered, especially in Southern Kaduna and Benue State. Also, out of the 260 Christian deaths in October 2018, as many as 30 of them were believed to have died in the recent Boko Haram attacks in Borno State.

It added, “As much as 40 innocent Muslims are also strongly believed by INTERSOCIETY to have lost their lives in the said latest round of senseless killings. 15 of the estimated 40 Muslim lives were confirmed lost in Adamawa State in a Christian reprisal over the former’s killing of 16 Christians in Lafia-Larmude community in the Larmude LGA of Adamawa State,” the organisation stated.


NOVEMBER - Metele Attack By Boko Haram

The November 18 attack on a military base at Metele Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State shocked Nigerians.

By official figures, at least 44 soldiers were killed while dozens of others were left wounded when Boko Haram insurgents overpowered them in their own camp and carted away their weapons.

The incident which occurred at remote village of Metele in the fringes of Lake Chad Basin embarrassed the Nigerian government and its military at the same time.

Several Boko Haram attacks of 2018 showed Nigerians that their military may no longer be strong enough to protect them but this was one that even the military could not explain.

Worthy Of Mention: Tosin Bucknor

Popular Nigerian On Air Personality (OAP), Tosyn Bucknor was reported dead on Monday, November 19, aged 37.

The radio host formerly at Top Radio 90.9fm, was reportedly found dead by husband, Aurelien Boyer, when he arrived at home from work.

The media personality and film actress, a graduate of law from the University of Lagos, was born with sickle cell anaemia.

metele attack,dead soldiers


DECEMBER – Alex Badeh Assassination

Just a week before Christmas - December 18, former Chief of Defence Staff in Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, was killed by gunmen along Abuja-Keffi Road.

That was a 4-star general in the Armed Forces of Nigeria effortlessly taken out. If Badeh was so easily killed how safe are you and your children?

Murdered on his way home from his farm on Abuja-Keffi Road, Badeh could not mark his 62nd birthday which was just days away.

The incident left many Nigerians wondering if there could ever be an assurance of safety for any citizen of the country.

It happened just two months after the decomposing body of Major General Idris Alkali, who had been declared missing was found in a shallow grave in Plateau state.

alex badeh,assassination

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