It was indeed a beautiful 2017. A mixture of the good, the bad, the ugly and the hilarious news headlines in this outgoing year.
From Evans’ arrest to Nnamdi Kanu’s troubles and escape, to the quit notice issued to Igbos in the North to Buhari’s rat office invasion, see the 10 biggest News Headlines of 2017:
Presidential Vacation & Rat invasion
Recall that our Waka Waka President, Muhammadu Buhari went on vacation in January and returned in February.
Then, on Sunday, May 7, 2017, Mr. President left us for London for “medical follow-up” after sending a letter to the Senate putting Osinbajo in charge.
First, the presidency refused to reveal what medical condition our president, whom we elected to office, was receiving treatment for with our taxes.
Then, the Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed, told us our president was receiving treatment in London because he deserved the best.
Then, one by one, political leaders as well as friends and well-wishers, began to fly out to visit him. see him. His wife, the vice president, a delegation of governors with the All Progressives Congress (APC), a delegation of governors from the Nigerian Governors Forum, his media team, the Senate president and his House of Representatives counterpart.
In between all that, there were rumours: he is dead, he is brain dead, he is suffering from cancer, he is paralyzed, and he was poisoned.
They said his wife was barred from seeing him. They said the cabal was the one ruling. They said, they said, they said.
Finally, he returned, and it was a mixed feeling across the country, some were happy others were not. After more than 100 days out of office, he did not resume in the office on his return and the reason was that his office has been invested by rats.
Then we had the case of Evans’ Arrest
The year cannot be complete without mentioning the arrest of what was called the “richest and most notorious kidnapper” Chukwudi Onuamadike, best known as ‘Evans’ “the billionaire kidnapper,” who was arrested in his mansion in the Magodo area of Lagos.
From his arrest sprouted several news headlines: his father saying he never profited from his son’s ill-gotten wealth; his victims revealing how many millions they had to pay, often in dollars, in ransom; him dragging the police to court over the infringement of his rights.
Then came the most shocking one the “#FreeEvans” by people who felt he should be forgiven after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki was pardoned in the Court over his case with the CCT. And then his wife and children crying on camera begging for the release of the patriarch of their family.
Ooni of Ife’s crashed Marriage
While we were still wondering what happened to the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi’s first marriage, a shocker hit us; the crash of Ooni of Ife’s 17-month old marriage to his former queen, Olori Wuraola.
The palace tried to cover up the issue but the queen wasn’t ready to have it done in secret as she released an official statement via her Instagram handle, she told whoever cared to listen that she and the Ooni of Ife were no more. Then we heard that the queen cannot marry until the Ooni gives her the go-ahead else something bad would happen.
She was later declared free to remarry after the so-called spiritual cleansing was done.
Ozubulu Church Massacre
I could describe this as the saddest or even the worst news we heard in the country this year, imagine people go for Sunday service only to be gunned down for what they know nothing about.
Well, that was the unfortunate fate of worshipers at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area. 11 people were shot dead by gunmen.
We heard it was a drug deal gone wrong. The gunmen went in search of a certain “Bishop”, a Nigerian settled in South Africa, whose father was killed in the attack.
He (Bishop) and another member of the community had been in a dispute for years. He was the one who built St. Philip’s Church. On and on it went.
The Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Garba Umar, eventually announced that suspects connected to the shooting had been arrested. He said the number of those arrested would not be disclosed so as not to jeopardize the investigation. The church reopened just a week later. Worshipers returned.
James Ibori’s Return
Former Delta State governor, James Ibori, was convicted of corruption and money laundering in April 17, 2012, after five years of trial.
He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, while his houses, luxury cars, and other property items were confiscated.
The judge, however, ruled that Ibori would spend half of the jail term which is six and half years.
Ibori finally returned to the Country after serving his jail term and was warmly received at his hometown by well-wishers and political associates who came to rejoice with him, hundreds of people marching around the town carrying leaves, while some painted their faces with chalk, with bands entertained the crowd at various points.
The Delta State government went ahead and organized a lavish welcome party for him after he had a thanksgiving service.
Quit Notice issued to Igbos in the North
It came as a shock to everyone when a group called the Northern Coalition gave an ultimatum that the Igbos within the region should vacate the region on or before 1st October.
It became more serious when, a declaration, written by the coalition, was published by Sahara Reporters, they asked that Igbos vacate the region on or before the 1st of October.
In what was termed the “Kaduna Declaration,” the coalition warned, “major moves” including the reclamation and control “of these landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the ingrate Igbos in any part of Northern Nigeria” will be made after the 1st of October.
Many condemned this, including the Sultan of Sokoto, who said he be attacked before Igbos were even touched. The Governor of Kaduna called for the arrest of the group members.
Well thank God in August; the ultimatum was “suspended” by the coalition.
His rise was slow, steady, and before we knew it he was everywhere.
He was arrested for treason and was detained in Kuje Prison for over a year and a half. He was eventually granted bail.
“Biafra will be achieved in months.” “Nobody on this earth can stop Biafra.” And he was so easy to believe, the charisma, the serious disposition.
He had other promises: how the gubernatorial elections in Anambra State would not hold. And errands: we should tell Buhari that anyone who tries to arrest him would die. And claims: he rejected an offer of an oil block, a Dubai mansion and Biafra with only the 5 Igbo states.
He had so much power South East Governors met with him to pacify him. So did Senators from the region. Nigeria would burn if he’s rearrested, he said.
He inaugurated the Biafra Secret Service and the Lion’s Squad. “Nigeria is provoking us to war,” he proclaimed.
Until the Nigerian Army came in and the end. Shortest story in the world.
Now, no one has any idea where Nnamdi Kanu is.
The release of the Chibok girls
Recall, the Chibok school girls who were kidnapped by the insurgent group Boko Haram, during the administration Former President, Goodluck Jonathan. The girls were about writing their senior WAEC examination when this happened and it raised a lot of dust in the country and the world at large. A movement even started out’Bring back our girls’led by the Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili. Fast forward this year,some of the girls were released in batches, some even came back with babies.
Their release came with the news that the Federal government had to exchange them with the arrested Boko Haram members.
The Minister of Information Lai Mohammed on behalf of the FG denied such reports.
Long and short of the story the girls are home with their families.
It was hilarious when a video of what seemed like the Oba of Lagos, HRH Rilwan Akiolu was snubbing the Ooni of Ife Oba Ogunwusi who is perceived to be the head of Yoruba Kingdom emerged. It happened at an event in Lagos, the Oba of Lagos was seen greeting other dignitaries at the table but when he got to Ooni of Ife, he kind of ignored him.
The general public described the gesture as a “public disgrace,” as the Ooni of Ife is the traditional ruler of Ile-Ife, a historic town that is seen as the cradle of the Yoruba people.
People blamed the Ooni of Ife, saying he was making his position look cheap, going around to events and greeting people when people should be searching for him.
Others criticized the Oba of Lagos, saying he should have paid homage to the Ooni who was above him in the hierarchy of Obas.
The Ooni released a statement, saying he wasn’t going to comment on the issue, and he “still holds Oba Akiolu in high esteem.”
Then the bombshell! Mysteriously, a month later, fire gutted a portion of the Oba of Lagos’ royal residence. And that all we heard of it.
So let us know which was your most striking News headline of the year.