CERTAINLY, 2014 was eventful for Nigeria in all spheres of life.
ENCOMIUM Weekly takes a cursory look at the political events that shaped the country in the outgoing year.
JONATHAN SACKED FIVE MINISTERS
On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan, during the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, announced the sack of five of his ministers.
The sacked ministers included Princess Stella Oduah (Minister of Aviation), Mr. Caleb Olubolade (Minister for Police Affairs), Mr. Godsday Orubebe, (Minister of Niger Delta Affairs) And Mr. Yerima Ngama (Minister of State for Finance. Oduah’s sack brought some relief to people that had been agitating for her removal.
Though Nigeria as a legal and political entity turned 100 on January 1, 2014, the celebrations to mark this milestone did not commence until Thursday, February 27, 2014 and ended on Sunday, March 2, 2014, with a special thanksgiving at the National Ecumerical Centre, Abuja.
As part of the celebrations the Federal Government decorated 100 Nigerians who have contributed to the growth and development of the country with awards at a dinner held at the Banquet Hall, State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
THE NATIONAL CONFAB
The much vaunted National Conference to determine the basis of our existence as a country eventually took off on Monday, March 17, 2014, when President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan declared it open at the Justice Andrews Otutu Obaseki Auditorium, National Judicial Institute, Abuja.
The National Confab which was chaired by retired Justice Idris Kutigi and Professor Bolaji Akinyemi as Vice was supposed to last three months but did not submit its report until Thursday, August 21, 2014.
The exercise which gulped more than its earlier N7 billion estimate may remain another jamboree with nothing to show for it.
THE ABDUCTION OF CHIBOK GIRLS AND NYANYA BOMB BLAST
Monday, April 14, 2014, was a day that will forever remain indelible in the minds of Nigerians all over the world.
It was a day the whole world’s attention was on Nigeria for the wrong reasons. It was certainly a bloody day as two bombs exploded simultaneously at a crowded motor park in Nyanya, Abuja, which killed many people and injured many others.
As Nigerians were still ruminating over the twin bomb blast, news filtered into town that 270 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, have been abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Up till today the girls are yet to be rescued.
WHEN OYEGUN BECAME APC CHAIRMAN
Friday, June 13, 2014 saw Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, a former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service and the first civilian governor of Edo State emerge the chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) at their National Convention in Abuja.
PATIENCE JONATHAN OUTBURST ON CHIBOK GIRLS
On Sunday, May 4, 2014, Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, called a meeting of stakeholders from Chibok over the abduction of the 270 girls. The absence of First Lady of Borno State, Hajiya Nana Shettima and parents of the abducted girls got the First Lady frustrated that led her to tears and the phrase, “There is God o o o,” that later went viral on the internet and put Nigeria on the world map again albeit for the wrong reason.
SANUSI LAMIDO SANUSI ASCENDENCY AS EMIR OF KANO
On Sunday, June 8, 2014, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the sacked Central Bank of Nigeria governor was named the 57th Emir of Kano by the State Secretary to the Government, Dr. Rabiu Sulaimon.
Sanusi ascendency to the Kano Emirate throne certainly changed a lot of things in the power equation in the country.
Sanusi, who had been hounded and harassed after being unceremoniously sacked as CBN governor by President Jonathan became another powerful monarch in the country.
Sunday, June 22, 2014, marked another political landmark in the history of the country. Against all odds, Mr. Ayo Fayose, the impeached governor of Ekiti State defeated the incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. He garnered 203,090 votes while Fayemi scored 120,433 votes. It was a result that took many political pundits by surprise.
On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, the stand-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Muritala Nyako of Adamawa State came to an abrupt end when 18 out of 25 members of the State House of Assembly impeached Governor Nyako.
The former governor has since the impeachment disappeared into thin air.
BUHARI’S CONVOY ATTACKED
Although the General and his aides escaped unhurt, one of the vehicles in his convoy was damaged.
Attempt on General Buhari’s life certainly further raised more questions about the security situation in the country.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, saw the re-election of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the governor of Osun State for the second term.
Governor Aregbesola defeated his closest rival, Senator Iyiola Omisore of PDP by 394,684 votes to 292,747 for Omisore.
THE IMPEACHMENT OF ENUGU DEPUTY GOVERNOR
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, saw the impeachment of Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State by 21 members of the 24 members of Enugu State House of Assembly, for misconduct which, according to the lawmakers include rearing chicken in Enugu Government House.
RUN AWAY SOLDIERS SENT BACK TO NIGERIA BY CAMEROUN
On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, Nigerians woke up to the news of 480 Nigerian soldiers who ran away from the war front with the now dreaded terrorist group, Boko Haram, were repatriated by Camerounian government.
It was a shame that will live with us as a country for sometime.
TARABA FORMER DEPUTY GOVERNOR RETURNS AS ACTING GOVERNOR
Friday, October 4, 2014, saw the return of Alhaji Danladi Abubakar, the former Deputy Governor of Taraba State as the acting governor of the state.
The Supreme Court on that day, in an unanimous judgement said he was unlawfully impeached by the Taraba House of Assembly in 2012 and therefore, ordered his immediate reinstatement.
Thus, sent packing the incumbent Deputy Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, who had been the acting governor of the state since the plane crash of 2012 that has mentally incapacitated the incumbent governor, Mr. Dambaba Suntai, from functioning as the governor of the state.
ADAMAWA DEPUTY GOVERNOR RETURNS AS ACTING GOVERNOR
The court again intervened in the political shenanigan going on in the country by reinstating the embattled Deputy Governor of the state, James Bala Ngilari as the authentic acting governor. In a judgement by a Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, October 6, 2014, the Speaker of Adamawa House of Assembly, Ahmadu Umaru Fintriri, who spearheaded the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako cunned the Deputy to resign and later installed himself as the acting governor was sent packing.
Thank God he still has his Speaker’s seat to go back to.
BOKO HARAM HOAX
On the evening of Friday, October 17, 2014, Nigerians went to bed with the cheering news of the Boko Haram insurgency group ceasefire agreement with the Federal Government.
The fathom ceasefire was gleefully announced by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal, Alex Badeh.
But barely 24 hours of the ceasefire announcement, the dreaded group struck again leaving many dead.
THE SOUTH AFRICA ARMS DEAL SCANDAL
Within three weeks, the South African government twice seized Nigerian Government money in what it called illegal arms deal.
The first was on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, when a private jet belonging to Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was impounded in Lanshire Airport, South Africa and the two occupants and suitcases filled with dollars totaling $9.3 million were found in the plane.
Barely three weeks later, precisely on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, another illegal arms dealing involving Nigeria again was discovered by the South African Government. The amount involved was $5.7 million.
It was certainly another international embarrassment to Nigeria government.
HOUSE OF REPS SPEAKER, AMINU TAMBUWAL DEFECTS TO APC
Of course, all along, the PDP and many Nigerians knew his sympathy lies with APC, the opposition, but his eventual declaration caught the hierarchy of the party PDP sleeping.
The inability of the Speaker to vacate his seat after defecting to APC has become a big political and legal issue in the country today.
GATE JUMPING LAWMAKERS
Thursday, November 20, 2014, was another day in the political history of the country that will not be forgotten in a hurry. It was the day two unusual things happened.
First, the police invaded the sacrosanct National Assembly and prevented members of the opposition to gain entry into the chamber. They were tear-gassed in the process.
Second, the members took the law into their hands by jumping the gate to enter into the chamber.
The two incidents certainly did not portray the country well in international community.
THE ELECTION PRIMARIES
The two main political parties in the country, APC and PDP, staged their primary elections not various elective offices in December 2014.
Starting with House of Assembly in the first week in December culminating in the presidential primaries on Thursday, December 10, 2014, for both parties.
The presidential primary of APC was the only one that was keenly contested by five aspirants and retired General Muhammadu Buhari emerged the winner.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, of course, was as expected endorsed by party faithful of the PDP that day.
Thus, it is very clear that the presidential election of February 14, 2015, is going to be a straight fight between President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).