The year 2020 has been dreadful, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a look at events that shaped the year.
The first month of the year gave an insight into the weird things to expect as bomb blast at Gamboru in Borno State killed over 30 people and injured 35 others just three days after gunmen razed homes and killed 19 people in Tawari, Kogi State.
Lassa fever outbreak also killed at least 29 people in 11 states during the month.
Twenty-six months after killing her husband, Maryam Sanda was sentenced to death by hanging.
The most discussed issue of the month was the decision of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, to sack Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and to declare Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who came a distant fourth during the governorship poll as the Governor of Imo State.
The Federal Government declared the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun launched by the six states of the South West as illegal.
The royal battle in Kano resumed as the then Emir, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi ll, was probed by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission over alleged sale of landed property belonging to the Kano Emirate Council.
Fifty nine-year-old Beninese singer and songwriter, Angélique Kidjo, won the Best World Music Album award at the 62nd Grammy Award, defeating Nigerian Afro-fusion singer, Damini Ogulu, better known as Burna Boy.
The month ended with the report of an 18-year-old man, Marvellous Luka, allegedly raping his 70-year-old grandmother in Plateau.
Well, it did not end there as US President, Donald Trump, expanded the travel ban to include Nigeria and five other countries. In fact, it was erroneously reported by some media outlets that the founder of Living Faith Bible Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, was denied a visa by the US.
It was not all weird as three aid workers, who were held hostage since December, 2019, were released in Borno State.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported in the commercial city of Lagos as an Italian citizen tested positive for the virus.
As of December 29, the virus infected 85,560 and killed 1,267 in the 36 states and FCT.
The National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) directed prospective Umrah pilgrims to shelve their plans for the Lesser Hajj as global efforts to contain COVID-19 heightened.
Earlier in the month, the Lagos State Government banned commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada on major routes, which led to protests and arrests.
Kano also banned street begging in the state.
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents set ablaze several vehicles carrying passengers, killing at least 30 in Auno, Borno State.
A former governor and lawmaker representing Yobe East, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, sponsored a bill to rehabilitate repentant Boko Haram insurgents.
Nigerians were shocked that international flights to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos were diverted to Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, due to poor weather and complications with new equipment.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sentenced a former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, to seven years imprisonment.
He joined other high profile inmates, including a former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame; a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, and a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, at the Kuje Custodial Centre.
Hours to his inauguration, the Supreme Court sacked David Lyon of the APC as Governor-elect of Bayelsa State on the grounds that his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the November 16 governorship election in the state.
Duoye Diri of the PDP who came second during the poll was sworn in as the governor of the state.
INEC also de-registered over 70 political parties in the country.
The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, kicked over what he termed “unfortunate reports” in mainstream media and comments on the social media berating the appearance of his four wives during his swearing in and the fact that he has 27 children.
A former ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, Buba Galadima, also “kicked”, describing as political vendetta the decision by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over his residence and company over “debts to the tune of N900 million.”
A report of alleged attempts by the Federal Government to hand over about $100 million the United States authorities said was stolen by a former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, to Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, a top member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), also generated uproar.
The month also witnessed a royal scuffle as the Oluwo of Iwo in Osun State, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, allegedly punched the Agbowu of Ogbaagba, Oba Dhikrulahi Akinropo, during a peace meeting in the state.
In sports, D’Tigers, the men’s senior basketball team, booked qualification for the Olympics through the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, while D’Tigress qualified for the games via the FIBA Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament in Serbia.
March: Emir Sanusi II deposed
Emir Muhammadu Sanusi ll of Kano was dethroned over disrespect to the Office of the Governor of the state and other government agencies.
The 14th Emir of Kano from the Fulani Sullubawa clan was banished to Awe, a remote area in Nasarawa State.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje appointed Aminu Ado Bayero as the 15th Emir of Kano.
Suleiman Achimugu, a former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), became Nigeria’s first fatality from COVID-19 as confirmed cases hit 139 in 11 states and the FCT.
Some states announced partial lockdown.
An explosion at Abule-Ado, Lagos State, killed at least 15 people and destroyed around 50 buildings.
Boko Haram insurgents with rocket-propelled grenades and other heavy weaponry ambushed an army lorry and incinerated it, killing about 70 Nigerian soldiers in Gorgi, a village in Borno State.
The attack came hours after Boko Haram gunmen attacked a Chadian army base on an island in Lake Chad, killing 92 soldiers.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) commenced indefinite strike following the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the union.
April: Adieu, Abba Kyari
Malam Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, died in a private hospital in Lagos after battling COVID-19.
Gravediggers in Kano reported a mysterious increase in deaths. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kano tripled from 77 to 219 as health authorities ramped up “verbal autopsies”.
State officials insisted that most of the fatalities were due to other diseases rather than COVID-19.
Twenty one employees of ExxonMobil from Akwa Ibom State were arrested for violating state quarantine standards in Rivers State, but were released when the union threatened industrial action.
Nigeria protested the maltreatment of citizens as scores of Nigerians and other Africans in Guangzhou, China, were evicted from their apartments and hotel rooms by Chinese authorities.
Katsina witnessed more banditry attacks, with over 40 deaths reported.
May: Curbing COVID-19
Governors across Northern states agreed to ban the almajiri system as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Sixty-five boys tested positive in Kaduna, 91 in Jigawa, eight in Gombe and seven in Bauchi.
Vera Uwaila Omosuwa (22), a microbiology student at the University of Benin, Edo State, was raped and brutally assaulted in a church where she went to study.
She died two days later. #JusticeForUwa trended for days as Nigerians called on the authorities to apprehend her killers.
Lagos Judge, Mojisola Dada, sentenced Olalekan Hameed to death by hanging in Nigeria’s first ever virtual ruling during the lockdown.
At least 20 people were killed when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Gajigana, Borno State, as faithful were preparing to break Ramadan fast in the first attack of its kind since the Muslim holy month began.
President Buhari signed Executive Order 10 which grants financial autonomy to two other arms of government – state legislature and judiciary across the 36 states.
Evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad continued in the wake of the pandemic.
June: Shooting in the villa, APC crisis
The Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, was arrested after shooting at Buhari’s nephew and aide, Sabiu Yusuf, when the latter allegedly refused to go into self-isolation after a trip to Lagos.
President Buhari ordered a probe of the incident while the First Lady urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to release her aide.
Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents reportedly killed 69 persons at Foduma Kolomaiya village, 11 kilometres away from Gazaure town of Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State.
Over 300 cows were also killed as the insurgents rustled nearly 1,000. Other attacks were reported in Monguno and Nganzai.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State joined PDP days after he was disqualified from contesting in the primary of the APC for the 2020 governorship election in the state.
The Court of Appeal affirmed the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of APC.
The party sacked the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Oshiomhole and set up a Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.
Buhari sent the name of Monica Dongban-Mensem to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive President of the Court of Appeal.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) accepted the nomination of two-time Nigerian Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as its Director General (DG).
US-based streaming company, Netflix, paired up with filmmaker, Mo Abudu, owner of EbonyLife TV (ELTV), to create two new TV series and several films.
July: Airports reopening, Magu’s probe, suspension
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos re-established domestic flights after a three-month shutdown; other airports were to open soon.
Olumide Akpata emerged President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), defeating his closest rival, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), and Dele Adesina (SAN). Apata became the first non-SAN President of the NBA.
President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, as the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel grilled Magu over various allegations levelled against him.
The first female combat helicopter pilot of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Tolulope Arotile, died in a road accident at the NAF Base, Kaduna, after sustaining head injuries.
The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, fainted during an investigative hearing at the National Assembly.
Five aid workers abducted in June in Borno State were killed by ISWAP insurgents.
In sports, Kamaru Usman Usman, UFC’s Welterweight Champion, pulled in 1.3 million pay-per-view numbers in his title defence against Jorge Masvidal.
Twenty two-year-old musician, Sharif Yahaya Aminu, was sentenced to death by hanging in Kano for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad; 13-year-old Omar Farouq was also sentenced to 10 years for blasphemy.
Security forces and members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) clashed in Enugu.
The army regained control of Kukawa, Borno, where ISWAP had taken hundreds captive.
Akinwumi Adesina was re-elected President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a second five-year term.
The Commander, Fagge Command of Kano State Hisbah Board, Ustaz Jamilu Yusuf, was arrested by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) over involvement in trafficking of a one-year-old child.
Shinkafi Emirate Council accepted the resignation of the five members who relinquished their chieftaincy titles over the appointment of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, as Sadaukin Shinkafi.
September: Godwin wins
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Godwin Obaseki of the PDP as the winner of the Edo State governorship election. He defeated his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, of the APC.
The 26-year-old fast rising rapper, Olamilekan ‘Laycon’ Agbeleshe, won the 2020 Big Brother Naija Lockdown edition.
The Nigerian Army (NA) confirmed the killing of Mr Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana, the most wanted criminal in Benue State.
Israel Adesanya, the UFC’s Middleweight champion pulled in 700,000 pay-per-view numbers in his title defence against Paulo Costa in September.
Nigeria commemorated the 60th anniversary of its independence.
#EndSARS, a series of mass protests by young Nigerians against police brutality hit major cities in Nigeria.
The protests came to an end on October 20, when armed security personnel dispersed the crowd in Lekki, one of the iconic centres of the protest, leading to casualties and fatalities.
This led to vandalism and destruction of public and private property, including the palace of the Oba of Lagos, NPA headquarters and police stations.
Warehouses housing COVID-19 palliatives were also targeted and looted in many states, including the FCT.
United States Navy SEALs from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group rescued a 27-year-old American hostage held captive by gunmen near the border with Niger.
US refused to back Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as WTO DG.
Boko Haram insurgents killed over 76 rice farmers in Zabarmari village, a rice farming community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation probed a claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that he spent N19m on foreign trips during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A federal appeal court in the United Arab Emirates upheld the sentencing of Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu to life in prison for funding Boko Haram.
Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbduRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa were given 10 years each.
The Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the remand of Senator Ali Ndume in prison over his inability to produce a former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who jumped bail, stalling his ongoing N2bn money laundering trial since September.
Kannywood actress, Rahama Sadau, came under attack over a picture of her wearing a backless gown she posted on social media.
December: Abduction, Reps summon Buhari
The House of Representatives resolved to summon President Muhammadu Buhari over the killing of farmers and insecurity in the country.
The President refused to honour the invitation on the advice of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Gunmen abducted over 300 students of the Government Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State. The boys were later released.
Governments announced new measures following resurgence of COVID-19 infections.
The police arrested Abdulrasheed Maina in neighbouring Niger Republic and returned him to Nigeria to continue his trial.
FG reopened four land borders with a promise to open others before December 31.
Anthony Joshua defended his IBF, WBA and WBO titles as he brutally knocked out Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round.