The year 2012 brought different things to different people across the world. While many had reasons to rejoice for what their lot was as the year went on, some were saddened by some of the occurrences while for yet another set of people, it was mix-grill, a bitter-sweet experience. For instance, 2012 was not really a good year for Nigeria in the area of sports. Apart from being absent from the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 16 years, the country’s contingent to the Olympic Games in London returned without a medal. The Olympic shame was however forgotten after Nigeria’s representatives at the Paralympics returned with a medal haul. Then came the floods that ravaged a lot of states in the country.
Nigeria also celebrated a low key independence anniversary for the second year running while the sound of bombs became as common as the sound of music in some parts of the country
Nigerians were jolted by the New Year gift they got from the Federal Government. The complete removal of fuel subsidy took effect on January 1, 2012. That was when it became obvious to the average Nigerian that things would be different. Fuel jumped to N 141 per litre. By the third day, protests started in some places. Labour unions called for protests too and as a sign of what was to come, they urged people to stock their houses with food items as the strike would last for a while and economic activities would be crippled all over the country.
The first Friday of the year, 6th of January was indeed a black Friday. Just as people were preparing for the fuel subsidy protest, suspected Boko Haram members gunned down 20 Igbo traders in Adamawa State.
By the third day of the strike, it appeared Mr President had shifted ground a bit as he announced a 25% pay cut for members of the Executive as well as a reduction in their overseas trips. That was however not what Nigerians wanted as the strikes continued and eventually grounded the country to a halt.
Day 7 of the strike made a difference as the Federal Government instituted a reduction in the price of petrol, pegging it at N 97 per litre. The strike was eventually terminated on January 16.
Not so long after the strike, word leaked out that some petroleum marketers had actually swindled the Federal Government in the much talked about fuel subsidy issue.
January 20: Multiple explosions rocked the city of Kano. The explosions came after Kabir Sokoto, the bomb suspect who escaped from police custody in mysterious circumstances was declared wanted. As many as 150 people lost their lives in the coordinated attacks.
January 25: Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim was relieved of his position as Inspector General of Police. His dismissal was not unconnected with the Kabiru Sokoto escape saga. And in came the new Inspector General, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar.
The sack fever continued as the Supreme Court sacked the Governors of Kogi, Bayelsa, Sokoto, Adamawa and Cross River States. The Governors had been in a legal tussle over the elongation of their tenure of office.
Less than a week after he resumed office, the Inspector General of Police, MD Abubakar lost his wife to the cold hands of death.
January 30: Chief Security Officer to the Late General Sani Abacha, Hamza Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan were sentenced to death for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Aare MKO Abiola.
The second month of the year proved to be a month of exposure. A new method of banking became known among senior civil servants. An official in the pension office was caught hiding over N 2 billion cash in his house.
Prominent Economist, Professor Sam Aluko died in February.
Terrorists showed that they meant real business as they struck at the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army in Kawo, Kaduna, and another bomb attack occurred simultaneously at the Air Force base located within the city.
Also in February, former EFCC boss and Presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 election, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was appointed as the Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force.
February 11: A sad day within the social circles of Lagos Island. Ilweya Susan Yusuf, owner of Suzy Q Lounge on the popular Ajose Adeogun Street was brutally hacked to death in 1004 Flats, VI. The following day was another sad one, especially for the showbiz world, 48-year-old multi-award winning singer and actress, Whitney Houston was found dead in a Beverly Hilton Hotel room.
February 12: Seriake Dickson, said to be a godson of the President emerged as the Governor-elect of Bayelsa State after the election that was ordered by the Supreme Court, sequel to the sack of the former Governor, Timipre Sylva.
Zambia’s national team, Chipolopolo won the African Cup of Nations in Libreville, Gabon, as they defeated the Elephats of Cote d’Ivoire in a penalty shoot-out.
February 13: A Director in the Kaduna State Civil Service was shot in error by soldiers guarding the entrance of the Government House, Kaduna. According to the report issued by the police, the occupant of the car, a Toyota Corolla failed to stop for checking and he drove recklessly. He died in hospital days after.
In an apparent reaction to the attack on the 1 Div of the Army, the Chief of Army Staff ordered the removal of the GOC, Gen J. Shoboiki. The same day, the Senate approved the nomination of Ibrahim Lamorde as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
February 16: It was judgment day for Farouk Abdulmutallab, as he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a US Court for the botched attempt to blow up a plane on December 25, 2009.
February 18: Zakari Biu, Assistant Commissioner of Police was dismissed after investigation into hos Kabir Sokoto escapade from the custody of the police under his watch.
February 23: A British national, Wojcech Chodil was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation with a fine of $ 20,000 for his role in the Hallliburton bribe scandal that involved Nigerian Government officials.
February 24: Governor Usman Seidu Dakingari was sacked by the Supreme Court and fresh elections were ordered.
The hitherto peaceful town of Gombe was hit by multiple explosions.
February 25: A bloody Sunday as 4 people were killed by a suicide bomb explosion in a church in Jos, Plateau State.
March 11: At least 10 people were killed in the terrorist attack that occurred at St Finbarr’s Church, Rayfield, Jos.
March 14: A police helicopter crashed in Rukuba, Jos killing John Haruna, a Deputy Inspector General of Police, his orderly and two others. The helicopter was being used by the Joint Task Force to monitor the disturbance that had started in the area.
March 16: Apagun Oluwole Olumide, a close ally of Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the former Governor of Ogun State was found dead in a lake in his Golf Club in Abeokuta. He was expected to testify in a money laundering case instituted by the EFCC.
April 3: Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo resigned his Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees of the ruling party, PDP.
The dreaded Boko Haram sect did the unimaginable; they warned Nigerians that they would launch attacks during Easter period.
April 8: True to the warning issued by Boko Haram, they struck in Kaduna on Easter Day! At least 20 people were killed in ECWA when a suicide bomber drove his bomb-laden vehicle into the premises of the church.
April 10: Chief Akin Omoboriowo, former Deputy Governor of Ondo State died.
April 17: James Onanefe Ibori, the former Governor of Delta State who had been cleared of wrongdoing by Nigerian courts after he faced 171 counts bordering on money laundering was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in London.
April 26: Terrorists moved against journalists as a suicide bomber attacked the office of This Day in Abuja.
April 28: Governor Adams Oshiomole escaped death as a lorry rammed into his convoy killing some of the journalists that went to cover the flag off of the Governor’s second term electioneering campaign.
April 29: Bayero University Kano came under attack. After bombs were detonated, gunmen fired shots at staff and students.
April 30: Less than 24 hours after the Bayero University attack, an attempt was made on the life of the Taraba State Commissioner of Police. Suicide bombers on a motorcycle waylaid his convoy. His outrider was killed in the bomb attack.
The month of May proved to be another bloody month. The first day of the month was lit with explosions as terrorists hit Kano. Around the middle of the month, Governor Rochas Okorocha directed that every primary school pupil in Imo State should be paid N 300 while those in secondary schools would get N 500 each.
May 4: Olaitan Oyerinde, an aide to Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State was shot dead in his house.
Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria’s all time highest goal scorer died in mysterious circumstances.
May 30: Former Liberian leader, Charles Taylor was handed a 50-year jail term by the International Criminal Court which had earlier founded him guilty of war crimes.
May 31: A German, Raufach Edgar was killed as men of the Joint Task Force tried to rescue him from his abductors in Kano.
The month started on a note of victory for Governor Godswill Akpabio whose election as Governor of Akwa Ibom State was upheld by the Supreme Court on the first day of the month. It was also in the course of the month that Emmanuel Ohuabunwa, a 22-year-old Nigerian made history at the John Hopkins University in USA. He became the first man to make a Grade Point Average of 3.90 out of 4.0 to bag a degree in Neurosciences.
June 3: One of the bloodiest days of the year 2012. After a suicide bomber had killed 12 people in a church in Bauchi, a Dana Air flight crashed in Lagos killing all 153 people on board. The airline was grounded by the Federal Government in error.
June 10: Yet another church was bombed in Jos, Plateau State.
And then came the “politi-comedy” of the year as billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola and House of Rep member, Farouk Lawan traded allegations over bribery in relation to the fuel subsidy scam. Incidentally, none of them saw the inside of a courtroom over the matter, at least till the end of 2012!
June 15: The House of Representatives moved and suspended Hon Farouk Lawan. Lawan was arrested by the police and later released on bail. It was later found out that even while in detention, Lawan was allowed to go home by some of the officers on duty!
June 17: The celebration of Fathers’ Day turned bloody as bombs hit three churches in Kaduna while services were going on leaving several people dead.
June 18: The train of terror moved to Yobe State where gunmen shot sporadically around the Government House in Damaturu. Though it was said that they were trying to gain control of the Governor’s Lodge, they shot everything in sight.
June 22: The President ordered the immediate sack of the Minister for Defence, Dr Haliru Bello Mohammed and the National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi. Four days later, Austen Oniwon of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) too was sacked.
July 1: Spain mauled Italy 4-0 to win the Euro 2012 football championship.
The Street Journal Forum held a prayer session in remembrance of the youth corpers who lost their lives in the post election violence that trailed the 2011 presidential elections in some states in the Northern part of Nigeria.
July 3: Senator Gyang Dalyop and Honourable Dan Fulani of the Plateau State House of Assembly were killed while attending the mass funeral of scores of people who were slain by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
July 11: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Justice Alooma Mukhtar, Nigeria’s female Chief Justice.
July 12: The Shehu of Borno escaped a suicide bomb attack as the mosque adjoining his palace came under attack.
July 17: Okey Wali emerged as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association.
July 24: President John Atta Mills of Ghana died.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission unveiled the first set of fuel subsidy scam suspects.
July 30: While bombers hit police stations in Sokoto, another group of terrorists attacked the home of the Vice President, Namadi Sambo in Kaduna. Some of the security men on duty lost their lives.
The Emir of Fika, a paramount ruler in Damaturu and one of the most prominent in Yobe State escape death in a suicide bomb attack. His police orderly died in the attack. Two days later, the terrorists stuck again in the state as an ambush on a military patrol vehicle killed 7 people.
17 worshippers were killed when gunmen attacked the Deeper Life Bible Church in Okene, Kogi State. The gunmen stormed the church during a prayer meeting and opened fire on the worshippers. The next day, Kogi was in the news for another round of violence, this time, the gun and bomb attacks were carried out in Lokoja.
August 8: The Joint Task Force announced the arrest of suspects in the Okene shooting.
August 19: There was a jailbreak at the Benin Prison, 10 inmates escaped after a heavy bombardment of the facility.
August 20: The Federal Ministry of Environment issued a flood warning, alas, the warning notwithstanding, many places were devastated by the floods.
August 24: Anders Brevick, a Norwegian who shot and killed 77 people on an Island was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
August 28: Professor Barth Nnaji, Nigeria’s Minister of Power resigned.
In the early days of September, the news of the hospitalization of Dame Patience Jonathan filtered in and before long, protests rocked most parts of North Africa over an anti-Islam video shot by an American producer.
September 11: The U.S Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens and other staff were killed in an attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
September 19: A French Satirical magazine published cartoons of the Holy Prophet.
September 23: Explosions at the St John’s Catholic Church, Bauchi left three people dead and more than 50 injured.
September 28: One of Nigeria’s foremost Islamic leaders, Alhaji Lateef Adegbite died.
October 1: For the second time, Nigeria celebrated a low key independence anniversary marked by a change of presidential guards within the Aso Rock Villa.
October 9: Dr Goodluck Jonathan appointed Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) as Chairmen of the Committee on Flood Relief.
October 10: President Goodluck Jonathan presented a N 4.92 trillion 2013 budget to the National Assembly.
October 17: Ekpo Nta was sworn in as the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
October 20: Governorship election was held in Ondo State and by the following morning, the results were announced with Dr Olusegun Mimiko emerging as the winner.
October 28: St Rita’s Catholic Church, Kaduna was hit by a suicide bomber.
November 2: The Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Task Force submitted its report to the President, not without a drama though. The Chairman of the Task Force and his Vice, Steve Oronsaye disagreed over the report right in front of the President.
Civil war veteran, Major General Mamman Shuwa was shot dead in his Maiduguri home by gunmen who pretended to be visitors.
November 5: At least 100 people were arrested at the declaration of the independence of the State of Biafra in Enugu.
One of Nigeria’s prominent businessmen, Hope Harriman died.
November 11: Lamidi Adesina, a former Governor of Oyo State died.
November 14: Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr Olusola Saraki died making the second prominent politician to die within a week.
November 15: The angel of death moved to the film industry as Peter Eneh, a veteran actor passed on.
November 16: The death of prominent Nigerians continued with that of the eminent retired Supreme Court Judge, Kayode Esho. Mr Justice Esho died in London at the age of 87.
November 17: Toyin Hamzat, a politician and former Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State was gunned down in Sagamu, Ogun State.
November 20: President Goodluck Jonathan got a rude birthday shock with the death of his brother, Chief Innocent Meni Jonathan in the Aso Rock clinic. Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom, JT Kolo too died after a domestic accident.
November 22: Days after the concession contract of the ;Lagos-Ibadan express road awarded to his company was revoked, the EFCC moved and instituted legal action against Wale Babalakin for helping former Governor Ibori to launder billions of Naira.
November 25: A Protestant church in the military base in Jaji, Kaduna State was bombed killing 11 people.
November 26: Suspected terrorists hit the headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja in an early morning raid.
November 28: Nigeria’s film industry suffered yet another loss with the death of Chief Akin Ogungbe who died in Abeokuta at 78.
November 29: Wale Babalakin failed to appear in court as he was said to be receiving treatment in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
In December, two lawmakers were shot dead in Kano State.
December 9: Professor K. Okonjo, mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister was abducted in her husband’s palace in Delta State.
December 10: Exactly a fortnight after the Abuja SARS attack, another police formation was hit in Potiskum, Yobe State. An Area Command was attacked and a DPO was killed by the terrorists who launched the attack.
December 12: The son of Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport with $ 40,000 in his possession.
December 13: The Senate passed a supplementary budget of N 1.61 trillion for fuel subsidy for the year 2012.
December 14: Professor Okonjo was released by her abductors.
December 15: Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, former National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi, their aides and two pilots died when a Navy helicopter crashed in a swamp in Nembe Local Government of Bayelsa State. They were returning from the burial of the father of Barrister Oronto Douglas, a Presidential aide.
December 16: Ramalan Yero, who until then was Deputy Governor, was sworn in as the new Governor of Kaduna State.
In an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, USA, a gunman killed 27 people, 18 of whom were children.
December 20: Late Governor Yakowa was buried in his hometown in Southern Kaduna
The National Assembly made history as it passed a N 4.93 trillion budget for 2013, it was the first time NASS would pass a budget before the beginning of the year.
The President pulled a surprise when he appointed Chief Anthony Anenih as Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
December 21: Nigerian Railway Corporation began Mass Transit on the Lagos-Kano route.
Former Governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu was declared wanted by the EFCC after efforts to arrest him proved futile. Audu has sent word that he is in a hospital in the United Kingdom.
December 22: Suicide bombings continued as headquarters of telecommunication companies in Kano were attacked by terrorists.
A fire broke out at the Oshodi office of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The place houses the warehouse where impounded items are stored.
December 24: Wale Babalakin was arrested by the EFCC after he left the hospital.
December 26: A building stocked with firecrackers in Idumota, Lagos was gutted by fire, one person was killed while properties running into hundreds of millions of Naira were destroyed.
December 27: A section of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Abeokuta home was gutted by fire.
Former PDP Chairman in Kaduna State was sworn-in as the Deputy Governor of the state, the moved is believed to have altered a lot of political calculations in the state.
December 28: Governor Idris Wada was injured in a ghastly auto crash that killed his ADC.
America’s Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton was hospitalized after she was discovered to have blood clot after a concussion.