Prominent Nigerians Who died in 2017


By Anayo Ezugwu

THE year 2017 will be remembered for the death of many prominent personalities in Nigeria. For instance, Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, first elected vice-president of Nigeria, from 1979 to 1983, died on November 19, at the age of 85. He was one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and will be remembered for the role he played in the Constitutional Conference of 1995 that gave birth to the Nigerian 1999 Constitution.

The country also lost Maitama Sule, former Nigeria permanent representative to United Nation, UN, and former minister of petroleum, on July 3. He died in a Cairo, Egypt, hospital after a brief illness. He was 88 years old.

The cold hands of death also caught Abdulkhadir Abdullahi Kure, former Governor of Niger State, who died in Germany, on Sunday, January 8. He was 61 years old and was the director, Engineering Services in the Federa,l Capital Territory before joining politics. Late Kure was a foundation member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and became governor of Niger State for two terms, 1999-2007. After leaving office former governor Kure became a member of the Board of Trustees of the party.

Babalola Borishade, former minister of education, also died in London, on April 26, after a brief illness at the age of 71. He served as a minister for four times between 1999 and 2007. Between February 2001 and May 2003, he served as the minister of education. In 2004, Borishade was appointed as minister of State, power and steel. Between July 2005 and November 2006, he was minister of aviation, during which a Civil Aviation Bill was passed to replace the 1964 Act and the direct flight between Nigeria and the United States of America was restored. In November 2006, he was appointed minister of culture and tourism, a position he held till May, 2007.

On April 23, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, representing Osun West Senatorial District, died at the age of 62 at the Bikets Hospital in Oshogbo, Osun State capital, after suffering a heart attack. Until his death, he was a three-term Senator who was first elected in 2007 under the platform of PDP before decamping to All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2014.

August 29, saw the death of Kanti Bello, former Senator, who represented Daura Senatorial District between 2003 and 2011, at the age of 72. The two-time senator from Katsina State was the pioneer managing director of Katsina Steel Rolling Mill.

During the year, Boko Haram continued its terrorist attacks against Nigeria killing 357 civilians in 55 attacks in north east Nigeria. The deadliest was in August when the sect killed 100 people, followed by 76 people in November. The latest was the early morning suicide attack at a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State, leading to the death of 50 people.

The year under review also saw 26 teenage Nigerian migrant girls dying in the Mediterranean Sea on November 7. It was reported that the girls were sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean.

The year witnessed some natural disasters that claimed lives of many people around the world. Climate and weather disasters hit nearly every continent in 2017: flooding and monsoons in South Asia, hurricanes and major earthquakes in North America, landslides and drought in Africa and a tsunami threat to Central America claiming many lives and leaving others homeless.

– Dec 29, 2017 @ 17:00 GMT |

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