| By Anayo Ezugwu |
THE year 2016 would be remembered for the death of many prominent personalities in Nigeria. For instance, Ibrahim Dasuki, former Sultan of Sokoto, died on November 14, at the age of 93. He became the Sultan after the death of Abubakar Siddique, 17th Sultan of Sokoto on November 1, 1988.
Dasuki was deposed as Sultan in 1996 by the late Sani Abacha, former head of state through the military administrator of Sokoto State, Yakubu Muazu, for causing enmity among the people and among the royal family. He was immediately flown to Yola and then taken to Jalingo where he was placed on exile.
The country also lost Etim Okon Inyang, former Inspector General of Police, on September 26, at the age of 85. Inyang joined the Nigerian Police Force on October 1, 1949. He rose through the ranks, becoming commissioner of police in Kano, and old Bendel States. In 1984, he was appointed Inspector General of Police and served meritoriously until his voluntarily retirement in October 1986. He was appointed vice chairman of the Constitution Review Committee in 1987.
The cold hands of death also caught Olorogun Michael Ibru, patriarch of the Ibru family and chairman of the Ibru organisation. He died on September 6, at the age of 86 years after a protracted illness in Florida, in the United States of America, USA.
Also, Elechi Amadi, one of Africa’s finest novelist, poet and dramatist died. He was aged 82 on June 29. Amadi was among the first generation of African writers and novelists, some of his works include The Concubine, The Great Ponds, Isiburu, Sunset in Biafra, Dance of Johannesburg, Peppersoup, The Road to Ibadan, The Slave, Estrangement and the Woman of Calabar.
In the year under review, Shettima Ali Monguno, one of Nigeria’s foremost elder statesmen, and former minister of mines and petroleum in the first republic passed on. He died on July 8, at the age of 95. Monguno, a former presidential candidate during the 1990 option A4 political arrangement, was known in the last three decades as a philanthropist who committed his time and resources to charity through his Shettima Ali Monguno Foundation that focussed mainly on the education of poor children especially the girl child.
Until his final retirement from public function, Monguno was the chairman of the Borno Elders Forum. He was also a victim of the Boko Haram’s hostility when he was abducted by gunmen at a mosque where he had gone to pray on Friday, May 3, 2013.
Also, Umaru Shinkafi, elder-statesman, businessman and retired policeman, died in 2016. Shinkafi died on July 6, hospital in London at the age of 79. He was a federal commissioner of Internal Affairs and a presidential aspirant in the third Republic. He also had an extensive career in military intelligence.
Shinkafi would be remembered for his pioneering role in the creation of the National Security Organisation, NSO, the secretive security arm of the Nigerian security apparatus which he headed from 1979 till 1983. His bid for the presidency in the Third Republic led him to the formation of the defunct Nigerian National Congress, NNC, which eventually collapsed into the National Republican Convention, NRC.
In the year under review, the sports loving Nigerians lost two of their illustrious football coaches. Stephen Keshi, former Super Eagles coach died on June 8. The former captain of the national football team, 54, was the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations. He also became the second person in history to win the competition as a player and as a coach after Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt when he led the Super Eagles to win the tournament in 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He rose to national prominence when he debuted for the Super Eagles in 1981 at age 20. The late central defender withdrew from the national team in 1994. He had 64 caps and scored nine goals. As coach, he qualified an unlikely Togolese national team for the 2006 World Cup in Germany but was sacked and replaced with German Otto Pfister, just before the tournament. He, however, achieved his dream to manage a team at the World Cup when he coached the Super Eagles side to the tournament in 2014 in Brazil.
Also, the nation lost Shuaibu Amodu, former Super Eagles coach. Amodu first managed the Nigerian national team from April 2001 to February 2002. He later stated that his dismissal was unfair, and also said that, a month later; he had yet to receive a formal letter confirming his dismissal.
He was re-appointed manager in April 2008. In December 2009 the Nigeria Football Federation stated that Amodu was under pressure, and in January 2010 there was speculation about his future. He was sacked in February 2010. Amodu was appointed technical director of Nigeria’s national teams in May 2013.
He was re-appointed Nigeria manager in October 2014, replacing Keshi. It was his fifth spell in charge of the country. Keshi returned to the role two weeks later but was fired in July 2015 and Amodu took over the Eagles again temporarily. He was replaced by Oliseh on a permanent basis later that month.
The year witnessed some disasters that claimed lives of many people in the world. On December 10, 30 people died as a result of collapse of the Reigners Bible Church building in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Governor Udom Emmanuel of the state narrowly escaped unhurt as the church collapsed during worship session. The governor was the special guest of honour at the bishopric consecration service of the founder of the Reigners Bible church, Apostle Akan Weeks.
Also on November 29, Lamia Bolivia, aircraft with registration number CP2933 crashes in Columbia. The flight was carrying the Chapecoense side to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, where they were due to face Colombian team Atletico Nacional on Wednesday, November 30. There were 72 passengers and nine crew members on board the charter plane, which was taking the 22-man squad to their match against Atletico Nacional. Seventy-six passengers in the flight died while six people survived the air mishap.
— Jan 2, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT