Those Who Left the World

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Olusola Saraki
Olusola Saraki

|  By Augustine Adah  |

Lam Adesina
Lam Adesina

THE year 2012 would be remembered for the death of many prominent personalities around the world. In Nigeria for instance, Sam Aluko, foremost economist and former economic adviser to former head of state, late Sani Abacha, died on February 7, at the age of 83. His death came a day after that of Matthew Mbu, diplomat, and elder statesman on February 6. Mbu died after a protracted illness at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London, at the age of 82.

The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, will not forget the month of May in a hurry. It was the month it lost two of its members. One of them was Pascal Bafyau, former president of the Congress between 1989 and 1993. During his tenure as president, Bafyau fought the military government of Ibrahim Babangida for his anti-democratic activities. He died at the age of 65. Olaitan Oyerinde, principal private secretary to Adams Oshiomhole, governor of Edo State was the second person. He was murdered by unknown gunmen in Benin, Edo State. He was 46 years.

The cold hands of death also caught Theresa Ekpeluchi Chime, mother of Sullivan Chime, governor of Enugu State, in the month of March. She was 87 years old. The entertainment industry was not spared either in 2012. On February 28, James Iroha, producer of masquerade, a popular drama series on Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, died. He was aged 70. The same fate befell Pete Eneh, a Nollywood actor, after some years of battle with diabetes complications. He died in Enugu, Enugu State.

Mathew Mbu
Mathew Mbu

The year witnessed some air disasters that claimed lives of many Nigerians. On June 3, about 150 people including Celestine Onwuliri, professor, and former vice-chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, and Levi Ajunuoma, former group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, died when a Dana plane crashed near Iju/Shaga, Lagos.

John Haruna, deputy inspector general of police, and three other subordinate officers, were also killed in a plane crash at Kabong village, Plateau State. They were on official assignment to the state. Their death came few weeks after several people in the state were killed by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. Some of those that died in that incident included Gyang Dantong, the senator representing Plateau north senatorial district, and Gyang Fulani, a member of the Plateau State House of Assembly.

The sport circle lost an icon in May when Rashidi Yekini, former Super Eagles player, died in a mysterious circumstance in his home in Ibadan, Oyo State. Yekini was 48 years old. The church also lost members. About 20 members of Deeper Life Bible Church were hacked to death in Okene, Kogi State, during a Bible study session. The month of October witnessed the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, by suspected hoodlums. Similarly, a group suspected to be members of Boko Haram killed about 26 students of Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State. Allison Nineyin Attah, wife of Victor Attah, former governor of Akwa Ibom State, also died in the same month. She was 72 years old.

On December 15, Patrick Yakowa, governor of Kaduna State and Andrew Azazi, former national security adviser, NSA, lost their lives when a military helicopter crashed in Bayelsa State. Four other persons in the helicopter also died.

Sam Aluko
Sam Aluko

Kayode Eso, a legal luminary, and retired justice of the Supreme Court, joined his ancestors in the month of November. He died at Hammersmith Hospital, London, at the age of 87. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, former senate leader and the strongman of Kwara politics, died on November 14. He died after a five- year battle with cancer. He was aged 78. The death of Saraki came few days after that of Lamidi Adeshina, former governor of Oyo State, at the age of 73.

On the international arena, Atta Mills, Ghanian President, died in July at the age of 68. Whitney Houston, an amazing popular singer passed to the great beyond in Beverly Hills Hotel, USA, on February 11. She was aged 48. Similarly, Zig Ziglar, an American motivational speaker and writer, succumbed to the cold hands of death in November after a short battle with pneumonia. He was aged 86.

—  Jan. 7, 2013 @ 01:00

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