As in every human endeavour, you win some and lose some. The year 2018 was no exception. It had its fair share of both winners and losers
By Olu Ojewale
The year 2018 ended on a winning note for the Nigerian Super Falcons. The team beat the Banyana Banyana of South Africa on Saturday, December 1, in the final match of the 11th Africa Women Cup of Nations, AWCON, Ghana 2018. The Super Falcons had edged South Africa 4-3 on penalties to win the championship for the ninth time thereby cementing its place as the dominant team on the continent.
Similarly, on the winning side were Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Ahmed Musa, Nigeria’s Super Eagles stand-in captain, who emerged winners at the 2018 Nigerian Sports Awards held in Lagos on Friday, November 16. Wike emerged as the winner of the Sports Governor of the Year for his unrelenting support to sports in Nigeria, beating Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
Musa stole the show for the Footballer of the Year award by beating Kenneth Omeruo teammate and Rasheedat Ajbade of the Super Falcons.
For the Sportsman of the Year, Aruna Quadri, who is world-ranked 20th, the Africa’s highest-ranked table tennis player, won, beating Ike Diogu, a D’Tigers player and Musa.
Evelyn Akhator, a basketball player, won the Sportswoman of the Year category, as she warded off opposition from Odunayo Adekuoroye and Simidele Adeagbo.
*The Peoples Democratic Party was the winner as mass defectors moved from the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Anambra State to join the party in Njikoka Local Government Area of the state on Thursday, December 14.
*Jerry Gana, a former minister of Information, won his battle to be the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, when a high court in the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama on Friday, December 14, declared him so. The party had declared Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River, the winner of the election and its flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election, October 6.
* Mohamed Salah, Egyptian and Liverpool footballer, emerged as the BBC African Footballer of the Year for the second time in a row, on Friday, December 14. The 26-year-old beat Medhi Benatia, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sadio Mane and Thomas Partey to the prize. The Premier League’s player of the year scored 44 goals in 52 games for Liverpool last season.
*Nigerians lost the bid to have a new electoral law as President Mohammadu Buhari refused to sign into law the amended 2018 Electoral Bill passed to him. His letter rejecting the bill was read to the National Assembly on Tuesday, December 11.
*The Kano State House of Assembly on Thursday, December 6, lost the right to investigate Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano over an allegation that he received $5 million bribe from a contractor. A Kano High Court presided over by Justice A.T. Badamasi gave the restraining order.
*The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was the loser as 26 loyalists of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, on Monday, December 3, announced their defection from the party to the Allied People’s Movement, APM.
*On the international scene, Luka Modric, Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder, won the men’s version of the 2018 Ballon d’Or in a ceremony held in Paris, on Monday, December 3.
The 33-year-old midfielder beat off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, Antoine Griezmann of the Athletic Madrid and Lionel Messi of Barcelona, to be named the winner of the award.
*Deontay Wilder retained his WBC heavyweight crown on Saturday, December 1, after battling to a split decision draw against Tyson Fury of Britain in a pulsating 12-round battle.
*Theresa May, the prime minister of Britain, won a humiliating challenge to her leadership Wednesday night, November 12, beating back a no-confidence vote triggered by rebels in her Conservative Party who oppose her compromise deal on how to leave the European Union. The British PM won the party-only vote by 200 to 117.
*The Democratic Party was the main winner at the 2018 mid-term elections in the United States on Tuesday, November 6. In the elections, the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives and made gains at the state level while the Republican Party expanded its majority in the Senate.
*Jair Bolsonaro, the Rio de Janeiro congressman, defeated Fernando Haddad, a former São Paulo mayor, in the first round of the presidential election in Brazil, held on October 7. He also went to win the run-off between them on October 28, 2018.
*October 6, Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president, won the presidential ticket of the PDP in the primaries which held in Port Harcourt. He polled 1,532 votes to defeat others such as Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, who polled 693 votes to place second; Bukola Saraki, 317 votes; Rabiu Kwankwaso, 158 votes; Ibrahim Dankwambo, 111 votes; Sule Lamido, 96 votes; Ahmed Makarfi, 74 votes; Tanimu Turaki, 65 votes; Attahiru Bafarawa, 48 votes; David Mark, 35 votes; Jonah Jang, 19 votes and Datti Ahmed, 5 votes.
*Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education, formally declared her intention to run for president in 2019, October 6. Ezekwesili, who is also the co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, group, made this know in a statement which she posted on Twitter. She clinched the presidential ticket of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, for the contest.
*Having lost his bid to represent the APC at the 2019 election, Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, formally resigned his membership of the APC in a letter dated October 19, and addressed to Adams Oshiomhole, the chairman of APC. He did not give reasons for his action.
*Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Uche Nwosu, his son-in-law were the losers in the APC primaries held in the state on Sunday, September 30. Okorocha failed his bid to get Nwosu the APC governorship ticket. Consequently, Nwosu has joined Action Alliance, AA, to realise his governorship ambition.
*In the same vein, Governor Ibikunle Amosu of Ogun State, could not get Adekunle Akinlade, his favourite candidate and member of the House of Representatives, to pick the party’s governorship ticket in the state primaries on September 30. Akinlade has also defected to the Allied Peoples’ Movement, APM, on Thursday, November 29, to seek his fortune.
*Karen Khachanov, the Russian No.1 player won the greatest trophy of his Tennis career on Sunday, September 30, beating Novak Djokovic, in two straight sets to claim the Paris Masters title.
*Aisha Alhassan, the minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet and from the ruling APC, having lost in her bid to be the APC governorship candidate in her state, September 29.
*Gboyega Oyetola, the candidate of the APC, emerged winner after a rerun governorship election held in Osun State, on Thursday, September 27. He defeated Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the PDP.
Joseph Fuwape, the returning officer, declared that Oyetola, won the governorship election by scoring a total number of 255,505 votes while Adeleke of the PDP polled 255,023 votes.
Incidentally, Adeleke had won the main election on Saturday, September 22, with 353 votes after polling 254,698 against Oyetola’s 254,345. On Thursday, both candidates relied on 2,637 votes in the seven units where the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared rerun to win the final contest.
*In Golf, Tiger Woods, 42, was moved to the brink of tears after capturing his first title since 2013 with a two-stroke triumph at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday, September 23. It was his first win after five years of career-threatening injury woes.
*Anthony Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles by inflicting the first stoppage defeat of Russia’s Alexander Povetkin’s professional career with a ruthless seventh-round finish at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, September 22. The victory saw Joshua extend his unbeaten professional record to 22 wins from 22 fights, with 21 knockouts.
*On Thursday, September 20, Amaju Pinnick was re-elected president of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, for another four-year-term at the congress held in Katsina, Katsina State. Pinnick polled 34 votes to beat Aminu Maigari (8), Taiwo Ogunjobi (4) and Okoye (0) his challengers.
*The APC was the loser as Yakubu Dogara, speaker of House of Representatives, announced his exit from the party on Thursday, September 20, while submitting his nomination form at the national secretariat of the PDP, in Abuja.
* Novak Djokovic clinched his third US Open title on Sunday, September 9, beating Juan Martin del Potro. The win took him level with Pete Sampras’s mark of 14 Grand Slams.
*Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna on Sunday, September 9 won the Men’s Singles title at the 2018 ITTF African Championships in Mauritius, the first time in his career. He beat Ahmed Ali Saleh of Egypt, a veteran and three time champion, (11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-1). The victory came one month after he won the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos.
*Naomi Osaka of Japan won the US Open Tennis title after defeating Serena Williams of the United States on Saturday, September 8.
By the victory, Osaka, 20, became the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam title.
*Luka Modric, Real Madrid and Croatia star, received the accolade of UEFA Player of the Year in Monaco, beating Cristiano Ronaldo, his former teammate, and Mohamed Salah of the Liverpool Football club, to the prize, AFPreports. He received the award on Thursday, August 30
*Arsene Wenger, a former Arsenal manager was a winner on Friday, August 24, as he received Liberia’s highest honour for his role in the development of the football career of President George Weah.
Claude Le Roy, another of Weah’s coaches in his formative years, was also awarded the country’s highest honour, the government said.
*Lawal Daura, the director-general of the Department of the State Services, lost his job because of the siege on the National Assembly on Tuesday, August 7. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who was acting as president, ordered the sack.
*The ruling APC was the loser as Bukola Saraki, the Senate president Senator, quit the party on Tuesday, July 31.
*In the general elections held on July 30, 2018, in Zimbabwe to elect the president and members of both houses of parliament, the ruling party ZANU-PF won the majority of seats in parliament.
On August 3, the electoral body declared Emmerson Mnangagwa, the incumbent president and candidate of the ZANU-PF, as the winner after receiving 2,460,463 (50.8 percent) votes to defeat Nelson Chamisa who polled 2,147,436 (44.3 percent).
*The ruling APC was a big loser again as 15 senators dumped the party for the opposition PDP, on Tuesday, July 24.
*The APC had earlier on Monday, July 16, lost as Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State announced his defection from the party, following what he described as a red card given to him by some powerful forces within the party.
*On Sunday, July 15, France won the FIFA World Cup, beating Croatia 4-2. It was the second time France would be winning the trophy after its victory in 1998, while it was the first time Croatia, its opponent would be playing the final.
*Kayode Fayemi, a former minister of Mineral Resources and candidate of the APC, was declared winner of the governorship election, which took place on July 14. He polled 13,869 votes to defeat Olusola Eleka, a former deputy governor and the PDP candidate, who got 11,456 votes.
*Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo State, was affirmed as the national chairman of the APC, at the national convention of the party held, in Abuja, on Saturday, June 23. All those who had wanted to contest against him withdrew their candidacy ahead of the convention.
*In the presidential elections held in Egypt in March, incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi emerged winner with 97.08 percent while Moussa Mostafa Moussa, his opponent, got 2.92 percent of the vote.
*Rafael Nadal, a Tennis Super star, again proved his mantle as the King of Clay, on Sunday, June 10, when he beat Dominic Thiem. The 32-year old Spaniard has won six major titles on grass and hardcourts, but clay is his natural element, like water for Michael Phelps or snow for Marcel Hirscher.
*After four failed attempts, Simona Halep, a Romanian professional tennis player, finally shook off the shackles of her own expectations to clinch a Grand Slam title at the French Open on Saturday, June 9.
The 26 year-old came back from a nervy beginning to defeat Sloane Stephens, the US Open champion, 3-6 6-4 6-1 in two hours and three minutes.
*Mohamed Salah of Liverpool has scooped up yet another award after his fabulous first season in England as the Egypt star was named the Premier League’s Player of the Year on Sunday, May 13.
The 25-year-old Salah had already won the PFA Player of the Year voted for by his fellow players, as well as the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award and Liverpool’s own Player of the Year prize, April 22, beating off competition from Kevin De Bruyne, a Manchester City star, to get the gong.
*Manchester City was crowned Premier League champions on Sunday, April 15, as Manchester United crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday at Old Trafford.
*Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, with an impressive time of 22.04secs for 200m race, erased the 22-year-old previous African record of 22.07 secs set by Mary Onyali at a Meet in Switzerland in 1996, on Saturday, March 24, at the Wes Kittley Invitational Track and Field Meet at the Abilene Christian University.
Cierra White followed in second place in 23.26secs while Natasha McDonald settled for third in 24.23secs.
*Julius Maada Bio, the opposition leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party and Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress were the contestants for the presidential election held on March 7, in Sierra Leone. But there was no clear winner. However, Bio eventually won the poll in the rerun election held on March 31, with 51.8 percent of the votes.
*Vladimir Putin, the incumbent president of Russia, won a re-election in the presidential elections held in Russia on March 18, 2018. Putin won the re-election for his second consecutive (fourth overall) term in office with 77 percent of the votes. Vladimir Zhirinovsky from the Liberal Democratic Party was the perennial candidate, having unsuccessfully run in five previous presidential elections. Other candidates included Pavel Grudinin of the Communist Party; Sergey Baburin, candidate of the Russian All-People’s Union; Ksenia Sobchak of the Civic Initiative; Maxim Suraykin, candidate of the Communists of Russia; Boris Titov representing the Party of Growth and Grigory Yavlinsky of the Yabloko.
*On Monday, February 19, Victor Moses, a Super Eagles and Chelsea star, was named Player of the Year for Men while Asisat Oshoala was named Player of the Year in the Women category at the maiden edition of the 2018 Aiteo/Nigeria Football Federation awards. The award was held inside the Grand Ballroom of the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Moses edged out Wilfred Ndidi, a Leicester City player and Anthony Okpotu of the Lobi Stars to clinch the award.
*Roger Federer powered home to beat Marin Cilic in five sets to win his sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title in a riveting final on Sunday, January 28.
*Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah was on Thursday, January 4, crowned the 2017 African Player of the Year at the CAF/Aiteo awards ceremony in Accra, Ghana, while Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala emerged the winner of CAF Women’s Player of the Year for the third time.
– Jan. 1, 2019 @ 00:20 GMT |