2020 Events That Once Overshadowed Coronavirus Pandemic In Nigeria

Acting MD of the NDDC, Kemebradikumor Pondei, fainting during public interrogation before a legislative committee probing allegations of contracting fraud under his watch to the tune of N81 billion.
Acting MD of the NDDC, Kemebradikumor Pondei, fainting during public interrogation before a legislative committee probing allegations of contracting fraud under his watch to the tune of N81 billion.

Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari.
Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari.

As coronavirus has killed over a million and sickened tens of millions of people worldwide, some events snapped up the spotlight in Nigeria as the pandemic upended lives.  

Here are the highlights of landmark events in 2020 in Nigeria:

Dethronement of Emir Kano


Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II was dethroned as the Emir of Kano on March 10 by the Kano State Government.

Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano State, said Sanusi was removed from office for insubordination.

However, many Nigerians believed that the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was dethroned due to his criticisms of northern political leaders for underdeveloping the region he once described as one of the poorest places world.

Abule-Ado Gas Explosion in Lagos


No fewer than 23 persons were killed in a gas explosion at Abule-Ado area of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos on March 15. About 25 were injured while about 50 houses were razed down.

The fire incident was attributed to a truck that rammed into gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant near a vandalised petroleum gas pipeline at Festac Town.

The school principal of Bethlehem Girls’ College, Henrietta Alokha, while trying to save the school’s students, lost her life to the inferno.

According to the Lagos State Government, about 276,000 people were displaced due to the dreadful fire incident.

Massacre of Nigerian Soldiers in Chad Military Base

On Monday, March 23, Boko Haram terrorists killed about 92 Nigerian soldiers in Chad and Nigeria. The killings were described as one of the Nigerian soldiers’ most horrific massacres since the war against the Islamic terror group.

The insurgents invaded and attacked a Chadian army base in Lake Chad in the early morning hours. As the country was thrown into mourning, the terrorists resurfaced in the evening, with rocket-propelled grenades and other heavy weaponry, ambushed an army lorry and burnt it, killing more Nigerian soldiers, in Gorgi, a village in Borno State.

Gunshots At The Presidential Villa Involving Aisha Buhari’s ADC


In what appeared as a power tussle, there were gunshots involving Usman Shugaba, the aide-de-camp to the first lady, Aisha Buhari, on June 11 at the Presidential Villa, in his bid to arrest Sabiu Yusuf, a personal assistant and a nephew of the president.

That day, the wife of the president in the company of her children – Zahra, Halima and Yusuf, and some of her security aides led by Shugaba visited Sabiu Yusuf, also known as Tunde in his residence.

Yusuf had arrived from Lagos after visiting his wife, who had just given birth to a baby. In the process, Aisha Buhari insisted that he observe a self-isolation for 14 days to save his family from the perils of COVID-19.

As the reports indicated, Yusuf refused to heed the advice, and the altercation led to Shugaba firing shots. Following the gunshots, Yusuf ran away and took refuge in the nearby house of his uncle, Mamman Daura, also Buhari’s nephew.

NDDC Interim MD, Pondei Slumped

Acting MD of the NDDC, Kemebradikumor Pondei, fainting during public interrogation before a legislative committee probing allegations of contracting fraud under his watch to the tune of N81 billion.


On July 20, the interim chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Prof. Daniel Pondei fainted when questioned on allegations of corruption by the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC.

The commission was allegedly indicted of financial misappropriation, in which the leadership could not account for a whopping sum of N40 billion.

Pondei was the managing director of the Interim Management Committee and was invited alongside the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, by the Olubunmi Tuni-Ojo-led committee answer how the budget of the agency was spent.

In the heat of the grilling, the former Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Bayelsa chapter, slumped. Some persons at the hearing hurried to his aid, propping him up and attempting to stabilise him. The hearing abruptly ended with the incident.

Killing Of Harmless #Endsars Protesters In Lekki


Nigerian youths had embarked on peaceful protests calling for the disbandment of a notorious police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, that has been accused of terrorising and extorting the youth. The protest had been peaceful until the Nigerian army deployed its personnel on October 20 to shoot at Lekki Toll Gate’s protesters in Lagos.

More than 12 persons were reportedly killed by the soldiers that night while so many of the protesters ended in hospitals with gunshot wounds. However, the Nigerian army and the federal government have denied the killings, insisting that the soldiers fired only rubber bullets despite evidence that live bullets were used.  

Zabarmari massacre

Boko Haram terrorists attacked a village, Zabarmari, in Borno State and killed no fewer than 43 farmers on November 28.

The victims were mostly rice farmers who were working on their farms at Jere Local Government near Lake Chad basin but were caught unawares by the ruthless insurgents.

While the United Nations reported that the farmers slaughtered by the Islamic group were 110, the Nigerian government insisted they were 43. 

Abduction of Kankara Boys


While President Muhammadu Buhari was on a short break in his hometown at Daura, bandits abducted over 300 students from Government Science Secondary School in Kankara on December 11.

The students were later released after one week in captivity following a government negotiation with the kidnappers.

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SaharaReporters, New York

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