In a matter of weeks, 2012 will be over. It was a tragic year for many Nigerians. Starting from the very first day of the year, Nigerians were hit by both human and natural disasters, highlighting the scorching symptoms of chronic corruption in the country.
Nigerian top Hip hop Artist, MI, is one of those who can’t wait for the year to be over, and gone with its tragedies.
“It seemed like one tragedy followed the other with barely room for us as a nation to breathe and find our bearings,” MI, Mr. Incredible, said.
MI, a rapper and poet, made a list of the 11 reasons he wants this year out fast, in a rare showing of social poetry in the Nigerian music industry.
MI – real name, Jude Abaga – published his “goodbye list” on his website. Here are snapshots.
“Some are more serious than others, but all were moments that left us wondering what was going on, and why the people in charge seemed to have taken a break,” he said.
1. FUEL SUBSIDY PROTESTS
Nigerians woke up on the first of January to find the pump price of petrol more than doubled. The government said they had their reasons for removing the fuel subsidy, but we found them hard to understand. People took to the streets in protest, and nationwide strikes ensued. Anybody who took part in it or followed events will remember the naked anger, mistrust, and bitter taste the episode left in our mouths.
2. BOKO HARAM
Boko Haram made an early appearance, becoming responsible for over 620 deaths in the first half of the year alone (www.huffingtonpost.com). The sect wreaked carnage among states in the North and Middle Belt. Federal and State institutions, Schools and places of worship came under attack. It seemed like every weekend brought news of another bombing. The Security Agencies seemed unable to stop the menace and the people got tired of hearing the President condemn the killings.
Our hearts go out to all who lost loved ones and property in the attacks.
3. DEATH OF MOHITS
After a decade of working together Dbanj and Don Jazzy split. It could have been handled better, as accusations and counter accusations flew and dirty laundry was airily displayed. They’ve both gone on to do remarkably well but the episode reminded us of how things can quickly change and nothing is certain.
4. YEKINI DIED
In a career which spanned over 2 decades, 5 countries and 2 world cups and earned him a African Footballer of the Year Award, Rashidi Yekini had become one of Nigeria’s most iconic football heroes. He died at the age of 48.
5. DANA AIR CRASH
In one event, over a hundred lives were lost and families left bereaved. A flight headed for Lagos crashed in the outskirts of the city killing all passengers and crew. It was impossible to avoid the pain. It’s raw edges leaked into our homes and hearts and we mourned together as a nation.
6. LAWAN GATE
Femi Otedola, the Managing Director of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited, made the allegation that Farouk Lawan, Chairman, House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management had received a bribe from him. Denials, accusations and taped conversations followed. It was a disheartening mess which destroyed faith in a man people had believed in as being better than the system.
Apparently forgotten, the case has settled, unsettled, into the dusty motes of forgotten files.
7. NATIONWIDE FLOODS
The floods began in June and kept on through the year, destroying homes and farmland. So far, over 360 people have been reported dead and over 2.1 million people displaced in what is one of the nations greater tragedies(in.reuters.com). Thank you to all the individuals and organisations who have raised support and awareness for those affected.
8. NIGERIA AT THE OLYMPICS
Everyone will remember our dismal performance at the London 2012 Olympics, but we don’t blame you if you’ve tried your best to forget. The lack of medals and the thunderous defeat of our Basketball team ruined an event that had hitherto filled us with a sense of unity and national pride.
We do hope somebody somewhere is preparing for the Rio 2016.
9. MUBI MASSACRE
On 1st October, unidentified gunmen lined up and shot to death over 25 students at their hostel in Mubi in the North-Eastern part of the country. No explanations, no findings whatsoever.
Beautiful lives, wasted.
10. ALUU 4
October 5th. Red October. Four young men were brutally lynched on suspicion of robbery by members of the Aluu community in Rivers State of Nigeria. The video circulated over the internet and caused mass shock and outrage. Then again, we were left with helpless anger in our guts and sorrow in our guts.
11. GOVERNOR PATRICK YAKOWA
Saturday 15th December, a Naval helicopter carrying Patrick Yakowa, Governor of Kaduna State, and the former National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi, and two of their aides crashed at Okoroba community in Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State killing them and the 2 pilots.
The accident brings to mind the fairly recent crash involving Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai, which left him and 5 of his aides injured on the 25th of October.
To us, they might only be names in the news. To others they were fathers, friends, brothers.