The year 2016 has been eventful with trending stories that made news in Nigeria and across the world.
1.) The Transformation Of A Bread Seller To A Model
In February the story of a bread seller Mrs. Olajumoke Orisaguna became the hottest news when she appeared in a photo with a Nigerian born British rapper, Tinie Tempah taken by TY Bello carrying tray of bread in Agege Area of Lagos.
Orisaguna became a model after her story was reported by the CNN with other contract endorsements and scholarships to pursue quality education.
Her transformation changed the fortune of her husband who was an artisan in Osun State. They were given apartment while a corporate organization promised to sponsor their children education.
2.) Nigeria Minister of State For Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi Died
The minister, his wife and one of his children died in a motor accident while travelling along Kogi-Abuja Road in March. Their four-wheel vehicle summersaulted after the rear tire burst while on motion.
3.) The Abduction and Forced Marriage of Bayelsan Teenage Girl, Ese Oruru
The 14-year-old girl was abducted by a Kano boyfriend, Yunusa Dahiri. She was taken to Kano from Bayelsa and forcefully married.
She became pregnant and had since given birth to a child. She was also forced to change her religion to Islam. It was a story that got the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi involved while the Inspector General of Police was ordered by the Federal Government to fish out the captor.
4.) Budget Padding
The 2016 budget threw up serious issue of padding between March and May when President Muhammadu Buhari signed it to law.
It generated arguments and counter-argument among legislators in the National Assembly. First the budget was reported to have disappeared after which it was found to be padded.
It eventually led to whistleblowing by the former Chairman House Committee Appropriation, AbdulmuminJirbin that Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, his deputy Yusug Lasun and two other principal officers were involved in budget padding. Jibrin was consequently suspended by the house.
5.) Fuel Price Hike From N98 To N145
In its effort to eradicate the noise on fuel subsidy, which most Nigerians described as scam, the Federal Government in May increased petrol pump price from N98 to N145 per litre. The Nigeria Labour Congress could not do anything to stop the increment.
6.) Deaths of Super Eagles Coaches, Stephen Okechuckwu Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu
On June 7, the death of the former Super Eagles Captain and Coach, Stepehn Keshi hit the newsroom.
He was to travel to the US for medical checkup on the fateful day but collapsed due to heart arrest in Benin, Edo State.
7.) Some Of Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls Regained Freedom
After about two years in Boko Haram custody, 21 out over 200 Chibok Schoolgirls regained freedom through the intervention of Swedish government, Red Cross International and Nigeria Government. This happened in October 13.Before then one of the kidnapped Chibok girls, Amina Ali escaped the captivity of Boko Haram in August after two years of heightened hope that the remaining girls are still alive.
8.) Facebook Owner, Mark Zuckerberg’s Visit To Nigeria
Founder Of facebook and one of the world’s billionaires came to Nigeria August 30 to meet with start-ups in the country, his first port of call was Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba. Part of his visit to Nigeria included the launching of Free Basics in Nigeria and to show his support for the Jobberman team.
The highlight of his visit to a neutral Nigerian was probably when he walked the streets of Yaba and jogged with some of his tech savvy hosts on the iconic Ikoyi-Lekki bridge.
Zuckerberg made his final stop at Aso Rock, Abuja where he was received by President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
9.) Nigeria Officially In Recession
On August 31, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun declared Nigeria to be technically in recession after months of denial by the Federal Government. Since the declaration, Nigerians had been battling with the economy and yet to find a solution.
The government banned the importation of rice and about 40 other commodities to strengthen the devalued naira.
10.) The Arrest Of Judges By The Department Of Security Services (DSS)
In what appeared to be a nationwide crackdown on Judges suspected of corrupt practices, DSS operatives raided homes of Judges on the night of October 7 and arrested 7 judges including a Supreme court judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta and Justice Adeniyi of Federal high court Abuja among others.
It was later revealed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami that he authorised the Judges’ arrest because the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) did not have exclusive rights to pick up corrupts elements and that the body regulating Judges, National Judicial Council did not do anything about the petitions his office sent to them relating to the corrupt Judges.
11.) Aisha Buhari’s BBC Interview
Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari in an interview with Naziru Mikailu from BBC Hausa sometime in October blew the lid on her frustration with what she perceived as people reaping from what they didn’t sow.
“Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position,” she said.
She however warned that if her husband did not correct his ways that she won’t be voting for him come the next presidential election in 2019 as she said people who did not share the vision of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were now appointed to top posts because of the influence of a “few people.”
12.) President Buhari’s Response To Aisha Buhari’s BBC Interview
The President in response to his wife’s comments regarding his administration dismissed Aisha’s talk as that of a woman who has no say in his Government and in general.
“I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”
Ironically, Buhari’s commennts were made in the presence of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, a woman who has championed the cause of feminism by her meteoric rise to the top.
Buhari’s comments received scrutiny back home in Nigeria as they were seen as degrading to women.
(13) Donald Trump Declared Winner of US Presidential Election
On November 9 after a keenly contested election, Republican candidate Donald Trump won the Electoral College votes with over 271 to win the Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton who scored about 237 Electoral College votes. Nobody gave Trump a chance, especially in Africa, following his racist attack on blacks.
(14) Nigerian Troops Captured Sambisa Forest
After months of dogged attack on Boko Haram last hidden abode, the Nigerian Army captured Sambisa Forest, chasing away and killing thousands of terrorists.
This happened in December before Christmas and also arrested over 40 foreigners inside the forest.
(15) Cuba's Former President Fidel Catro Dies
Cuba's former president Fidel Castro, one of the world's longest-serving and most iconic leaders, died aged 90.
He died on November 25 in Havana Cuba.
His younger brother and successor as president Raul Castro announced the news on state television.
Castro toppled the government in 1959, introducing a Communist revolution. He defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots.
His supporters said he had given Cuba back to the people. Critics saw him as a dictator.
(16)Panama Paper Leaked
This unprecedented global scam was leaked in April 2016. The Panama Papers are an unprecedented leak of 11.5m files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The records were obtained from an anonymous source by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ then shared them with a large network of international partners, including the Guardian and the BBC.
What do they reveal?
The documents show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. Twelve national leaders are among 143 politicians, their families and close associates from around the world known to have been using offshore tax havens.