COVID-19, ENDSARS, Other Political Events That Shook Nigeria in 2020


As the year 2020 winds up in a few hours time, we take a trip down memory lane at some of the events that shook the world, ranging from COVID-19 on the side of health, to politics and other issues.


Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 is a deadly virus which first broke out in Wuhan, China in 2019 and has since spread around the world, causing major changes in world operations and also bringing about tears, pains and sorrow.

Looking at 2020, the virus turned the world upside down and altered the way people interact, travel, communicate with each order.

The COVID-19 virus swept through continents leaving behind devastation, loss of jobs, deaths, and wide spread fear.

Lockdown imposition

Following the outbreak, various government’s of the world imposed lockdown as a means of trying to curb the spread of the virus.

The widespread of the virus in 2020 led to the closure of schools, market places, airports, social events, and total lockdown of the country  for months. Since the pandemic got to its peak, the nation and the world at large  has not remained the same again.

The pandemic has also caused thousands of the people to be at risk of falling into extreme poverty across the world.

Many people are unable to feed themselves and their families due to the lack of means to earn an income as a result of the lockdown imposed by various governments of the world.

Governments and health experts explained that the lockdown was aimed at curbing the further spread of the virus.

Following the outbreak, the usage of facemasks, hand gloves and sanitizers became the new normal. The World Health Organisation, WHO, has it that as at “December 2020, 80, 155, 187 cases have been confirmed across the world, including 1,771,128 deaths” also recorded.

Prominent personalities who died of COVID-19

The virus has led to the death of some prominent people both in the international world and Nigeria.

In Nigeria, 67-year-old Suleiman Achimugu, a former Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), was recorded as the first prominent personality to die of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

After Achimugu’s death, followed former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Abba Kyari on April 18, 2020.

Adebayo Sikiru Osinowo, Senator representing Lagos East also lost his life at the First Cardiology Consultants in Lagos State. At the same hospital, Senators Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi and  Buruji Kashamu lost their lives.

Also, a member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Suleiman Adamu, on April 30, lost his life after a brief illness.

Days after Adamu’s death, sample taken from him returned positive for COVID-19.

Despite the uncertainty and fear caused by the pandemic at the beginning of the year, world health experts are currently working on vaccines for the virus.

Some renowned health pharmaceutical organisations have discovered vaccines for the virus, though the discoveries have been shrouded in controversies.

Political events in 2020

Emeka Ihedioha vs Hope Uzodinma

While the world was battling with the pandemic, Nigeria also witnessed some unusual event in its political sphere.

One of the major events that shook Nigeria in 2020 was the removal of Emeka Ihedioha and the installation of Hope Uzodimma as the executive Governor of Imo State.

This political turn-around came as a huge surprise to many Nigerians judging by the result of the 2019 governorship election in the state which saw Uzodimma finish fourth.

A sub-plot of this particular situation was that a Catholic Rev. Father, Ejike Mbaka had foretold the event in one of his church programmes attended by the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in Imo State, Uzodimma.

Then the Supreme Court on Tuesday 19th January 2020, declared Senator Hope Uzodinma, candidate of the ruling APC, as duly elected governor of Imo State.

It, therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate of return from former Governor, Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and issue Uzodinma certificate of return as governor of the state.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun said the votes due to Uzodinma and APC from 318 polling units were wrongly excluded and should be added.

This controversial ruling by the apex court was followed by another one on the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Many Nigerian were shocked as the Supreme Court followed the ruling on Imo election with very similar one, nullifying the victory of David Lyon as the governor-elect in Bayelsa State.

The apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili on Thursday, 13th February 2020, directed the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the APC candidate who was earlier declared winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.

The five-man panel ordered INEC to immediately issue fresh certificates to the candidates of the party with the next highest votes, being Douye Diri of the PDP and his Deputy.

Justice Ejembi Ekwo gave the ruling after

disqualifying the APC deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election.

Adams Oshiomhole’s Removal

Another major political event that made wave in the nation’s media was the removal of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the ruling APC.

Recall that the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of the APC was dissolved on Thursday, 25th June, 2020 by an emergency National Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The decision was reached following the crisis that rocked the party resulting to flury of court cases amongst members which also led to the disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki to run on the party’s platform and subsequent decamp to the PDP.

Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, was appointed as Caretaker Committee chairman of the APC.

Edo: Godwin Obaseki’s reelection

The sack of Oshiomhole as the APC national Chairman and the decamping of Governor Obaseki and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu were part of the dramas that characterised the build up to Edo State governorship election.

Governor Obaseki was re-elected on Sunday, 20th September, 2020, after polling the highest number of votes as mandated by the law.

According to the results collated in 18 LGAs, Governor Obaseki, who was the candidate of the PDP, won in 15 Local Government Areas of the state.

He polled a total of 307,955 to defeat his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC, who garnered 223,619 votes.

Obaseki was sworn in for his second term in office on November 12, 2020.

Battle for Ondo governorship seat

The next big political event in the country was the governorship election in Ondo State, South West Nigeria.

The battle was between Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, candidate of the APC, Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, and Agboola Ajayi, who ran on the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP platform.

Ahead of the polls, Ajayi, who was the Deputy Governor, had dumped APC for the PDP from where he joined the ZLP as he sought a platform to run in the election. The battle between between him and his former boss, Akeredolu formed a major highlight prior to the election.

However, Governor Akeredolu was declared the winner of the governorship election after polling the highest number of votes.

The Governor won in 15 of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, while his rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won the remaining three within the Central Senatorial District. Ajayi could not secure any local government.

According to the votes as announced, Akeredolu polled a total of 292,830 votes, Jegede scored 195,791 with Ajayi coming a distant third with 69,127

End SARS Saga

One of the major highlights of 2020 was the End SARS saga in Nigeria.

End SARS: A protest against the excesses of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) shut down Nigeria in 2020.

For years, the notorious Nigeria Police unit acted with impunity. Several citizens were wounded or summarily executed.

Nigerians had enough after a viral video showed SARS operatives fleeing with the vehicle of a young man left for dead.

He had been flagged down and attacked near Wetland Hotel in Ughelli in Delta State.

The footage irked youths across the nation, and from October 8, they stormed the streets to express their anger.

Worthy of note was the announcement of the date by music star, Douglas Jack Agu better known as Runtown.

“This has gone long enough and now we MUST take action! I’ll be leading a protest to #ENDSARS on Thursday, October 8th 2020”, he tweeted on October 4.

His colleague, Folarin Falana aka Falz, a lawyer, teamed up, and the demonstration kicked off in Lagos.

But the peaceful rallies ended the night of October 20, after a Nigerian Army contingent allegedly opened fire at the unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza. The incident attracted international condemnation and is under probe.

Riots erupted the next day as hoodlums looted or set fire to public and private properties.

The Nigerian government announced that the civil disorder, which lasted about a week, caused the death of 100 civilians and security operatives.

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