Reminiscing on the varying events witnessed in 2022, it can be said that Nigeria had an eventful year. 2022 witnessed a number of high and low moments in the country which affected all sectors of the economy.
These issues range from spates of insecurity, the ASUU strike, and the APC Muslim Muslim ticket to redesigning of naira notes.
ASUU 8 Months Strike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities spent most of the year engaged in a tussle with the federal government. Universities across the country were shut on February 14 when the union declared a warning strike. The strike was later extended on different occasions before it was called off on October 14th – 8 months after. The issues that led to the strike are yet to be resolved and this leaves the question begging – Will there be another ‘long’ ASUU strike in 2023?
Spates Of Insecurity
The year 2022 was marred by unthinkable and historic security challenges in the country. The first was the Abuja/Kaduna train attack on March 28th. The attack took place around the Kateri-Rijana area of Kaduna — minutes away from its final stop. Several persons were killed, injured, and over 60 others were abducted. The passengers were later released in batches, with the last set freed in October, while the Abuja-Kaduna train service resumed operations in December.
Asides from the train attack, tragedy struck in the city of Owo in Ondo state after terrorists raided the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo LGA of Ondo state in June, with over 40 persons killed. In September 2022, in a mosque in Ruwan Jema town in Bukkuyun LGA of Zamfara state, 15 worshippers were reportedly killed when gunmen attacked a mosque in the area.
A historic security breach that occurred this year is the Kuje prison attack which says over 500 inmates are being freed. These inmates include notorious members of Boko Haram and other menacing terrorist sects. An operative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and four inmates were killed, while the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Among other issues, 2022 also came with many killings, including that of Ayanwola Oluwabamise, a 22-year-old lady who went missing after she boarded a bus rapid transit (BRT) at Chevron bus-stop in Lagos around 7 pm; Deborah Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, who was killed by a mob over remarks considered to be an insult to Prophet Mohammed; Raheem Bolanle, who was pregnant with twins when she was shot dead in an incident involving a police officer; and thousands killed in attacks across Nigeria.
In what the federal government tagged an alarmist move, the governments of the US, UK and Canada warned of possible terrorist attacks in the FCT, with government buildings, places of worship, schools, and markets cited as likely targets. The US also authorised the evacuation of “non-emergency” employees and their family members in Nigeria, while the Canadian government warned its citizens to avoid the FCT and other parts of the country.
ROAD TO 2023 ELECTION
Plans towards the 2023 election became rife in the year 2022. The different political parties elected their flagbearers and it indeed comes with some theatrics. The presidential primaries of the two major parties resulted in yet-to-be resolved racous. The Peoples Democratic Party has become as divided as ever following the victory of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, at the party’s presidential primary. This has led to the birth of the so-called G5 governors who have become the most sought-after political brides ahead of the 2023 election.
The ruling party also stirred up a storm after its presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu picked a running mate of the same faith – Kassim Shettima. Tinubu had defended his choice of running mate, saying what mattered most was “competence in governance”, but the Muslim-Muslim ticket elicited varied reactions, while the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), described it as an injustice to the Christian community.
The popularity of former Anambra state governor Peter Obi has also grown stronger as he stepped into the presidential race. Obi dumped the Peoples Democratic Party weeks before the primary was conducted. He was eventually given the ticket of the Labour Party and he has since fancied his chances to usurp the highest political seat from the APC and PDP. In fact, recent polls have suggested that his chances are bright.
REDESIGNED NAIRA NOTES
On November 23, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the redesigned naira notes — N1000, N500, and N200. Earlier in October, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows. But the unveiling of the redesigned notes elicited varied reactions on social media, with some Nigerians expressing displeasure over the outcome. But, in its defence, the CBN said it had limited time, hence, the “simplicity”
Tobi Amusan’s Heroics
It was a heroic outing for Nigerian athlete, Tobi Amusan, at the Common Wealth Games. The Nigeria international raised the bar in the 100m hurdles at 12.12s record, retained her Diamond League crown and won two gold medals in her favourite distance at the Commonwealth Games and the African Championships. Amusan also finished in 2nd place for the World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year award, behind American Sydney Mclaughlin.
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