2021 has been a challenging year for Nigerians, with a series of pathetic events happening. Ranging from terrorist attacks, kidnapping, mysterious deaths, economic denigration to COVID-19 shock.
As the year is coming to an end, Daily Report Nigeria has brought you a list of prominent Nigerians who succumbed to death within this year.
IBRAHIM ATTAHIRU – CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF (COAS)
On May 21, Ibrahim Attahiru, late chief of army staff, died in an air crash near Kaduna international airport.
He died alongside 10 other military officers in the crash. The military claimed the plane crash was caused by bad weather.
The three-star general who died barely four months into his appointment as army chief recorded huge success in the fight against insurgents as many terrorists were captured or killed while some communities held by Boko Haram/ISWAP were recaptured.
In September, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) which was constituted to unravel the immediate and remote cause(s) of the unfortunate accident, submitted an interim report of the air crash.
Attahiru was the shortest-serving chief of army staff in Nigeria.
AHMED GULAK – APC CHIEFTAIN
Ahmed Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was killed by unknown gunmen in Imo state in May.
The death of the former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan came as a shock to many Nigerians, especially politicians.
He was shot dead by gunmen while returning to Abuja from Owerri, Imo state capital.
Police disclosed Gulak left his hotel without any security detail in spite of the insecurity in the state.
The Imo police spokesman, Bala Elkana revealed six “armed bandits” ambushed the deceased car at Umueze Obiangwu in Ngor-Okpala LGA while he was on his way to the airport.
YINKA ODUMAKIN – NATIONAL PUBLICITY SECRETARY OF AFENIFERE
The publicity secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, was declared dead on April 2 after battling COVID-19.
He had his last breath at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
Although Odumakin was later tested negative for the virus, he never recovered from the complications arising from the infection.
TB JOSHUA – FOUNDER OF THE SYNAGOGUE CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS (SCOAN).
Another shocking death was that of The 57-year-old Temitope Balogun Joshua, founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
He was pronounced dead on June 5 after reportedly suffering a stroke.
TB Joshua was well known for performing miracles, which attracted expatriates from all over the world to Nigeria. His miracles were also a source of controversy.
He was buried within the church premises in Ikotun area of Lagos.
REAR ADMIRAL NDUBISI KANU
Nigerians received news of the death of Former Military Administrator of Imo and Lagos States, Rear Admiral Ndubisi Kanu on January 13, 2021
Kanu, who was 77, died in a hospital after a brief illness.
PRINCE TONY MOMOH – FORMER MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE
Another prominent personality that died this year was former Minister of Information and Culture and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Prince Tony Momoh.
The veteran journalist who served as a Nigerian minister during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida between 1986 and 1990, died on February 1, 2021.
He was among the founders of the APC.
ALHAJI LATEEF JAKANDE – FORMER LAGOS GOVERNOR
Alhaji Lateef Jakande, a former governor of Lagos state left this world on February 11, 2021 at 91.
The former journalist became governor of Lagos State from 1979 to 1983.
He later served as Minister of Works under the Sani Abacha military regime (1993–98).
CHIKE AKUNYILI – MEDICAL DOCTOR
The murder of Chike Akunyili, husband of the late Dora Akunyili, ex-minister of information and communication, was one of the most shocking deaths for Nigerians in 2021.
The medical doctor, who was on his way from a memorial lecture in honour of his late wife, was murdered by unknown gunmen in Anambra state in September.
He was killed alongside his police escort and his driver.
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra, blamed “invaders” for the attack on Akunyili.
Akunyili was buried in Agulu, Anambra state.
OBADIAH MALAIFIA – FORMER DEPUTY-GOVERNOR OF CBN
One of the controversial deaths that hit the country in 2021 was that of Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who died on September 19 after a brief illness.
The Middle Belt Forum claimed that Mailafia faced a pathetic ordeal at the hands of doctors at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) where he was taken to. It was alleged that doctors refused to attend to him, an allegation the hospital denied.
Bissallah Ekele, chief medical director at UBTH, said the former CBN deputy governor died of COVID-19 owing to underlying diseases.
He was 64-year-old.
ABUBAKAR SHEKAU–BOKO HARAM LEADER
Among all the death reports Nigerians received in 2021, one stands out for a good reason, and that’s because it brought to an end, the journey of number-one enemy of the country, who orchestrated several attacks against innocent citizens.
The death of the infamous Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram terrorists gave a sigh of relief to the country, most especially Borno, where he held sway.
The terrorist, who was said to have blown himself up on May 19 following a confrontation with ISWAP fighters, did so “when he observed that the ISWAP fighters wanted to capture him alive”.
Also Read: Fact File: Top 10 Nigerian Songs in 2021