By Clifford Ndujihe
AFTER surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and other 2020 socioeconomic challenges, death is the last thing on the minds of most people who crossed over to January 2021.
Less than eight days after 2021, Nigerian politics are plagued with ill-timed and aborted dreams. No fewer than 120 people across the country have had their lives violently ended in their prime, according to controls.
On December 31 of each year, many people flock to religious and prayer houses where they thank God for the end of the year and plead for better news: good health, long life, prosperity, and other favors in the new year.
Many people outline a litany of lofty goals that they want to update next year.
They complete it with the exchange of good wishes and messages with friends and family. No matter what age, instant death is the last thing on most people’s minds. Even those who are ill hope to get better in the new year.
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These deaths, according to controls, include 44 Nigerians who were abducted by COVID-19 and no fewer than 50 claimed for violence unleashed by bandits, cultists and kidnappers. Also included are those crushed in car accidents.
The figure is based on reported cases. It excludes Boko Haram terrorists and insurgents neutralized by the military.
Some of the heartbreaking deaths reported in the past eight days include:
Chronology of reported deaths
No fewer than six people were killed in a fire accident on New Years Day in Akaeze, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi state. The fire incident occurred at Ogenyi Chukwu’s home at 8 p.m.
It was reportedly caused when a gun loaded with gunpowder came into contact with fire. Chukwu told reporters that her children and 11 other relatives were watching television when the fire suddenly engulfed the entire house.
Seven farmers were killed by bandits in the Mashegu local government area of Niger state on New Year’s Eve. Many were injured during the attack on farmers on their farms in Babban Rami.
Unknown men killed Quadri Okunola, popularly called Kudeti, father of three in Macaulay / Odudu, along the Igbogbo / Bayeku highway in Ikorodu, Lagos
The Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruq’s younger brother, Abdullah I Umar and two of his friends were killed in a traffic accident on the Katsina-Daura highway.
One person died in Osogbo Osun state, when cult groups clashed during a carnival party in the Isale-Osun area of the city.
Bandit killed a gas station chief executive and his two cousins in Idere, local government of Ibarapa Norte, Oyo state.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s Chief of Protocol Tosin Ogunbodele and his driver were killed in a car accident along Ilesa-Akure Road, Ondo State.
The bandits invaded the village of Kawaran Rafiu in the Igabi local government area of Kaduna state and killed the village’s main imam, Danleeman Isah. Godogodo’s Sarkin Yaki, Yohanna Abu, also died.
Alleged Internet scammers killed an 18-year-old girl at a hotel in the Owa community in the Ika North local government of the state of Delta
No fewer than 19 people were killed in a two-day attack in Kaduna. Twelve of the victims were indigenous people from Kaya, Gura Local Government Area.
Four people were shot while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed with bloody violence in parts of Ibadan, Oyo state.
Police officers killed two suspected members of a three-man robbery gang in Ughelli, Delta state.
A truck driver killed a middle-aged man on Owerri Road, Onitsha, Anambra State, while the deceased was crossing the road.
The bandits killed nine people, including three babies, in Zankoro, Kaduna state.
Six people were confirmed dead, while another 9 were injured in an accident involving articulated vehicles and a Toyota bus around parking lot C on the Lagos-Ibadan highway.
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Gunmen killed former Nasarawa local government education secretary Malawi Salisu at the steep corner of Mungi, Buga Gwari, Gadabuke, Toto local council.
The thugs kidnapped no less than 20 people who were traveling in three vehicles and took them to the bush. Salihu was among those kidnapped. His body was later found in a bush near the road.
The bandits killed one policeman and kidnapped five others in attacks on the local government of Shiroro and Raji in Niger state.
The Gombe State Police Command killed a kidnapping suspect identified as Ustas during a shootout with police officers.
Bandits attacked the village of Katarma in the local government of Chikun, Kaduna, killed four people and kidnapped many women.