A lot of big issues has transpired in Nigeria in the previous year, and to talk about them all is like attempting to count numbers of bubbles of boiling water. The more you see, the less you know.
However, there are some of these big issues that caught the attention of virtually every Nigerian.
Let’s take a look at just 5 of them below.
1. Big Issues: The Tinubu Bullion Van
An event that sparked reactions among Nigerians, abroad, and the opposition party.
However, the All Progressives Congress stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, reacting to those asking questions about the sudden appearance of the bullion vans in his premises in Ikoyi, told them to mind their business, adding that he can keep his money wherever he wants.
Meanwhile, reactions from Nigerians rumoured that the vans contained either ballot papers or huge sums of money which could be for vote-buying the general election.
“Excuse me, is it my money or government money? I don’t work for the government. I am not in an agency of government and let anyone come out to say I have collected contract from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari or the APC in the last five years. They should prove it.
“I am on my own and I am committed to my party. So, even if I have money to spend on my premises, what is your headache? If I don’t represent any agency of government and I have money to spend, if I like, I give it to the people free of charge as long as it is not to buy votes.
“Who are those monitoring my house or bullion vans? They must be mischief-makers because they report falsehood. They are liars and idle.”
Those are the words of the former governor while reacting to a series of questions from some journalist.
2. Big Issues: Sex Toy Shop Fighting Senator
An incident with a 441-year-old Nigerian senator, Elisha Abbo (Adamawa North – PDP), is another occurrence that trends for months on the social media platforms, causing lots of reactions among Nigerians.
Senator Abbo then was caught on camera repeatedly assaulting a woman during an altercation inside a sex toy shop in Abuja.
The incident which reportedly happened on May 11, 2019, was revealed in a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage obtained by Premium Times.
Abbo reportedly arrived at the sex toy shop around 6 pm on May 11 2019, with three young women to buy sex toys. However, one of the women soon started throwing up, leading to the shop owner displaying irritation at the mess created.
The shop owner promptly called her father on the phone to explain the situation, but this angered Abbo who angrily told her to disconnect the call and made an attempt to snatch the phone.
An attempt by a friend of the shop owner to intervene angered the lawmaker more, leading to him approaching her and pushing her in the head. He then proceeded to slap her three times.
“I’ll make an example of you,” he said to the shop owner after the assaulted woman was first led outside.
However, after many investigations and reactions, following explanations and plead from the senator, Abbo continued with his political dealings and everything died down.
3. Big Issues: Busola Dakolo Vs Fatoyinbo’s Rape Case
There have been many rape case in the year 2019, but that of Busola and Fatoyinbo is a memorable one with the kind of reactions, critics, pains, breakout, eye-opening and lots more that happened after the whole story broke out.
Recall that Busola Dakolo, Wife of Nigerian singer Timi Dakolo, has filed a case against a famous Abuja based preacher of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo over rape.
Busola in her petition against the clergyman claimed that he had raped her while she was still a teen. A case which was later ruled out by a Nigerian judge, Othman Musa.
Busola while narrating the incident told the court that the pastor forcefully pushed her until she fell on the couch close to the front door of her house, after which he pinned her to the couch, undressed her, caressing her body, fondling her breasts, exposing his genitals to her glare, forcing a bottle of soda (Krest) down her throat, thereby making her breathing difficult, all the while covering her mouth to muffle her screams, and thereafter threatened her life.
Mrs Dakolo, in the suit which she was represented by her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi and Co of Law corridor, demanded that the court declare that the pastor’s denial of his alleged acts contained jointly and/or severally through a press statement he released on June 28, 2019, had caused her continuous emotional distress and amounted to intentional infliction of emotional distress on her.
She claimed that the rape had adversely affected her marital sex life and demanded a letter of apology from Fatoyinbo to show remorse action.
However, in November 2019, A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Bwari dismissed the suit filed by the photographer, Busola Dakolo.
The court also ordered her to pay N1m for wasting their time as she has no concrete proof against the pastor.
4. Big Issues: Omoyele Sowore Arrest And Continued Detention
The arrest and continued detention of Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian human rights activist and former presidential candidate is another top story on the Nigerians news which have lingered for a while now.
It could be recalled that Sowore and his ally, Olawale Bakare were arrested by officials of the Nigerian intelligence service after the duo called for a nationwide protest, denouncing the socio-economic conditions in the country.
The two were faced with several charges including treason, money laundering, and cyber-stalking.
Meanwhile, the #RevolutionNow convener who has spent over four months in jail alongside his friend under dubious charges, after meeting harsh bail conditions, on 9 November, a warrant for their release was issued by a Federal High Court judge in Abuja.
However, the Nigerian authorities under the guise of DSS have refused to release them.
Though the journalist who is also the founder of New York-based publication Sahara Reporters was later released on bail. The news which put a smile on many faces, seeing that the activist has finally regained his freedom.
Sadly, Sowore was re-arrested again on Friday, by some armed officers from Nigeria’s Department of State Security (DSS) who stormed the premises of the courtroom, as shown in a video clip which went viral showing how Sowore was muzzled on the ground, as he was about exiting the court.
Sowore’s case has triggered fear in the heart of many Nigerians, noting that there is no longer freedom, justice in the country.
However, he was later released along with his friend and allowed to reunite with family a few hours to Christmas.
5- Big Issues: BBC Sex For Grade – Ghana/Nigerian Varsity Lecturers
In attempt to curb rape and sex assaults by University lecturers in Nigeria and Africa at large, BBC Africa Eye recently with help of an investigative journalist who also was said to have been sexually assaulted to offer sex for grade, exposed some varsity lecturers in a video of about an hour which was compiled from different university.
Over the years now Universities in Nigeria and Ghana have been plagued by stories of sexual harassment by lecturers and professors for decades. Allegations include a wide array of abuses, from blackmailing students for sex in exchange for marks and admission to lewd comments and grooming.
BBC Africa Eye after receiving dozens of testimonies, sent undercover journalists posing as students inside the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the University of Ghana to capture footage of the sexual harassment.
The Reporter, Kiki Mordi, who knows first-hand how devastating sexual harassment can be, reveals what happens behind the closed doors of some of West Africa’s most prestigious universities.
Kiki in her revelations exposed a UNILAG lecturer who was caught red-handed propositioning a student (kiki) for sex to make her pass.
To make it worse, Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, a lecturer at the Faculty of Arts in Unilag was also exposed.
Findings revealed that Boniface is a former sub-dean and the head pastor of the local Foursquare Gospel Church.
The above stories are just a few as earlier mentioned among happenings that have left many Nigerians still wondering which way forward in 2020.