Majority of Nigerians made it through the emotional roller coaster that is 2016, but many fell along the way.
Here are some notable deaths that rocked us during the year. We pray that God will comfort all families that have lost their loved ones in 2016.
James Ocholi (November 26, 1960 – March 6, 2016)
The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi, died in a road crash along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway on March 6. His wife, Blessing, and son, Joshua, also lost their lives in the crash.
Maj. Gen. Yushau Abubakar
The Chief of Training and Operation of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Yushau Abubakar, lost his life in a road accident along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road on March 8.
Felix Ibru (December 7, 1935 – March 12, 2016)
The first elected governor of Delta State, Felix Ibru, passed away on March 12 at the age of 80.
Tunji Braithwaite (1933 – 2016)
Lawyer, activist, politician and elder statesman, Tunji Braithwaite passed on at a hospital in Lagos on March 28. He was 82.
Oba Erediauwa of Benin (1923 – 2016)
On Friday, April 29, the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, announced that the Oba of Benin Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo Erediauwa, has passed on. The Oba, who succeeded his father, Oba Akenzua II, on March 23, 1979 as the 38th Oba of Benin Kingdom, reigned for 37 years.
Giwa FC goalkeeper Timothy Okere
Timothy Okere, one of Giwa Football Club’s goalkeepers died after a prolonged spinal cord-related ailment in Jos on May 4.
Henrietta Kosoko (May 30, 1964 – June 6, 2016)
Nollywood actress, filmmaker, and wife of veteran actor Jide Kosoko, Henrietta, died on Monday, June 6 after a long battle with diabetes.
Stephen Keshi (January 23, 1962 – June 7, 2016)
Former Super Eagles captain and coach, Stephen Keshi, died suddenly in Benin City, Edo State on June 7 after suffering a heart attack. The Nigerian football legend was 54.
Amodu Shaibu (April 18, 1958 – June 10, 2016)
Former Super Eagles coach and Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amodu Shuaibu, died in his sleep in Benin City, Edo State on June 10.
His death, which came just three days after that of his close friend, Stephen Keshi, shocked the football community in Nigeria and beyond.
OJB Jezreel (July 4, 1966 – June 14, 2016)
Nigerian music producer and singer, Babatunde Okungbowa, popularly known as OJB Jezreel, died in Lagos on June 14 as a result of kidney failure.
Niki Tobi (July 14, 1940 – June 16, 2016)
A former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Niki Tobi, died in Abuja on Thursday, June 16 less than a month to his 76th birthday.
Elechi Amadi (May 12, 1934 – June 29, 2016)
Popular Nigerian author, Capt. Elechi Amadi, who wrote famous books like The Concubine, Isiburu, Sunset in Biafra, and Peppersoup and The Road to Ibadan, died aged 82 in Port Harcourt on June 29 – about a week after he became ill.
Ojo Maduekwe (May 6, 1945 – June 29, 2016)
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Ojo Maduekwe, died aged 71 in Abuja on June 29.
Bukky Ajayi (February 2, 1934 – July 6, 2016)
The iconic Nollywood actress died in Lagos on July 6 at the age of 82 with tributes pouring in from the many Nigerians who grew up watching her as well as those who worked with her.
Shettima Ali-Mongonu (1926 – 2016)
A former Minister of Mines, Power and Petroleum, and President of OPEC, Shettima Ali-Monguno, died on Friday, July 8 in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Rep Adewale Elijah-Oluwatayo (1951 – 2016)
The representative of the Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Adewale Elijah-Oluwatayo, died suddenly in Abuja on July 20. He was 65.
Oba Michael Sonariwo (1936 – 2016)
The Akarigbo of Remoland and Chairman of the Ogun State Council of Obas, Oba Michael Sonariwo, joined his ancestors on July 24 aged 80 at a hospital in the United Kingdom.
Michael Ibru (December 25, 1930 – September 6, 2016)
The Head of the Ibru Organisation, and Otota of Agbarha-Otor kingdom, Michael Ibru, died at the age of 85 on September 6 at a hospital in the United States after a long illness.
Etim Inyang (December 25, 1931 – September 26, 2016)
Former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Etim Inyang
Etim Inyang, Nigeria’s 6th Inspector General of Police (1984 – 1986) died at a hospital in Lagos on September 26.
The Chairman of Koga Entertainment, owner of Koga Studio, Chris Jeyibo, was killed in the wee hours of October 7 when his Range Rover ran into a stationary truck in the Magodo axis of Lagos.
Lt.-Col. Muhammad Ali (August 15, 1980 – November 4, 2016)
One of the Nigerian Army’s bravest and gallant officers, the Commanding Officer of 272 Task Force Tank Battalion, Lt.-Col. Muhammad Ali was killed in a Boko Haram Ambush on November 4. Even the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, could not hold back tears after he died.
Olaniwun Ajayi (April 8, 1925 – November 4, 2016)
Solicitor and Advocate, Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Afenifere chieftain, Olaniwun Ajayi passed away on November 4 at 91.
Ibrahim Dasuki (December 31, 1923 – November 14, 2016)
The 18th Sultan of Sokoto, who was on the throne from November 2, 1988 to April 22, 1996 when he was deposed by Gen. Sani Abacha, died after a protracted illness on November 14 aged 92.
Rasheed Gbadamosi (December 7, 1943 – November 16, 2016)
A former Minister of National Planning, industrialist, art collector and writer, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, died on November 16 at the age of 72.
Human rights lawyer, Fred Agbaje, died from an undisclosed ailment in London on November 26.
Bola Kuforiji-Olubi (September 28,1936 – December 3, 2016)
A former banker and minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, passed away aged 80 on December 3.
The Kano State born girl without limbs and who was moved about in a washbasin died on December 25 at the age of 19 years after a brief illness at her Lahadin Makole’s home, Warawa Local Government Area of Kano.