CLOSEUP: 10 Big Stories That Made Headlines In 2019
2019 presented interesting headlines across different news categories - local, politics, foreign, technology, business, entertainment, and sports.
Here are ten big stories that made headlines in 2019.
1.BUHARI WINS RE-ELECTION AS NIGERIA'S PRESIDENT
President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected for a second term of four years after defeating Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other candidates in the February 23 presidential election.
With ballots from all 36 states counted, Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) garnered 15.2m votes compared with 11.3m for Atiku Abubakar. The election turnout was 35.6 percent, the electoral commission said, which compared with 44% in the 2015 presidential election.
“Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner,” Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told election officials and reporters in Abuja while announcing the results.
Buhari won in 19 states while Abubakar was victorious in 17.
Atiku and the PDP challenged the election result but lost out at the supreme court.
2. NASS GETS NEW LEADERSHIP
The National Assembly on Tuesday June 11, 2019 elected new leaders to pilot the affairs of Nigeria;s 9th Assembly.
Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC-Yobe) emerged new Senate president after polling 79 votes to defeat his only contender, Sen. Ali Ndume, from Borno, who scored 28 votes. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) emerged speaker of the House of Representatives when he polled 281 votes against Umar Bago, who got 76.
Both men replaced Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara who led the 8th national assembly.
3. NIGERIAN WORKERS GETS NEW MINIMUM WAGE
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, April 18, assented to the National Minimum Wage Bill, enabling workers in Nigeria to earn N30,000 as minimum wage.
Briefing State House Correspondents after he met President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang said the development makes it compulsory for all employers of labor in Nigeria to pay to their workers the sum of N30,000.
Before now, workers in Nigeria earn N18,000 as minimum wage.
4. SOWORE'S #REVOLUTION NOW PROTEST, ARREST AND RELEASE
Publisher of SaharaReporters Omoyele Sowore was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on August 3 after calling for a revolution to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. He was subsequently charged to court by the secrete police for treason, money laundering and cyberstalking.
The former presidential candidate and activist was released by the DSS on bail on the 24th of December after pressure from civil society groups and the international community.
The DSS had stormed the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, December 6 to effect the rearrest of Sowore, less than 24 hours after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu ordered the release of the activist and his co-defendant Olawale Bakare on bail.
The judge also imposed an N100,000 fine on DSS for refusing to obey previous orders on Sowore's release after meeting all bail conditions.
Attorney General of the federation and minister of Justice Abubkar Malami recently took over Sowore's case from DSS.
5. IMN PROTESTS CONTINUOUS DETENTION OF EL-ZAKZAKY
Clashes between members of the outlawed Islamic Movement In Nigeria (IMN) and Nigerian security forces led to the death of hundreds including a Channels Tv reporter Precious Owolabi and a police officer Usman Umar in 2019. The Shiites as they better known are protesting the continuous detention of its leader Shiek Ibrahim El-Zakzaky after a 2016 court order for his release.
El-Zakzaky has been in detention since 2015 after members of his group clashed with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai in Kaduna State, leading to the loss of lives and properties. Since then, members of the group have sustained pressure for his release leading to clashes with security forces.
Abubakar Malami, Nigeria's Minister of Justice had stated that the federal government cannot release El-Zakzaky because it does not have the power to interfere with the judicial process of state governments.
The federal government maintains that it is not detaining el-Zakzaky, saying rather he’s being prosecuted by the Kaduna state government.
The Kaduna State Government filed eight-count charges against el-Zakzaky for alleged conspiracy, culpable homicide, among other related offenses.
6. TRUMP IMPEACHED BY U.S HOUSE OF REPS.
Donald Trump was impeached in a mostly party-line vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 18, becoming the third president in US history to be impeached.
After a full day of debate, the House voted 230-197 to approve the first article of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power. A second article, charging Trump with obstruction of Congress, was approved 229-198.
Democrats accuse Trump of pursuing a scheme to cheat in the 2020 election by pressuring Ukraine to manufacture bad news about the former vice-president Joe Biden, one of Trump’s main Democrat rivals, and then blocking congressional oversight.
Trump joined Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 as the only US presidents to be impeached. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be impeached.
A two-thirds majority vote in the Republican-controlled Senate would be required to convict and remove Trump from office.
With no Republican senators currently voicing support for impeachment, Trump appeared safe to survive.
7. MERCY WINS 2019 BBNAIJA REALITY SHOW
After 99 entertaining days, Mercy became the first female winner of the Big Brother Naija reality in a grand finale held on Sunday, October 6.
Mercy defeated fellow housemates, Mike, Frodd, Omashola and Seyi to emerge winner after polling 41.77% of the votes cast.
As a reward she went home with N30 million cash prize and prizes worth N30 million.
The prizes include a Dubai trip for two, SUV from Innoson Motors, Scanfrost electronic makeover, one year supply Pepsi, one year supply Munch It and Indomie. VVIPP tickets for European final.
8. BURNA BOY NOMINATED FOR 2020 GRAMMYS
Nigeria Afrobreat sensation Burna Boy was on the 20th of November nominated for the 2020 Grammy Awards.
His latest album ‘African Giant’ has been nominated in the Best World Album category. Other contenders for the same win are Altin Gün for Gece, Bokanté & Metropole Orkest Conducted By Jules Buckley for What Heat, Nathalie Joachim With Spektral Quartet for Fanm D’Ayiti, and Angelique Kidjo for Celia.
He joins the likes of other Nigerian acts Seun Kuti, Femi Kuti and King Sunny Ade who have been nominated in the same category.
The 62nd GRAMMY Awards holds on the 26 January, 2020.
9. ALGERIA WINS 2019 NATIONS CUP
Algeria won the Africa Cup of Nations for the second time after defeating Senegal 1-0 in the final held in Cairo Egypt on the 19th of July.
Baghdad Bounedjah's shot took a huge deflection off Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes at the second minute.
Senegal, who has never won the competition, was awarded a penalty for handball in the second half but it was overturned after a VAR review.
Algeria closed out the rest of the game to win their first title since 1990.
10. JOSUHA DEFEATS RUIZ TO RECLAIM HEAVYWEIGHT TITLES
British boxer, Anthony Joshua reclaimed his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO unified titles after defeating Mexican boxer Andy Ruiz Jr. in an anticipated rematch in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia by a unanimous decision (119-109, 118-110, 118-110) on December 7.
YANS reports that Ruiz knocked Joshua down four times in his shocking victory on June 1 at Madison Square Garden, USA, but Joshua controlled the rematch with his movement and better timing of his punches.
Ruiz looked heavier and less effective against the fitter boxer. Joshua, 30, exhibited keen boxing skills and, unlike the first fight, resisted brawling with Ruiz.