There are few certainties in life and one of them is death. It is the inevitable end for every man. Death is the big full stop at the end of every sentence — whether long or short, simple or complex — called life. Here are some persons, across all walks of life, whose remarkable lives ended in 2018. Some, though, cannot be said to be painful; they were simply high-profile deaths. In this class are the likes of Alex Badeh, Tony Anenih and Shehu Shagari.
Tony ‘Mr. Fix It’ Anenih (August 4, 1933 — October 28, 2018) Tony Anenih, a prominent Nigerian politician and former Minister for Works, among other political posts that he held in his life time, died at Cedarcrest Hospitals in Abuja on October 28, 2018 at the age of 85. He was popularly known as ‘Mr Fix It’. He was born in Edo State.
Aloysius Katsina-Alu (August 28, 1941 — July 18, 2018) Katsina-Alu was the Chief Justice of Nigeria from December 30, 2009, to August 28, 2011. He succeeded Idris Legbo Kutigi as Chief Justice of the Federation. He was born in Benue in Ushongo Local Government in Benue State and is said to be the first person from the Middle Belt to serve as CJN. History will always remember him as the tenth indigenous Chief Justice of the Federation and the first Chief Judge to be sworn in by a person other than the President or his second-in–command as stipulated by the Constitution. He was sworn in by his predecessor in office, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, because the then President, Umar Yar’adua was sick and outside the country and he did not “transmit power” to the Vice-President at the time, Goodluck Jonathan.
Idris Legbo Kutigi (December 31, 1939 — October 21, 2018) Katsina-Alu’s predecessor, he was Chief Justice of Nigeria from 2007 to December 30, 2009. He hailed from Niger State and became the first Chief Justice to swear in his successor because of the seeming interregnum occasioned by the sickness of Yar’Adua, who refused to hand over to his second-in-command while he went to receive treatment abroad. He died in a London hospital, meaning two former CJNs died in 2018 alone.
Ibrahim Coomasie (March 18, 1942 — July 19, 2018) He was born in Katsina State and rose through the ranks of the Nigerian Police Force to become the 9th Inspector General of Police. He served in that capacity from 1993 – 1999 when he retired from the service.
Oluwatosin ‘Area Mama’ Bucknor (August 15, 1981— November 19, 2018) Perhaps the saddest of the lives harvested by the grim reaper in 2018 is that of On-Air Personality (OAP), who died at the unripe age of 37. Tosin reportedly died due to complications from sickle cell anaemia. She graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. She lived a short but remarkable life.
Ikeogu Oke (May 23, 1967— November 26, 2018) A poet and journalist from Abia State who won the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Prize for Literature in 2017, Oke died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 51, a year after winning the award.
George H.W. Bush (June 12, 1924 — November 30, 2018) He was the 41st President of the United States of America. He was the father of George Walker Bush, who served as the 43rd President of the United States. The second family to have a father and son as President. The first family was the Johns. John Adams was the second US President from 1797 to 1801 and his son, John Quincy, was the sixth US President. He died in Texas at the age of 94.
Moses Olaiya (Died October 8, 2018) Born in the 1930s (his date of birth could not be confirmed), Moses Olaiya, popularly called ‘Baba Sala’ was a prolific film maker and ace comedian who also had a career in show business as a highlife musician. In 1964, he had a group known as the Federal Rhythm Dandies. King Sunny Ade, juju music maestro, was his protégé; he tutored and guided him when he was his lead guitar player. He hailed from Ilesa in Osun State, Nigeria.
Aishat Abimbola (December 19, 1972 — May 19, 2018) Aishat Abimbola was an ace actress who featured in many movies in her life time. She was a thoroughbred Lagosian born in Epe. She died of breast cancer in Canada at the age of 46.
Kofi Annan (April 8, 1938 — August 18, 2018) He was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the second African to serve in that capacity, but the first person to emerge from the ranks of the United Nations staff. He served as the Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. He was a twin. Kofi Annan was awarded the 2001 Nobel Peace, jointly with the organisation. He was a Ghanaian and breathed his last on August 18, 2018 at the age of 80 in Bern, Switzerland.
Alex Badeh (January 10, 1957 — December 18, 2018) Born on January 10, 1957 in Vimtim, a little town in Mubi Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Badeh became the Chief of Air Staff in October 2012, serving in that capacity till April 2014 when he was made the Chief Of Defence Staff by the then President Goodluck Jonathan. He was shot on December 18 on the way back from his farm along Abuja-Keffi road by yet-to-be-identified gunmen. Before his death, he was standing trial on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.97billion.
Shehu Shagari (February 25, 1925 — December 28, 2018) Born in Shagari town in Sokoto State, Shagari veered into politics in 1951 when he became the Secretary of the then nascent Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in the Sokoto branch. He went on to serve in various capacities in political circles and eventually emerged Nigeria’s first elected executive president. Shagari became the first and only President of the Second Republic, re-contested and won the 1983 election, but was forced to relinquish his seat by a military coup by General Muhammadu Buhari.
Ras Kimono and his wife, Efemena Barely three months after her husband passed on, Efemena Okedi, the wife of late Reggae artiste, Okeleke Onwubuya, popularly known as Ras Kimono, joined her husband. While Ras kimono died in June 2018, his wife died in September 2018.