Pulse List 2017: 15 notable deaths of the year

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Dr Alex Ekwueme

The year 2017 took quite a number of notable people along with it.

Death is inevitable as all souls will surely taste it one day.

It is indeed a very sad thing as you don't get to see your loved ones who have been snatched by the cold hands of death.

In 2017, Nigeria lost quite a number of influential personalities including second republic Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme.

We bring you the 15 most shocking deaths in 2017.

1. Alex Ekwueme

 

Former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, died in the on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at a London clinic after he was flown there for treatment.

Dr Ekwueme who was Nigeria's first elected Vice President served as former President Shehu Shagari's deputy on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria [NPN] between 1979 and 1983.

Dr Ekwueme’s death was confirmed by his younger brother and traditional ruler of Oko community in Anambra State, HRH, Prof. Laz Ekwueme in a statement that read:

 “The Ekwueme family regrets to announce the peaceful passing away of their patriarch, the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, GCON. The sad event occurred at The London Clinic at 10:00 pm on Sunday 19th November 2017.

2. Bilyaminu Bello

The death of Bilyaminu Bello, the son of former PDP Chairman, Haliru Bello, was very shocking going by the fact that he was murdered by his wife, Maryam Sanda after she allegedly found a text message on his phone purportedly sent to him by his mistress.

The tragic marriage, according to Bello's friends, had been dogged by jealousy, bickerings, and possessiveness on the part of Sanda who was said to be Bello's second wife after he had divorced his first wife, Amina Bala Shagari, two weeks after their marriage, to marry Sanda.

A friend who penned a tribute to Bello said his family and friends had repeatedly begged him to leave the marriage but he refused because of their eight-months-old baby but in the end, he was stabbed to death by his beloved wife.

3. Senator Isiaka Adeleke

 

Another shocking death Nigerians witnessed in 2017 was that of Senator Isiaka Adeleke who was the Senator senator representing Osun West.

Adeleke who died at the age of 62, at a hospital in Osogbo, the state capital, was said to have gone to a political meeting where he was allegedly poisoned.

He was in the Senate for the second time, having first represented Osun West between 2007 and 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

In 2014, after a failed governorship bid, he defected to the All Progressives Congress which sponsored him to contest the 2015 Osun West senatorial election which he won to earn a second time in the Senate.

Adeleke was the first elected Governor of Osun State in 1991 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.

4. Jide Tinubu

 

The death of Jide Tinubu, the first son of the National leader of the All Progressives Congress [APC], and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took many by surprise.

In fact, news of the ever-bubbling and intelligent young Tinubu came to many as a great shock because he was full of life a few days before his untimely demise in a London hospital.

Jide Tinubu, a self-accomplished lawyer, reportedly died as a result of a cardiac arrest on October 31, 2017, leaving behind a wife and three children.

According to the bereaved Sen. Tinubu, his son’s death was a reminder that 'none of us knows when our last day shall be'.

He added:

My son was a highly intelligent person with a vibrant personality and a zest for life. He followed his own course and made his own way on his own terms.

Those who knew him could not help but like him. Yet, he was taken away by cardiac arrest when it seemed he had so much life to still live. This is a reminder that we must live each day to its best as none of us knows when our last day shall be."

5. Ugo Ehiogu

 

Ugo Ehiogu, a Nigeria-born ex-England international football player was another star we lost in 2017 to cardiac arrest. Ehiogu, a former Tottenham and England defender, died on April 20, 2017, at the age 44.

Ehiogu reportedly suffered shock at the training ground of Tottenham Hotspur, where he was managing the U-23 team.

He played in the Premier League and had with lengthy spells at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.

Ehiogu also played in the Football League for West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United and Sheffield United, as well as a spell in the Scottish Premier League with Rangers.

In 1993, playing for the England under-21 team, he became the first black player to captain an England team in a competitive match.

6. Chukwuma Onuekwusi

 

The media world was not left out as death struck when it snatched Chukwuma Onuekwusi, a popular journalist with Channels Television.

Onuekwusi who was the State House Correspondent for Channels TV, died in the early hours of Tuesday, May 23, at an Abuja hospital after a prolonged illness.

According to one of his colleagues who confirmed the sad news, Onuekwusi who was 55-years-old at the time of his death first fell sick in March and just when many thought he could come out of it, he gave up the ghost.

7. Nengi Finecountry 

 

Ms Nengi Finecountry was another thoroughbred journalist whose death in May 2017, shook the media world to its very foundations.

Finecountry was one of African Independent Television [AIT] stand-out journalist who once won an Excellence Award for Malaria reporting.

The astute media professional and journalist par excellence was from the Bonny Kingdom in Rivers State.

8. Prophet D.A Samuel

 

Another shocking death that gripped Nigerians in 2017 was that of Prophet Dr Duromola Adedayo Samuel, the General Overseer of Christ Worshippers Church, Osubi, Warri, Delta State.

According to a press statement issued by the church’s General Evangelist, Elder Boro B. Ekotoro, the man of God was healthy and attended the Annual Women Convention in the church and during his sermon, told the church to pray because the hour had come as he had completed his mission.

After the service, he reportedly ate with his pastors and they asked him about his sermon and what he meant by the statement he made that the hour had come. He was said to have asked them how many years Jesus spent in His ministry.

And when someone said 33 years, the Prophet said his ministry was about 30 years and that he was also eating his last supper.

The following day, he slumped and was taken to the hospital where doctors certified him dead on arrival. 

9. Prof. Andrew Jonathan Nok

 

The brouhaha that erupted in Kaduna State following the decision of Gov. Nasir el-Rufai to sack over 20,000 teachers who failed competency exams set for primary four pupils was still raging when the state Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Prof. Andrew Jonathan Nok died mysteriously.

Nok, a Professor of Biochemistry, died at the age of 55 in the early hours of Wednesday, November 20, following a very brief illness.

The world-renowned scientist had been down with an undisclosed ailment and was on admission at an Abuja hospital until he was discharged a week before his demise.

Before he was appointed Commissioner, Prof. Nok was the Dean of the Faculty of Science at the Ahmadu Bello University [ABU], Zaria.

In 2015, he was appointed Commissioner of Health and Human Services by Gov. El-Rufai and was later moved to the Education Ministry following a cabinet reshuffle.

10. Dr Orji Alwell

 

Another shocking death that was witnessed in 2017 was that of a medical doctor, Dr Orji Alwell who committed suicide after he jumped into the Lagos lagoon on the Third Mainland Bridge.

Dr Allwell had jumped into the into the lagoon on Sunday, March 19, 2017, while he was being driven to a meeting on the Lagos Island by his driver.

He reportedly ordered his driver to pull over and came out of the vehicle only to jump into the lagoon at the Adekunle and Adeniji end of the Third Mainland Bridge before he could be stopped. It was later reported that he was suffering from severe depression.

Dr Orji, at the time of his death, was a consultant at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Surulere area of the state.

11. Obi Madubogwu

 

Nollywood, the popular Nigerian movie industry, also witnessed some shocking deaths in 2015 with top actor, Obi Madubogwu, succumbing to the cold hands of death after battling with acute diabetics and foot ulcers.

Madubogwu became popular for his role in the blockbuster movie, ‘Battle of Musanga’, where he played the lead role. He died on Monday, August 28, 2017.

Some months before he passed on, the actor and producer had thanked Nigerians who helped him out financially, physically and spiritually, urging them not to give up on him until he is back on his feet.

He also urged them not to give up on him but to assist him to complete the final stage of his treatment which entailed flying out to a US hospital.

His last cinematic outing was the 2015 movie 'Grave Dust,' which was produced by him and starred Ramsey Nouah, Joke Silva, and Joseph Benjamin.

12. Prince James Uche

 

The veteran actor, Prince James Uche, also died in 2017 after a protracted battle with diabetes and kidney ailment. He had been ill for eight years and apart from the kidney issue, he had battled with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other complications.

He gave up the ghost on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, two days before he was supposed to travel to India for surgery.

13 Moji Olaiya

 

The death of Nollywood star actress, Moji Olaiya, also gave Nigerians a great shock when she kicked the bucket two months after she gave birth to her daughter in Canada.

She was said to have suffered from cardiac arrest before she died on  May 17. According to information, her baby was born prematurely as her EDD was for May 2017 but complications arose that necessitated that she be induced to save the baby’s life as well as hers.

But since the delivery in March, her health had not been exactly perfect as she suffered from high blood pressure.

On the day she reportedly died, it was reported that she had gone into a crisis as her blood pressure shot up and she became unconscious.

An ambulance was called to transport her to the hospital but her case worsened and she gave up the ghost before they could make it to the hospital.

Moji who was 42 at the time of her death, died almost exactly two years after her younger brother, Abidemi Olaiya, passed on.

14. Maitama Sule

 

Dr Yusuf Maitama Sule, a former Minister for National Guidance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, died July 3, in a Cairo hospital where he had been flown for medical treatment.

Dr Sule a former Nigerian permanent representative to the United Nations, was an elder statesman known for his oratory and unifying tendencies.

Maitama Sule who had a great love for Nigeria was a presidential candidate of the National Party of Nigeria in 1979.

An acclaimed diplomat, he was made Minister for National Guidance by President Shehu Shagari in 1983 in the president's bid to tackle corruption in government.

15. Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji also joined his ancestors in 2017 as well, at the age of 83.

Ambassador Adeniji died in a London after a brief illness on Sunday, November 24.

Adeniji was a great diplomat before his death and at one time, was the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic [MINURCA] and Nigerian Ambassador to France for five years.

He was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. He served between July 2003 and June 2006, when he was moved to head the Ministry of Internal Affairs.



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