Top national news stories of 2013

By Michelle van der Spuy Image: Associated Press
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Top national news stories of 2013

We take a look at the biggest national news headlines of the year. See gallery

Image: Corbis
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Boko Haram and the state of emergency

The federal government declared a state of emergency in in May. Borno, Yobe and Adamawa were placed under emergency rule as the government and the Nigerian Army launched renewed military action against Islamist group Boko Haram.

Boko Haram has been terrorising northern Nigeria since 2002. Thought the government claims that they have made progress, BBC reports that more than 1,200 since the declaration of the state of emergency.
 

Image: Reuters
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Plane crash in Lagos

On 3 October, an Associated Airlines plane crashed shortly after take-off at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos, killing 16 of the 20 passengers.

The plane was also carrying the remains of the former governor of Ondo State, Gov. Olusegun Agagu.

Officials confirmed that engine failure caused the crash. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended operations at Associated Airlines indefinitely shortly after the crash.

Image: Associated Press
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Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde makes Time 100 list

Nollywood actress and singer Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, lovingly referred to as OmoSexy by her fans, became the toast of the town when she was featured on the prestigious Time 100 list in April.

The list features the 100 most influential people in the world.

Omotola has been featured in some 300 feature films. She remains very loyal to her African roots and has said that she prefers Nollywood to Hollywood.
 

Image: Reuters
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The Anambra election disaster

The Anambra elections held in November may go down in history as one of the most disastrous elections in Nigeria’s history. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the election in Anambra inconclusive after it was cancelled in a number of areas in Anambra.

All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate Willie Obiano beat the People’s Democratic Party candidate Tony Nwoye and was later declared the winner of the election.
 

Image: Associated Press
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Doctors go on strike

Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) embarked on a strike which lasted from 1 to 24 October to protest against poor working conditions, inadequate funding, and poor infrastructure in the nation's health sector.

Doctors embarked on another warning strike, which lasted five days and was suspended on 23 December. They promised that they would do the same in January if the federal government fails to meet their demands.
 

Image: Reuters
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Cholera outbreak

Many lives were lost after a cholera outbreak in a number of states over the country. More than 50 patients died in Zamfara and Kano spent N20 million to stop the disease.

Floods during the rainy season have caused similar cholera outbreaks in 2010 and 2011, resulting in more than 2,000 deaths.

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Nigeria’s first drone unveiled

The Nigerian Air Force’s first unmanned aircraft, GULMA, was unveiled by President Goodluck Jonathan on 18 December. According to Jonathan the vessel would provide a range of benefits in disaster management, power line surveys and law enforcement.

The unveiling has been labelled as a landmark moment in the country’s history.

Image: Associated Press
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$50 billion oil fraud scheme uncovered

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, uncovered one of the biggest fraud schemes in Nigeria’s history earlier this year.

Reuters reported that the governor wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan in September to inform him of $49.8 billion in crude oil sales earned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) between January 2012 and July 2013 which was still outstanding.

NNPC denied the allegations.

Image: Reuters
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Jonathan and the PDP crisis

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) endured its fair share of political drama this year after a number of governors defected to the All Progressives Party (APC).

Goodluck Jonathan’s chances of being re-elected in the 2015 elections were further damaged when former president Chief Olusefun Obasanjo called for him to resign.

The latest blow to Jonathan’s political career was the defection of a further 37 members of the House of Representatives to the APC, which resulted in him losing his parliamentary majority.

Image: Reuters
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ASUU suspends strike

The Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) forced activities at universities around the country to ground to a halt.

After the union’s 2012 reformation agreement with the government was not implemented, its members embarked on a five-month long strike.

ASUU announced on 16 December that they had decided to suspend the strike and would meet with the federal government in 2014 to continue their negotiations.