A glimpse into the past will thrill you about how much has occurred in this remarkable but seemingly peculiar year, 2023. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in an interview with BBC on December 20, expressed her view: It has been a rollercoaster of a year for Nigeria, with much turmoil and much uncertainty. But through it all, the resilience and hope of the Nigerian people have shone through.”

Do you agree that it has been a rollercoaster year? Well, don’t be in a hurry to leave 2023 as we are about to take a last look at the whole scene.


2023 got hearts throbbing with excitement from the penultimate year – 2022, as Nigerians anticipated the 2023 General Elections. The year, 2022, concluded with vigorous election campaigns. Nigerians, more than ever, became politically engaged. Then boom! The cashless policy was introduced in December 2022, and with it, we kicked off 2023. The policy triggered huge concerns among Nigerians, and with the implementation of the policy on January 9th, 2023, unprecedented misery was created for many Nigerians. Rumours circulated that the cashless policy was intended to stop the buying of votes by unscrupulous politicians in the coming elections. However, the aftermath was rather ridiculous as it seemed that no realistic goal was achieved, resulting in many branding the policy as a doomed failure and an enormous waste of time. Surprisingly, the old naira notes are still in use.

The highly anticipated 2023 General Elections held between February 25th and March 11th, and three major political parties and their candidates – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from APC, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku from PDP, and Mr. Peter Obi from the LP – clinched victories in 12 states. Undoubtedly, the 2023 election sparked the most interest among Nigerians, with social media playing a significant role in the election campaigns. Eventually, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from APC emerged winner of the 2023 presidential elections. A trail of events took place afterwards due to the rejection of the election results by the other two opposition parties.

Meanwhile, immediately after he was sworn in, the President removed the Fuel Subsidy, which triggered social unrest and economic strains, resulting in high inflation of food prices, fuel prices, and transportation costs. Not too long afterwards, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was arrested and detained on alleged fraud and corruption. His recent release from prison on bail has raised eyebrows among many Nigerians. Also, the announcement of a warning strike by NLC and ASUU caused a stir among Nigerian students. Fortunately, the strike did not hold.

In terms of security, several cases of killings and massacres occurred across the country this year. One major occurrence was from March 15-16 in Mangu LGA of Plateau State. Sadly, from December 23-25, and still ongoing, further massacres have been reported in the same state. This underscores the persistent challenges of insecurity and ethnic and religious crises in the country. Fire outbreaks were also recorded in two markets this year: the Monday Market in Borno State and the Ladipo Plank Market in Nigeria’s Silicon Valley, Lagos State. Sadly also, the close of this year met the painful demise of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Aderedolu.

In the entertainment industry, Celebrity Chef, Hilda Effiong Bassey, broke the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking Marathon. However, her record was soon broken. Popular Nigerian artiste, Tems, won a Grammy award, while Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala, also known as the King and Queen of African football, both won the African Footballer of the Year award for the Male and Female categories respectively. Indeed, 2023 was a great hit for Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood. Its movies topped the charts this year. They include Gangs of Lagos, Shunty Town, the Famous ‘Jagun jagun,’, and the enchanting ‘Orisa’. Sadly, however, the music industry was shaken by the tragic death of the Nigerian popular music artiste, Mohbad. This resulted in several protests in demand for justice regarding his death, and this marked a turning point for the music industry.


While so much has occurred on the national scene, much more has occurred on the global scene. Here are some of the key events:

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Early on February 6 in Turkey and neighbouring Syria, over 67, 000 people were killed after a series of devastating tremors hit parts of the country. It is estimated to be the largest earthquake in Turkey since 1939.

India takes #1 Spot

Early this year, India’s estimated population overtook that of China to become the most populous country! The UNFPA’s State of World Population Report 2023 confirmed that India’s estimated population was 142.86 crore, marginally ahead of China at 142.57 crore.

The lost submersible

On June 18, the Titan submersible carrying a team of five onboard imploded in the North Atlantic Ocean. The submersible was part of a deep sea extreme tourism mission to visit the 111-year-old wreckage of the Titanic more than 12, 000 feet underwater.

Russia-Ukraine war lingers into second year

It is now more than a year after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The war continued with the Ukrainian President scrambling to mobilise a continuous supply of soldiers and weapons as key allies, Europe and America, slowed down the funding due to changes in internal politics. UN estimates say that more than 10, 000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas war

The biggest conflict that arose this year was the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, still ongoing. Nearly 20, 000 Palestinians have been killed, tens of thousands more wounded, and 90% of the 2.3 million residents of the besieged enclave, displaced. The conflict was triggered by a surprise attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7. The attack left thousands wounded and over 240 Israelis were taken hostage, some of which have been released during the temporary ceasefire from November 24th to 30th.

From all these events, one is compelled to agree that 2023 is a rollercoaster year, both on the national and global scenes. It can be said to be a more eventful year than the previous year, with many uphills and downhills. The flurry of events that occurred in Nigeria, especially at the beginning of the year was almost breathtaking. However, Nigerians as it is popular said, adapted and are now living normal happy lives. It is uncertain what the future holds for Nigeria. However, we hope 2024 will be a better year, with the new government gaining stability and Nigerians, more than ever, watching in optimism.

Ugor Benedict

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