From the inauguration of US President Donald Trump to the exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar, here are 12 events that marked 2017.
– A year of Trump –
On January 20 Republican billionaire Donald Trump, 70, is inaugurated as US president, vowing: “America first.”
Suspicions of collusion between his election campaign and Russia dog the start of his term.
Trump progressively unpicks the achievements of his Democrat predecessor, Barack Obama. He pulls out of international agreements on climate, free trade, immigration and UNESCO.
On December 6, in another break with the previous administration, Trump creates shockwaves when he recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move largely rejected in a UN vote.
On December 20 he seals his first major reform, signing long-awaited tax cuts into law.
– Brexit under way –
On March 29 London launches the process to quit the European Union, as voted in a referendum nine months earlier.
In a snap general election on June 8 Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives suffer a major setback and lose their majority.
Brussels and London agree on divorce terms on December 8.
– France: political earthquake –
Pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron, 39, wins a resounding victory over far-right rival Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election on May 7.
His new En Marche (One the Move) movement drives the two biggest parties — the Socialists and Republicans — from the Elysee Palace for the first time.
– Middle East: boiling point –
Saudi Arabia and its allies sever diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it supporting “terrorists” and of being too close to Iran.
Then on November 4 Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announces from the Saudi capital that he is resigning, citing Iran’s “grip” on his country. He later backtracks.
Saudi Arabia also accuses rebels in Yemen of receiving support from Iran, which denies the accusation.
The UN describes Yemen’s humanitarian situation as the worst in the world in 2017.
– Venezuela: economic disaster –
On July 30 Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly — whose legitimacy is disputed by the opposition and abroad — is elected after four months of deadly protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
With wide-ranging powers, it dismisses in early August Attorney General Luisa Ortega, one of Maduro’s top critics.
It then takes over the opposition-dominated Congress.
Crippled by plummeting oil prices, the country is considered to be in “selective default” by ratings agencies.
– North Korea: escalation –
The reclusive regime conducts its sixth and largest nuclear test on September 3.
On November 29 leader Kim Jong-Un says a “state nuclear force” has been completed with the test of a long-range missile able to deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in the United States.
Washington threatens to “utterly destroy” the regime “if war comes”.
On December 22 the UN Security Council imposes new sanctions against North Korea that restrict vital oil supplies.
– Myanmar’s Rohingyas: ‘genocide’ –
On August 25 the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar launches a crackdown on Rohingyas after militants from the stateless Muslim minority ambush security forces.
Nearly 655,000 Rohingyas find refuge in Bangladesh.
The United States denounces “ethnic cleansing” while the UN speaks of “elements of genocide”.
– Catalonia: autonomy suspended –
Spain’s wealthy northeastern Catalonia region holds a referendum for independence on October 1 that is deemed illegal by the central government.
Madrid moves to assert control but Catalan lawmakers vote on October 27 to declare independence.
Madrid dismisses Catalonia’s government and suspends its autonomy, also calling regional elections. Deposed regional president Carles Puigdemont, charged with sedition and rebellion, takes refuge in Belgium.
On December 21 three pro-independence parties defeat the central government in the elections. However, the centrist, anti-independence Ciudadanos party gets the best individual result.
– The Weinstein scandal –
On October 5 the New York Times publishes a bombshell investigative report accusing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, 65, of sexual harassment over decades.
Similar allegations have since been levelled at a long list of personalities in film, television, journalism and politics around the world.
– Zimbabwe: Mugabe falls –
Zimbabwe’s veteran President Robert Mugabe, 93, resigns on November 21 following 37 years of rule and after being abandoned by the military and his own party.
– IS defeated, not wiped out –
Iraq on December 9 declares victory in its war to expel the Islamic State group but experts warn that jihadists remain a threat. They have also lost most of their territory in Syria.
Numerous deadly attacks around the world over the year, including in Afghanistan, Britain, Egypt and Somalia, are claimed by or blamed on the group or others linked to Al-Qaeda.
– Climate: record disasters –
The year in which Trump decides, on June 1, to leave the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord is marked by a series of natural disasters, including record-breaking hurricanes, earthquakes and devastating fires that affect several countries.
It is set to be one of the three warmest years ever recorded.
The Ogun state government, southwest Nigeria has expressed its readiness to host the second edition of the Drums festival expected to hold between April 20- 22, 2017 and is expected to attract tourists from African countries and beyond.
The State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Muyiwa Oladipo disclosed this while announcing the change of the name of the festival from ”Nigerian Drums Festival to ”African Drums Festival”.
The commissioner said the first edition of the festival has placed the state as and emerging cultural hub attracting tourists from Nigeria and Diaspora.
He said that owing to the importance of the festival in showcasing the socio-economic and cultural uniqueness of the nation, the Federal Government had adopted it as African Drums Festival.
“At the opening ceremony last year, the representative of the Minister appealed to the Governor to change the name of the festival to African Drum Festival because he saw the importance of the festival beyond Nigeria. While he was unveiling the tallest drum at the event, he endorsed the new name of the Festival’’ he said
He noted that the initiative was borne out of the quest to revive the dying culture of drums and its traditional values among the people.
“Having noted that our culture was dying and needed to be revived. Drums and Drumming is a culture that cuts across the strata of the continent, there is no where that you don’t have one type of drum or the other, if we are to revive our ideals and ideas as a continent, we must start with a culture that cuts across’’ he submitted.
A High Court in Abuja has adjourned the trial of Justice Adeniyi Ademola to February 20 and 21, 2017.
This is following an application for adjournment by one of the defence lawyers, Mr Robert Clarke.
At the resumed hearing of the case of alleged corruption preferred against Justice Ademola who is a serving judge of the Federal High Court, Mr Robert Clarke prayed the indulgence of the court to enable him attend to his health.
The Prosecution team led by Mr Segun Jegede did not oppose the application as he informed the court that a member of his defense team, is currently on admission at an undisclosed hospital.
Presiding Judge, Jude Okeke subsequently adjourned the case for continuation of the trial.
Mr Adisa, who was testifying as the 13th prosecution witness, told the court that Ademola earns a basic monthly salary of 528,638 Naira, alongside other allowances.
According to him, Justice Ademola gets 305,000 Naira for monthly welfare, a 5.4 million Naira furniture allowance paid every four years, and estacode for overseas medical check-up which he said amounted to 6,300 dollars for 2016 alone.
Four more witnesses were also called by the prosecution on Thursday as the trial continued.
Among the witnesses was the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court who tendered certified true copies of records of proceedings relevant to the matter.
The Nigerian government has launched the economic recovery growth plan; an initiative which Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, says is expected to lead to the growth of the nation’s economy by seven per cent between 2017 and 2020.
Professor Osinbajo says the all-inclusive economic policy document will help put the economy back on track, following the effects of the recession.
According to him, the focus will be on five broad areas namely: macroeconomic policy, economic diversification and growth drivers, competitiveness, social inclusion, employment and governance.
Tagged ‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’, the 2017 budget is expected to help Nigeria come out of recession but many have questioned the capabilities of the document to do just that.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate has adjourned plenary till February 24, 2017, to allow the different committees work on the details of the 2017 budget as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.
Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, expressed optimism that the Federal Government is on the right track with its plans.
The Independent Electoral Commission in Edo State has taken delivery of the sensitive materials meant for the conduct of the Etsako Federal Constituency election billed for January 28, 2017.
Briefing newsmen at the Central Bank of Nigeria premises in Benin City the Edo state capital, the Supervising Resident Electoral Commissioner for the election, Baritor Kpagih and party agents said they were satisfied with the materials brought.
“We have just taken delivery of the sensitive materials from the Central Bank and we are heading to the Local Government Areas now.
“You are all aware of the construction work going on in front of the INEC office which makes it a bit difficult for us to use that premises today.
“So we agreed that the material will move from here direct to the various local government offices, that is what we are doing now.
“We have just taken delivery of the materials and as you can see here the various party agents are here with us and confirmed the materials before the loading,” he said.
Garba Sakwan from PDP Etsako West said: “We have seen the materials and we have carefully looked at them and are satisfied that what they brought from Abuja is what they have given to us that is meant for the election. We are satisfied with it for now.”
Also an APC agent, Mohammad Momoh, said: “We have carefully observed that the materials brought is sealed and intact.
“The numbers required in each local government was given to us and we are going to our various local government areas to ensure that we go about the election proper.”
A Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in the Maitama area of Abuja, has abridged the hearing of a suit against Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court and his wife, Olabowale Ademola on allegations of corruption and breach of trust to January 11, 2017.
Justice Jude Okeke made the orders after counsel to Justice Ademola and his wife, made an application asking that their trial be brought forward from January 18, 2017, when trial was set to commence.
According to them, commencing the trial at an earlier date will afford them the opportunity to get it done with and move on with their lives.
The prosecution who did not oppose the application, but informed the court that it will be amending the charges to accommodate a third person, Mr Joe Agi would then be re-arraigned alongside the judge and his wife.
Both pleaded not guilty to the 15-count charge brought against them by the Federal Government.
Justice Ademola, who was serving under the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court before he was asked to temporarily recuse by the National Judicial Council (NJC), was alleged to have on various dates between 2014 and 2015, received huge sums of money as gratifications.
The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, has appealed to religious and political leaders in Nigeria to be patriotic and exhibit acts capable of unifying the country and her people.
Addressing senior officers of the police force in Abuja, Mr Idris decried the actions of some leaders in southern Kaduna, which led to the escalation of the recent crisis that engulfed the area.
The Police boss, who however commended officers and men of the force for their role in restoring law and order in southern Kaduna said:
“Some of us are yet to imbibe the principles of leaderships. Whether you are a religious leader, whether you are a community leader, you should have some principles. And as leaders, what is lacking is love of Nigeria.
“I think we have to love Nigeria more in 2017.It is very important,” he stressed.
He further stated that: People just forget that this country belongs to all of us. Both the poor and the rich. You are where you are because God made you to be there.
“It is not because you have any special qualities. And I think it is very important.
“People should take leadership as a responsibility. All of us should be held responsible for this country,” the commissioner stressed.