By Taiwo Okanlawon
The spread of the Coronavirus continued to gain momentum, affecting millions around the world and shown no deference to well-known faces, celebrity, or social status.
More than 573,000 people around the world so far have died due to complications from the global pandemic, as cases of the deadly disease have topped 7.27 million in total. 216,000 have also recovered.
Nigeria recorded its first case of Coronavirus on February 27th, 2020, after an Italian national, was confirmed positive, making it the third case in Africa after it was reported in Egypt and Algeria respectively. As of May 13, every African country had recorded an infection, the last being Lesotho.
There are now more than 594,955 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, with active cases standing at 286,467, while recovery cases are 295,242 with the number of deaths in Africa standing at 13,246.
In Nigeria, as of July 13, the confirmed cases are 33,153, recovered cases are 13,671 while 744 people have died due to complications from the coronavirus.
About 24 days after Nigeria’s index case of coronavirus, former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu, became the first casualty of the global pandemic. Since his death on March 23rd, 774 people have so far died.
Asides health workers and ordinary Nigerians, here are the names and faces of prominent casualties who have died from the deadly virus.
1. Suleiman Achimugu (Former PPMC MD)
A former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu, died on March 23 after showing symptoms of the virus following his return to the country from the United Kingdom.
The 67-year-old who was said to have had underlying medical issues and had been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
Upon his return from the UK where he had gone to treat cancer, he was said to have gone into self-isolation as the COVID-19 symptoms persisted.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) announced Monday, the first Nigerian to die of the virus. But it did not unveil the identity.
2. Abba Kyari
On April 17, President Muhammadu Buhari’s powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, died of COVID-19 at 67.
He was the second victim but the most popular COVID-19 fatality in West Africa at the time.
The Presidency confirmed his death in a statement.
Kyari’s underlying medical conditions was believed to have complicated his battle with the disease. And thus caused his death.
He showed the symptoms of the disease after he returned from a trip to Germany last month.
His positive testing almost shut down the business of government.
Both the Federal Executive Council and National Council of State Meetings were postponed indefinitely.
3. Abiola Ajimobi
Former Oyo state governor Abiola Ajimobi succumbed to COVID-19 and underlying symptoms. He was 70.
The two-term governor and former senator died after spending close to three weeks in a coma at First Cardiology Consultants Hospital in Ikoyi, hooked on the ventilator, with hopes that he would come to.
A week to his death, news went viral that he was dead but his family debunked the news.
His death on June 25, 2020, coincided with the resolution of the leadership crisis in his party by the National Executive Committee meeting of the party.
President Buhari chaired the virtual meeting in Abuja.
Ajimobi became a deputy chairman of the APC in March and was expected to steer the party after the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as chairman.
But he was incapacitated by illness.
4. Wahab Adegbenro
The Ondo State commissioner of health, Wahab Adegbenro, died from COVID-19 complications on July 2 at the state’s infectious disease hospital.
Another source said the Commissioner had been on self-medication after contacting the virus being a medical doctor.”
He died two days after handing the positive test result of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to him.
Akeredolu, in a video, described him as “a dependable ally with fatherly mayhem. It is my fervent believe that he would be remembered for his official endeavour.”
5. Senator Bayo Osinowo
Bayo Osinowo, Senator representing Lagos East at the 9th Nigerian National Assembly died of complications from COVID-19 on June 15th, 2020 in Lagos.
He was 64 years old.
Before becoming Senator in 2019, he was a four-time Lagos House of Assembly member.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said he was saddened by the death of the Lagos senator, but assured that the government will find a lasting solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
6. Dan Foster
Popular radio host Dan Foster also succumbed to COVID-19 complications on the 17th of June. His death sent shockwaves down social media.
Frank Edoho of the popular ‘Want to be a Millionaire’ show wrote: “I just got off the phone, my friend Oscar confirmed that Dan Foster has passed on.
“This is a very very dark year.
“How can I overcome this unending melancholy. Rest in Peace, dear Friend”.
Foster – the Nigerian-American popularly known as The Big Dawg and Top Dawg came to Nigeria from the U.S. in 2000 to work for Cool FM. He became an instant hit.
Foster’s mother died when he was ten and was thus brought up with his three siblings in Washington, D.C. by their father.
He was also partly raised in Baltimore by his grandmother.
In the U.S. he worked for numerous radio stations.
Among them were Cathy Hughes Radio One, Mix 106.5 and Virgin Island-based WTBN.
He worked at Classic FM until his death.
He is survived by his wife Lovina Okpara and three children.
7. Nasir Ajanah (Chief Judge of Kogi State)
The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Nasir Ajanah died at age 64 on 28th June, 2020.
A member of the late Judge’s family who confirmed his death, said he died at the COVID-19 isolation centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja.
He died a week after the death of Ibrahim Shaibu Atadoga, the president of the Kogi customary court of appeal was reported.
Ajanah’s death was confirmed by the Information Officer of the state Judiciary, Mr Saeed Saqueeb.
8. Aminu Adisa Logun
The Chief of Staff to Kwara State government, Alh Adisa Logun died from COVID-19 complications on July 7th, 2020.
The late Chief of Staff in his late 70s was said to have been rushed to the hospital on Monday evening after complaining about serious health complications before he eventually died.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief of Staff died a few hours after the test of his COVID-19 result returned positive
Governor of Kwara State and the entire cabinet were devastated upon the announcement of his death.
The Kwara State Government declared a 7-day mourning in honour of the late Logun.
9. Tunde Braimoh (Lagos lawmaker)
Tunde Braimoh, the lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, died on 7th of July 2020, from COVID-19 related complications.
The former chairman of Kosofe Local Government died early Friday, two months to his 60th birthday on 30 September.
Taiwo Fadipe, the chief press secretary to Kosofe Local Government said Braimoh died after two days of illness.
Hakeem Sokunle, Chairman, House Committee on Health, told NAN that the late Braimoh might have died of COVID-19 and it was possible he had contracted it from late Sen. Bayo Osinowo with whom he was a close confidant.
Braimoh, a lawyer was the Bamofin of Ketuland. He was popularly called ‘Big Daddy’.
The deceased, until his sudden death, was the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy who made copious contributions to state developmental policy debate on the floor of the house.