The month of June started like every other month. Citizens went about their usual duties, entertainers gave 'assurance' to their fans, majority of workers smiled to banks to cash out from the sweats of their labour, students continued their quest for knowledge and happiness went viral.
On the first day of the month, Nigerians in particular would get in to touch with the loved ones, saying “Happy new month, welcome to the month of June”. If only Nigerians knew the dark side the month was preparing to unleash.
Three Killed In Nasarawa
Then the first tragedy struck. On June 5, the Nasarawa State Police Command confirmed that three policemen were ambushed and killed by suspected herdsmen at Maraban-Udege village in the Local Government Area of the state. The policemen were said to be on their way to calm a crisis between Agatu farmers and Fulani herdsmen.
Ras Kimono DIes
Five days later, the sorrowful knife of June cut deep. After a brief illness, Ukeleke Onwubuya, better known as Ras Kimono, died at a Lagos hospital. The reggae legend who neither smoked nor drank alchohol, died aged 60. On the day death came knocking at his door, he was supposed to travel to the United States of America. Ras Kimono thrilled Nigerians with hit songs such as 'Natty get Jail' and 'Rhumba style'.
Confirming his death, Mr. Tony Okoroji, Chairman of the Copyright Socity of Nigeria, had said: “Right now Iam talking to you from the Lagoon Hospital and I can inform you that Ras Kimono is no more. His death came as a shock because I spoke with him yesterday.” According to burial rites, Ras Kimono would be committed to earth on August 25, 2018.
Boko Haram Raids Damboa
On June 17, news broke that no less than 31 persons were killed and 48 others injured on Saturday after some suicide bombers suspected to be Boko Haram members attacked a village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
Damian Chukwu, the Borno State Commissioner of Police, revealed to journalists in Maiduguri that the explosion happened at Abachari town, in Damboa Local Government Area, on Saturday evening. “At about quarter to nine, yesterday (Saturday) night, a loud explosion was heard at Abachari village, along Damboa/Chibok road. The DPO mobilized our men from the SARS and the Civilian-JTF to the scene and found 20 people dead and 48 others injured," he said
Herdsmen Attack Plateau Villages
Over a week later, the month of June finally tore into the hearts of Nigerians, inflicting more pains. Plateau state, the 'Home of Peace and Tourism', became a home of terror as suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked about 11 communities in three local governments. Although the herdsmen had in recent times attacked places within the country, the death toll recorded in the Plateau generated intense outcry from Nigerians who urged the Federal government to tofficially declare Fulani herdsmen a terrorist group. Apart from the brutal killings Xlands, Gindin Akwati, Ruku, Nhgar, Kura Falls and Kakuruk in Gashish villages, the attackers burnt at least 50 houses, two vehicles and 15 motorcycles.
President Muhammdu Buhari condemned the attack, saying the required action would be taken to punish those behind the attack. He then visited Plateau State, bu he only stopped at town halls and never got to any of the villages where the killings occurred.
The whole country was still coming to terms with the Plateau killings when news broke that the only child of Daniel Oyebanjo, better known as D’banj, had died. It was reported that the 13-month-old son of the Koko Master drowned in the family’s pool in their Ikoyi residence. Confirming the death of his son, D banj wrote on his official Instagram handle “Trying times but my God is always and forever faithful."
Finally, like a vampire, the month of June sucked more blood out of innocent Nigerians as they were gutted by fire from a truck loaded with premium motor spirit. The tanker caught fire at the Otedola Bridge end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, with many vehicles trapped in the fire. Secrity and rescue agencies said nine people died on first count.
The month of June 2018 will continue to linger on in the minds of Nigerians as one painted in the colours of red — not of lipstick but of blood — and black. Were the month to be captured in a headline, it would read something like, 'Blood And Fire, How June Made Nigerians Sad'.