Jan’ 66 anti-Igbo coup

1966 coup

By Emeka Obasi

Questions needs to be requested and solutions offered. The January 15, 1966 plot, the primary Navy coup within the Historical past of Nigeria, was aimed toward destroying all that was ever achieved by the Igbo. The results are staring us all within the face.

Ndigbo entered the First Republic on a excessive word and because the motion of Historical past progressed there was little to bemoan. Dr. Nnamdi Chukwuemeka Azikiwe climbed from Senate President to Governor Basic and ended up as the primary President of the nation.

All Presidents of the Senate till January 15, 1966 had been Igbo. Dr. Dennis Chukwude Osadebay changed Zik. Dr. Abyssinia Akwaeke Nwafor Orizu succeeded Osadebay. He additionally grew to become Performing President of the nation in October 1965.

When a fourth area, Mid-West was created, the Premier was Osadebay. The import was that of the 4 areas that made up the nation, two had been headed by Igbo males. Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara was Premier of Japanese Area.

The primary indigenous Speaker of the Home of Representatives, Dr. Jaja Anucha Nwachukwu, was Igbo. When Jalo Ibrahim from the North took over, the Deputy Speaker was Chief Emmanuel Chikere Akwiwu.

In Teachers, two of the Vice Chancellor’s had been from the Japanese Area. Prof. Kenneth Onwuka Dike was VC, College of Ibadan whereas Prof. Eni Njoku headed the College of Lagos. Each had been distinguished students. Dike was the nation’s first professor of Historical past, Njoku, first professor of Botany.

Within the Military, the GOC, Maj. Gen. Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi, from Umuahia was the primary African to command United Nations troops. Quarter Grasp Basic, Lt. Col. Arthur Chinyelu Unegbe had two of his Sandhurst mates holding key positions.

Lt. Col Mike Nduka Okwechime commanded Nigerian Military Engineers (NAE). Lt. Col Alex Atta Madiebo, the nation’s first Sandhurst skilled Artillery officer was head of the Arty Regiment. Their junior, Maj. Tony Okoro Eze was in control of Military Indicators.

Lt.Col Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, first college graduate to hitch the Military was Commanding officer, Fifth Battalion, Kano.The 2 brigades in Lagos and Kaduna respectively had Igbo officers as Brigade Majors.

Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna was in Lagos, Alphonsus Animam Keshi held the place in Kaduna. And the primary girl to enlist as an officer,  Capt. Josephine Okwuekeleke Tolefe, was Igbo as effectively.

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This was the state of affairs when some younger majors determined to topple the federal government that had Igbo personalities in highly effective positions. Wale Ademoyega, Chukwuma Nzeogwu, Ifeajuna, Christopher Anuforo, Donatus Okafor and Humphrey Chukwuka deliberate to sack Dr. Azikiwe as president and set up Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a Yoruba as prime minister.

Within the course of, a variety of Yoruba blood was spilled. Brigadier Sam Adesujo Ademulegun, Commanding officer, First Brigade, Kaduna was killed along with his spouse, Feyisitan. Col. Raphael Shodeinde was additionally killed in Kaduna, his spouse was injured.

In Ibadan,  Premier of the Western Area, Samuel Ladoke Akintola was assassinated. Maj. Samuel Adegoke was not spared. Sergeant Daramola Oyegoke was shot in Kaduna, by his boss, Nzeogwu.

Distinguished Northerners misplaced their lives. Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa died in Lagos. Premier of the Northern Area, Sir Ahmadu Bello , itwas murdered in Kaduna along with his first spouse, Hafusat.

The cream of Northern army was wiped off. Brig. Zakari Maimalari, Col. Kuru Mohammed, Lt.Col Abogo Largema and Lt.Col Yakubu James Pam had been all shot in Lagos.

Igbo blood was shed. Col. Unegbe died in Lagos. Okpara and Osadebay would have adopted swimsuit as a subaltern, Lt. Jerome Oguchi, from Umuoji, was despatched to hitch the bloodletting. His automobile broke down on the best way and when he finally arrived Enugu, Okpara had an August Customer in Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus.

The majors had pencilled down Lt. Col. David Ejoor, an Urhobo, to take over as Military Chief from Ironsi. Nzeogwu moved to Ademulegun’s workplace after Onwuatuegwu had executed the soiled job.

It’s apparent that the majors had been so egocentric that they ended up turning different Nigerian nationalities towards Ndigbo. Nzeogwu and Onwuatuegwu didn’t need to kill ladies with their husbands. Agreed, Hafusat volunteered to die with the Sardauna however she may have been spared.

The coup led to a counter coup that destroyed no matter benefit the Igbo had within the officer corps. Ironsi was murdered in Ibadan. And this was the identical man that stemmed the train in Lagos.

Civil Battle adopted and over 5 million Easterners perished. The Japanese RePropertygion, a quick rising financial system in 1966 was decimated. Port Harcourt, constructed by the Igbo grew to become a nightmare. Deserted grew to become a brand new phrase of lamentation.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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