Kaduna-Nzeogwu

The Biafra War in pictures. (Part 1: The first coup).

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We will do another one about Nigeria’s history, for now let us start as at 1966.

In 1966 this man was Prime Minister.  He spoke the Queen’s English pretty well and was liked by the British. He was even knighted. He knew how to play the game.
balewa

 

This man was president after a deal with the man above. To be honest his position was ceremonial. The British were not convinced by him, maybe too smart and educated, or maybe not smart enough to play the game.

zik

 

This man was Premier of Northern Nigeria, he was also the grandson of Usman Dan Fodio and the Sardauna of Sokoto. He spoke his mind fairly often. Was loved by his people.

bello

 

This man was the Premier of the Western Region. He trained as a lawyer. He felt out with Awolowo due to his belief that the AG (Action Group) needed to join the coalition government.
ladoke

 

This man is the least known among the Premiers. He was Premier of Eastern Nigeria. Those who have taken time to study him say he was a visionary. Events that followed probably affected the vision and plans he had for the Eastern Region.
michael-okpara

 

There was tension in Nigeria at that time, particularly in Western Nigeria. There was a general air of mistrust.

This man decided enough was enough. He and a few others decided to plan a coup. His name was Major Chukuma Kaduna Nzeogwu. It is important to note that this mas was not an Igbo man. He might have smoked Igbo on that fateful night though. This we can’t prove or disprove.
Kaduna-Nzeogwu

 

He was joined by this man, Major Ifeajuna who also was the first Nigerian to win a medal at an international event, as well as Major Banjo, Major Okafor, Major Onwuatueguwu, Major Ademoyega and others.
ifeajuna

These majors along with other soldiers killed these men:

balewa

bello

ladoke

In didn’t end there. They killed Brigadiers Maimalari and Ademulegun. Ademulegun’s pregnant wife was also killed. Fortunately or unfortunately these men were spared:

zik

michael-okpara

As well as this man who was in prison? (Sorry our history is poor here, we don’t teach it in schools anyway so please don’t judge us if we are wrong).

awo

This led to great suspicion. Why? Because the Eastern Premier and the President who were Igbo were “spared”. It looked like an Igbo coup, which in our eyes wasn’t. It was just a coup by a bunch of adventure seeking, revolutionary thinking, over ambitious soldiers who in all honesty should have been sent out to war, any war taking place on earth for that matter.

Many things didn’t help. For example, the people from the suspected region celebrating. Does sush (forgive the Yoruba staff here) celebration deserve a pogrom? Hell no, but it happened. But before we get carried away, this man

ironsi

Gets the go ahead from the President to dissolve the elected government, and in his naivety accepts. There is so much he could have done differently. Like:

Accept the position temporarily, at least until he had stopped the coup. He could have brought the perpetrators to book immediately, he could have handed over back to the ruling party and asked them to form a new government. Unfortunately he didn’t.  Let’s end it here for now. Join us in part 2.

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