Let the truth be told. The People involved in that so called 1966 “Igbo coup” were:
1. Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu (Midwest Region Igbo)
2. Major Adewale Ademoyega (Western Region – Yoruba), author of “Why we struck”
3. Capt. G. Adeleke (Western Region – Yoruba).
4. Maj. Ifeajuna (Midwestern Region – Igbo).
5. Lt. Fola Oyewole (Western Region – Yoruba), author of “The reluctant rebel”.
6. Lt. R. Egbiko (Midwestern Region – Ishan).
7. Lt. Tijani Katsina (Northern Region – Hausa/Fulani).
8. Lt. O. Olafemiyan (Western Region – Yoruba).
9. Capt. Gibson Jalo (Northern Region – Bachama).
10. Capt. Swanton (Northern Region – Middle Belt).
11. Lt. Hope Harris Eghagha (Midwest – Urhobo).
12. Lt. Dag Warribor (Midwest – Ijaw)
13. 2nd Lt. Saleh Dambo (Northern Nigeria -Hausa)
14. 2nd Lt. John Atom Kpera (Northern Nigeria-Tiv).
The reason for calling the 1966 Coup an Igbo exercise is because subsequent governments of Nigeria have refused to teach Nigerian History in our schools. And the core North have been busy misinforming Nigerians that the 1966 coup was an Igbo coup.
This article has no tribal sentiments. Please add your own facts if you have any. History will always tell us what happened.
1. Azikiwe defeated Awolowo to become the first Nigerian Premier of Western Nigeria (present Southwest plus Edo and Delta States). Awolowo instead of forming Opposition, rather formed Egbe Omo Yoruba and used it to intimidate Yorubas that won election on NCNC platform to cross carpet and join him against Azikiwe. This was the first parliamentary coup in Nigeria.
2. Awolowo from then on, started indoctrination of Yorubas against the “threat of Igbo domination”. That is how the incurable seed of fear of the Igbos was sown in the psyche of Yorubas which Yorubas later sold to other groups through Yoruba control of the media for decades.
3. Alhaji Tafawa Balewa , Nigeria ‘s first Prime minister could not tolerate Awolowo’s treacherous and inordinate ambition of acquiring political power by all means and at any cost. So, he threw Awolowo into prison for treason.
4. Samuel Ladoke Akintola who replaced Awolowo as Premier of Western Nigeria tried to destroy Awolowo’s political grip on Yorubaland by forming a party to takeover Western Nigeria in alliance with the Hausa-Fulani oligarch who Awolowo despised as a backward race. Consequently, Yorubaland went ablaze in revolt against Akintola’s plot. Law and order completely broke down in Western Nigeria. Wole Soyinka wore a mask and forced announcers at Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation to declare that Akintola’s government was a fraud.
5. Yet, Tafawa Balewa refused to declare state of emergency in Western Nigeria in order to keep Akintola as a proxy for Hausa-Fulani interest. This was the MAIN reason Yoruba graduates in the Army were the real brains behind the coup.
6. As Wole Soyinka and even Obasanjo acknowledged, Nzeogwu ‘s coup was widely accepted by a vast majority of Nigerians across regional, religious and ethnic divides.
7. But the dissatisfied Hausa-Fulani oligarchy who had majority in Nigerian Army infantry used their puppets, Yakubu Gowon, Theophilus Danjuma and co to overthrow General Ironsi.
8. In order to win support of Yorubas, Gowon released Awolowo from prison. The Hausa-Fulani knew Awolowo’s fear of Igbo as the only group that stood against his ambition to power. Gowon therefore quickly made a deal with Awolowo which in effect was that power would rotate between the North and the West (Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba) in post war Nigeria if Awolowo convinced Yorubas to join the North in fighting Igbos.
9. The Nigerian Army was consequently split into two divisions: the northern sector division commanded by Hausa-Fulani and the southern sector division, commanded by Yorubas.
10. Lagos, a city built largely by Igbos and were Igbos invested heavily, was also ceded to Yorubas as a State even when there was no Abuja at the time (1967).
11. Awolowo was made Vice Chairman of Federal Executive Council and Finance Minister. All federal government owned banks in Nigeria at the time which included the Central Bank and First Bank, were under Awolowo and Yoruba management. It was a deal Awolowo could not resist. The man was an unscrupulous Machivellian anyway.
12. The Igbos were eventually defeated and Yorubas became champions of nationalism.
13. Awolowo tried to make sure no Igbo man or woman would ever be more than a financial destutute let alone have the financial resources to rival a Yoruba
14. To achieve his objective of permanent Yoruba supremacy, Awolowo insisted that every bank account owned by an Igbo, regardless of how much was in it before the declaration of Biafra, would only be replaced with twenty pounds! He instructed Yoruba Permanent Secretaries who took over the Federal Civil service when Igbos left, to make sure that Igbo senior civil servants were not reinstated but to rather retire those who could not be dismissed as rebels. The same policy obtained in the Armed Forces of Nigeria and Police .
15. The Igbo were not only made pariahs but also financial destitutes.
16. Every house and industry in Igbo cities was destroyed by war. Schools were closed for 3 years and many were razed to the ground.
17. Awolowo masterminded the indiginization policy by which Yorubas bought over all foreign companies in Nigeria using money readily made available to them by the banks under their control. The Igbos were excluded.
18. They rejoiced and relaxed and complaisantly asked: “How could Igbos ever rear their ugly heads up again”? Sure, if that had happened to Yorubas or any other ethnic group, that would be their end. But as Awolowo rightly feared, we happen to be Ndi Igbo.
19. The shooting war ended 45 years ago and we are still here. We have survived all policy shenanigans contrapted by treacherous Yoruba masterminds and executed by their Hausa-Fulani allies.
20. In frustration, they have realized that we are who we are. Imagine their frustration! Never mind all Yoruba masterminded psychological attacks on Igbos disparaging us in any way they could.
21. Yes, Federal government policy has made them the tycoons of oil and gas, telecommunications, insurance and manufacturing. Oh, their Hausa-Fulani cum military allies gave Nigeria to Obasanjo for 8 years in keeping faith with their alliance.
20. Bola Tinubu is struggling for Awolowo mantle by forming an alliance of etho- religious jingoistic to ensure power keeps rotating between Yoruba and Hausa-Fulani.
So where is the position of the Igbo and other tribes in Nigeria.
What is your sincere opinion?