Today, Sunday, January 15, 2017, makes it exactly 51 years since the events began which led to the military taking power for the first time in Nigeria.

The 1966 Nigerian coup d’état on January 15, 1966, was the first military coup that was carried out in Nigeria by junior officers.

The coup d’état toppled the government of President Nnamdi Azikiwe and Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa thereby rewriting the political, social and military history of the country.

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Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu

It has been an annual ritual for January 15, of every year to be remembered by the former minister of aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, and this year was not exemption as he mourned not only the architect of the coup, Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu but as well as Major Gideon Orkar who led another coup in 1991.

Femi Fani-Kayode remembered them with kind words. He wrote;
“In the early hours of Jan 15 1966, 51 years ago today, the man in this picture, Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, led a coup of junior army officers of mainly of Igbo extraction. Many were killed that night. The coup failed but the issues he, and later in 1991 Major Gideon Orkar raised in his own coup, are still pertinent.

When will the yoke of internal colonialism and subjugation be finally broken in our country? I have always condemned Nzeogwu and, to a lesser degree Orkar, but given what is happening in Nigeria today I have to say that both of them were not just heroes but men that fought to ensure that we were freed from what is nothing less than injustice, wickedness and slavery.

They failed in their quest for power and they were both killed: one was shot at the stake by General Babangida’s government and the other was shot on the war front by Federal troops whilst fighting for his beloved Biafra.

As far as I am concerned they are both martyrs and their deaths shall never be in vain.

Continue to rest in peace O Christian soldiers and martyrs of the faith. In the new Nigeria we shall name streets, buildings and airports after you”- FFK. 

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