Northern Nigeria Yet To Recovered From 1966 Military Coup – ACF

The Arewa Consultative Forum ( ACF), had joined the Country in Commemorating the heroes of the 15th January 1966 Military coup, honouring those who paid the supreme price during crucial event in the history of Nigeria.

In a press released by it’s National Publicity Secretary of the non socio- cultural group in Northern Nigeria, Tukur Muhammad Baba ,used the opportunity express it’s stance on the historical narrative of the coup.

The group express strong disapproval over any attempt to rewrite the history of this period, stressing the fact that the North had not yet recovered from the impact of the war fall out following the coup.

Speaking on the coup, he said, “January 15th, 2024 marks the 58th anniversary of a very dark day in the political history of Nigeria. It is beyond a Remembrance Day for members of the armed forces who paid the supreme price in defence of the nation, as it was on 15th January, 1966, that the first ever military coup took place in Nigeria, signaled by the cold-blooded assassination of 21 people.

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“In itself, the event had set Nigeria on a sad trajectory in its political development from which it is yet to recover. The coup was plotted and executed Major’s Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, Emmanuel Ifeajuna, Chris Anuforo, Don Okafor and Ademola Ademoyega.

“Prominent political and military personalities murdered included Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s Prime Minister, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, Sardaunan Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region, Hajiya Hafsat Ahmadu Bello, Ahmed Pategi, Brig. General Zakariya Maimalari, Col. Kur Mohammed, Lt. Col. Yakubu James Pam and Lt. Col. Abogo Largema. Police Corporal Hagai Lai, Corporal Yohanna Garkawa, and Lance Corporal Musa Nimzo.

“Other Nigerians also assassinated included Samuel. L. Akintola, Premier of Western Nigeria, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, Brigadier-General and (pregnant) Mrs. Samuel Ademulegu and Col. Ralph Shodeinde.”

For ACF, 15th January 1966 remains most poignantly significant because Northern Nigeria lost its most illustrious sons to the guns of the coup plotters, ending their brilliant political and military careers.

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He said the 1966 coup sign-posted the death of Nigeria’s nascent democracy, which event still reverberates most negatively in the national political history.

He added, “Repeated attempts by a section of the country especially dating back to the Oputa Panel of 2001 but now increasingly through the ungoverned social media to re-write the facts of the coup and its sour significance will not be tolerated. Arewa will never forget and the nation should not, not then and no amount of historical revisionism will erase the rabid ethnicism clear in the planning and execution of the coup.

“The attempt to whitewash the political mess, as indeed being attempted by otherwise highly educated people, will not erase the dark and indelible ink in which the history of the event is written. ACF decries, rejects and condemns any such historical revisionism, or attempts to shatter the unity of Arewa. The strategy is puerile at best and provocative at worse. January 15th, 1966 remains a day of infamy in our national history. The essence of marking the date as we do is not to ever forget its dire consequences and that we must guard against similar actions in the future.”

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By Sophina Ovuike, Abuja