Sunday, 15 January 2017

Biafra: Nzeogwu, Orkar will be honoured in a ‘new Nigeria’ – Fani-Kayode

Biafra: Nzeogwu, Orkar will be honoured in a ‘new Nigeria’ – Fani-Kayode

Femi Fani Kayode
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has shown solidarity to those who supported the beliefs of Major Kaduna Nzeogwu and Major Gideon Orkar.
Noting that the two late officers fought against injustice and sought equity and fairness, Fani-Kayode in a statement on Sunday said Nzeogwu and Orkar would be honoured even in death “in a new Nigeria”.
His statement reads: “In the early hours of Jan 15 1966, 51 years ago today, 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”.
DAILY POST recalls that in the early hours of January 15, 1966, Nzeogwu led a group of soldiers to attack the official residence of the premier of the north, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
The bloody coup saw the murder of Premiers of Northern and Western Nigeria. Others killed were the Prime Minister, a federal minister and top Army officers from the Northern and Western regions.
However, premier of the Eastern region and the Igbo Army Chief were the only notable individuals spared.
The coup failed, and Nzeogwu was arrested in Lagos on January 18, 1966.
In his coup speech, Nzeogwu said “Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.
“Like good soldiers, we are not promising anything miraculous or spectacular. But what we do promise every law abiding citizen is freedom from fear and all forms of oppression, freedom from general inefficiency and freedom to live and strive in every field of human endeavour, both nationally and internationally. We promise that you will no more be ashamed to say that you are a Nigerian”.
For Major Gideon Gwaza Orkar (October 4 1952 – July 27 1990), he staged a violent coup against the government of General Ibrahim Babangida on April 22, 1990.
Orkar and his supporters seized the FRCN radio station, various military posts around Lagos and the Dodan Barracks, the military headquarters and presidential residence.
Babangida was present when the barracks were attacked but managed to eascape.
In his coup address, Orkar called for the excision of five northern states.
Weeks later, he and 41 other conspirators were convicted of treason and executed by firing squad on July 27 1990 by the Babangiga government.

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