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NEWSBiafra: Defence Headquarters speaks on Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts


Seun Opejobi,

African News

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The Defence Headquarters has declared that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu is not in military custody.

DHQ spokesperson, John Enenche, made the declaration while stating that it was not the responsibility of the military to declare Kanu wanted.

Eneche maintained that the whereabouts of the IPOB leader was unknown.

He said this while addressing journalists on Friday.

According to Enenche, “Nnamdi Kanu is not in the custody of the military.

”It is not the responsibility of the military to declare Nnamdi Kanu wanted. The military did not proscribe IPOB.

“Due process was followed to proscribe it. The job of the military was to diagnose security issues and warned the public of consequences and that is part of our media operations.

“We did our media operations very well, otherwise that weekend would have been the longest weekend in this country and we are also very careful choosing our words and we know the law very well.”

Following an alleged military invasion of his residence in Umuahia on September 14, Kanu has not been seen or heard from.

NIGERIAN NEWS

FG orders probe of JAMB, NIMASA over revenue diversion- Adeosun


By Adekunle Best

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ordered fresh investigation of its revenue generating agencies as it uncovered massive disparity in the remittance of internally generated revenue by some of the agencies.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this when she addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council’s meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

She revealed that the council specifically directed the ministry of finance to look into the past revenue remittances of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

According to her, the disparity in the remittances of the two agencies in the past and now necessitated the decision to probe all previous heads of the two agencies, saying that other agencies with similar discrepancies in their revenue remittances will be probed.

“The highest amount that JAMB had ever remitted into the consolidated revenue fund before this management was N3 million.

“This year so far they have done N5 billion and the Minister of Education reported that they have an additional N3 billion that they are ready to remit which will take this year’s figure alone to N8 billion and they have not increased their charges, they have not increased their fees.

“So, the question the council members were asking is, where was all this money before?

“So, the directive was given that we must call the heads of all these agencies and similar ones to account (for their financial dealings), and that is the directive we have been given and that is what we intend to do and it is a similar story with other agencies.

“These are the leakages which we have now come in and we are blocking,’’ she said.

The minister reassured that the ministry was on the pathway of resetting the economy and adjusting permanently to a sort of lower oil pricing.

She announced that the Council also approved for Nigeria to rejoin the African Trade Insurance Agency.

According to the minister, this is an agency that is out to provide risk guarantee for private investors coming into Nigeria as well as exporters from Nigeria.

She said: “It will provide risk guarantees. So, instead of projects asking for sovereign guarantees, we will be able to provide that risk mitigation through the African Trade Insurance Agency. Many other countries are already members, so Nigeria will be also joining.

“This agency has an A rating internationally and is able to guarantee long term projects.

“So, what we see as a result of this is that there will be increased level of investments, particularly PPP where every often the investors want some guarantee from the government, instead the government issuing sovereign guarantee directly, this agency will step in and issue it.’’

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, also told the correspondents that he briefed the council on the second quarters NBS results on the state of the economy.

He stated that members of the council had pledged to recommit themselves to the full implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan so that Nigerians could feel the full impact of the plan.

The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, disclosed that he briefed FEC on flood and possibly threats of flood in the country.

According to him, there is presently no threat of flood in the country apart from the alert the nation received from Niger Republic.

“Niger Republic has put the country on alert. The level of the River in Niamey has increased considerably and the country is at alert at the moment.

“That is an indication that there will be more flood into the River Niger downstream towards Kainji, Jabba and of course by the time you come down on confluence at Lokoja, the situation will be compounding because you are already aware of the flood situation in Benue.

“The good thing is that we have an observatory in Niamey and another one in Lokoja to give us that real time, per second updates on the water level.

“So we are monitoring the situation and I briefed council on our efforts to monitor the situation which we are doing.’’

The minister added that the ministry was working in collaboration with National Emergency Management Agency as well as the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency to inform and educate states along River Niger, particularly Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Benue and Rivers on the threat of flooding.(NAN)
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Weak revenue hinders Nigeria’s budget implementation- Hanalai


By Adekunle Best

Mrs Kemi Adeosun: Finance Minister

Mrs Kemi Adeosun: Finance Minister

The Director-General, National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Prof. Ladi Hamalai, on Wednesday in Abuja said implementation of the country’s capital budget was constrained by weak revenue base.

According to the News Agency of Nigetia, NAN, Hamalai said this in her keynote address at a colloquium on “Journalists and Social Media Influences on Legislative Power of Appropriation/Budget Reform Process’’.

She said that late enactment of budgets, untimely and irregular release of funds and preponderance of unplanned projects were some factors affecting budget implementation.

The director-general stated that there was need for strengthened implementation capacity of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), stronger budget monitoring by the executive and effective oversight by the legislature.

She, however, said that the 2017 budget recorded an improvement with drastic cuts on wasteful spending.

According to her, more can be done to limit spending on controllable expenditure, especially in recession period.

Hamalai suggested that section 8 (1) of the 1999 Constitution should be altered, while sections 11 and 14 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act should be amended to promote a fixed and realistic budget calendar for the country.

She said that this would enable the president to present the budget to the National Assembly by September for consideration and passage before Nov. 30.

“Also this will enable the president to assent to the Appropriation Bill by December,’’ Hamalai added.

While commending the introduction of Efficiency Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance to review expenditure profile of MDAs, she said that the country’s budget was fraught with leakages, making it un-implementable.

According to her, in spite of efforts by the Federal Government to fight corruption, leakages were still prevalent in the system.

She said that though government budget was an important tool for economic development, it had generally not met the expectations of improved service delivery in Nigeria, unlike in many other countries.

“Abundant leakages in capital implementation translate into erosion of resources and inability to complete projects and programmes and even when completed, quality challenges deplete performance.

“Instead of the budget being an economic instrument that could address the social and infrastructural deficit in the country, the nation’s budget was unfortunately largely designed based on political considerations.

“Part of the problems faced by the budgeting process in the country is that the budget itself is a political instrument instead of an economic blueprint.

“Nigeria’s budgeting system is a political instrument, where resources are allocated not based on priorities but on the number of MDAs.

“It is a political system rather than an economic instrument for development.

“There are about 1,000 MDAs and each has both capital and recurrent provisions, thus the tendency has been to allocate to all, though focusing on priority areas.

“Capital projects cannot be completed and some abandoned for years,” she said.

Hamalai further said that the wide gap between budget estimates and revenue had made the budgets un-implementable, adding that revenues generated by some agencies were not remitted to the Federal Government, and at times not reported.

She also faulted the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which “is poorly prepared because of unreliable and incomprehensive data base’’.

On capital expenditure, she observed that it had been relatively low compared to recurrent expenditure.

“In fact, actual capital expenditure has been 8.1 per cent of total expenditure from 2015,’’ the director-general said.

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Nigerians in Diaspora do not pay for visa to travel to Nigeria except …


African News

Nigerians who wish to go home to Nigeria but applying to visit Nigeria with another country’s passport are charged a fee that is charged to ALL foreigners applying for a travel Visa to Nigeria.

They are also required to submit to biometric data enrollment as is the case for all foreign visa applicants – just as other countries ask Nigerians who wish to travel abroad to go through biometric visa enrollment. This is also based on the fact that a significant number of Nigerians in diaspora are dual citizens – they are citizens of the country where they reside while retaining their Nigerian citizenship also.

It is very important to note that any Nigerian who resides abroad who wishes to come home can obtain or renew a Nigerian passport at the same relative price as that paid by Nigerians in Nigeria. But if the Nigerian residing abroad chooses to use their foreign passport to travel to Nigeria, they must then obtain a visa just like every other holder of a foreign passport wishing to travel to Nigeria. This is not unique to Nigeria. This is the same rule that applies with every country that allows its citizens to have dual citizenship. This response is aimed at providing a proper background into the recently introduced Nigerian biometric visa issuance in order to clear some misconceptions such as that which alleges that it is an exploitative policy targeted at Nigerians in diaspora wishing to “come home” for a visit. It is imperative to highlight the need for the introduction of biometric processes in the visa issuance process as a means of addressing contemporary migration issues and challenges. Foremost in this regard, is the issue of security within the context of international terrorism as well as internal insurgency problems. By putting in place a biometric visa regime, Governments of issuing countries are able to collect vital biometric information on persons who may pose serious security threats if allowed into their countries, and also take adequate preemptive measures to forestall this. The Nigeria biometric visa issuance is one of the bold steps taken by the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service in order to put in place a world class modern migration management systems. In other part of the world where the biometric visa system has been put in place, the whole process had been solely financed by the host Governments of such countries. Since 2004, the US-VISIT programme of the Department of Homeland security (the program that fingerprints and photographs of most visitors to the US) has spent USD 300 million a year since 2004 which amounts to $4.5 billion as at 2017. Another similar case of a Government singularly bank rolling the migration to biometric visa issuance system is that of Australia. For fiscal year 2017, Australia Department of Immigration and Border protection was allocated $46million over four years to enhance biometric capability at borders. This does not include the cost of building and deploying the systems. The United Kingdom Government has also invested hundreds of millions of pounds to build and deploy its biometric visa issuance system. The Japan’s government is pursuing facial biometric technology for its border security. in its latest budget, the country’s justice ministry is looking to get about $2.69 million in funding for such a system to be implemented at its national airport In the case of Nigeria, the whole biometric visa issuance system, including consumables, is financed through 100% private vendor-financed platform. The service provider is responsible for the sourcing of the funds for the building of the system architecture, installation and administration of the biometric visa system. The project has so far consumed hundreds of millions of USD. In order to assist the service provider to recoup its investments, the Government approved a service charge of 60 British Pounds, which amounts to about 90 USD. It is worthy to note here that 40% of this 60 British Pounds is ploughed back to Government under the PPP arrangement. So far, the company approved by the Federal Government to handle the biometric visa project, Online Integrated Solutions Limited (OIS) has been able to establish the following: The building of a world class data center at the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters, Abuja. All biometric data from the enrollment centers are processed and stored at this Data Center located at the Nigerian Immigration Service Headquarters in Abuja. This center also houses the Central Matching System and the Africa Regional Server. To meet Nigeria’s Homeland Security requirements, the biometric visa platform provides access to all relevant Nigerian security agencies for the proper screening and adjudication of potential travelers to Nigeria. ii) Deployment of Regional Servers in Europe, Asia, the middle belt and the Americas. iii) Training of the Immigration Officers in the operations of the biometric visa system. iv) Deployment of biometric visa issuance systems in the United Kingdom, USA, China, UAE, India and South Africa during the pilot phase; this would be gradually extended to cover other countries. v) Deployment of biometric visa verification systems at Nigeria’s International Airports. The biometric data bank would assist the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies to address the strategies to National security posed by terrorism and cross border crimes through intelligence sharing. It is to the credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria that in this era of dwindling financial resources, it is utilizing the Public Private Partnership platform to undertake essential services that would not only enhance National security but also add value to the economy in the area of ease of doing business and attracting Direct Foreign Investment (DFI). There is need to make a clarification on visa fees charged under the recently introduced visa regime. If we take the example of United State of America (USA), the visa fees of 180 USA is the statutory visa fee which is charged on reciprocal basis. That is to say, the United State Government also charges Nigerians wishing to obtain a US visa, USD 180 for the facility. The second clarification is to correct the impression that this USD 180 charged for the visa is being paid to the service provider. On the contrary, the $180 goes directly to the federal Government. Another misconception which needs to be cleared is that OIS charges each applicant for Nigeria visa in the USA $20 for visa and $12 for passport. For the avoidance of doubt, OIS charges only $90 approved for it by Government and has nothing whatsoever to do with Nigerian passport applications and cannot therefore be accused of charging $12 “for passport”. On the issues of biometric visa being issued only at six centers in the United States, it should be noted that Government is taking a phased approach towards roll out of the program across the world. Plans are underway to expand and extend OIS services to other cities in the USA and across the world. Whilst the government is doing its best to facilitate more locations, it is also important we take learning from other countries such as United Kingdom, China, India, United Arab Emirates that have outsourced there Visa application process in our country to limited locations that has become a strategic cost saving measures as well as traffic flow management to the embassies of the countries while providing strategic support to the need of the travelers. 

British secret files on Nigeria’s first bloody coup, path to Biafra


​By Adekunle Best

an engineer and historian has perused hitherto hidden dispatches from British diplomats and intelligence officers on Nigeria’s first coup—a very bloody one—executed by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna on 15 January 1966. The coup in which political leaders and military officers of northern Nigeria extraction were majorly killed triggered a counter-coup and eventually declaration of Biafra and a civil war.
TheNEWS today shares the rare insight into the bloody event of 15 January 1966 and we believe it may serve as a good lesson as the drums of war are being sounded in some parts of our country

Kaduna

It was a soundless morning, dark, pulsating, starless. The harmattan spiked the 2am air with prickly cold and fog. With his finger to the trigger, the 28-year-old Major Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu addressed the soldiers from Charlie Company of the 3rd Infantry Battalion and some Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) personnel. They were armed with fury, submachine guns, knives, grenades, torchlights, rocket launchers. Nzeogwu reeled about how the politicians had dragged the country to the cliff of fall and kicked it down into a worst-case scenario. He reeled about nepotism, large scale looting of public wealth, persistent poverty of the people, the yearnings of millions hollowed out by afflictions, the epidemic of insecurities, the Tiv riots, the Western Region’s daily bloodletting, the country’s tireless race to the bottom instead of high up to the plane of regard.

He pointed to Sardauna’s residence right behind him as the ultimate symbol of the filth Nigeria had become. His fellow soldiers were stunned. They did not know they had been turned into reluctant rebels. They thought this was supposed to be another night’s training exercise the brigade high command had approved for them which they started two weeks previously. Nzeogwu then asked the soldiers to concentrate on how to be necessary and to feel proud that they were the ones called upon to rescue the nation, to show the way, to be the new founding fathers of a better Nigeria. In other words, like Homer’s Illiad, he was asking them not to see the epic bloodbath that was about to start as an outbreak of evil, but their generous contribution to the redemption and welfare of the nation.

They Charged Forward

Four hours earlier around 10 o’clock, the last lights in the Sardauna’s household had gone out. They were expected to wake by 4am to eat suhur, the predawn meal to begin the fast. Ramadan started on 23rd December 1965. A week earlier, the Prime Minister Mallam Tafawa Balewa Abubakar met the Queen and the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. He had invited all the Commonwealth Prime Ministers for a special meeting in Lagos from 11- 12 January to resolve Rhodesian crises. It was the first of its kind outside London. On 19 December, he went to the small village of Arondizuogu in Orlu for the commissioning of his trade minister, Dr Ozumba Mbadiwe’s Palace of the People. Built by Italian contractors, it was a three-storey affair resplendent with blue terrazzo walls, swimming pool and a fountain, grand conference halls and event rooms, red carpet and gilt chairs. All these in a village where most houses were still born of mud and thatched roofs.

Since the first tarred roads were constructed in 1890s in Lagos, and the first dual carriage way in Nigeria – Queen Elizabeth Road – appeared in 1956 in Ibadan, no road in Arondizuogu or in Orlu had ever been graced with bitumen before. Yet Mbadiwe situated the grand palace there as a source of pride for his people. At the commissioning ceremony, the Eastern Premier, Dr Okpara never saw the project as a white elephant planted by megalomania and watered by corruption, rather he hailed the project as “a great achievement for one of the priests of pragmatic socialism to have been so clever to accommodate this building within the context of pragmatic African socialism.” The press placed the value of the house at least half a million pounds. Mbadiwe said it was “at most £40,000.” After the commissioning, Abubakar then proceeded to his farm in Bauchi for his annual leave. On Tuesday 4th of January, he joined the retinue of well-wishers in Kaduna airport to bid farewell to his in-law and godfather, the Sardauna, who was going to Saudi Arabia to perform Umra, a lesser hajj, in the company of 184 other state-sponsored pilgrims. The cost of the one-week pilgrimage to the government was around £17,000.

That morning, The New Nigerian newspaper wrote an unprecedentedly scathing editorial laying the blame for the region’s financial woes and lack of development on Sardauna inefficiencies and ineptitude and asked him to “put his house in order.” When Nzeogwu read the editorial, he went straight to the paper’s newsroom and demanded to see the writer. He was in his uniform and his eyes were red. No one knew him nor had seen his face before. The staff did not know what to make of his demand. The expatriate managing editor Charles Sharp then stepped forward. Nzeogwu shook his hands and said the content and tone of the editorial reflected their thinking in the army and they had resolved to put that house in order. The newsroom did not understand what he meant until the morning of the January 15. The paper was the first to publish for the world the picture of Sardauna’s house still smouldering in the flames of Nzeogwu.

Meanwhile, the premier of the Western Region, Samuel Ladoke Akintola received a tip from his NNDP ministers in the federal cabinet that after the Commonwealth special meeting, the Prime Minister planned to impose a state of emergency on the Western Region, drop him as an ally and appoint a federal caretaker just as he did in 1962. Market women staging protests against skyrocketing costs of foodstuffs, burnout cars, shot and charred corpses, politicians and civil servants’ houses set on fire, intellectuals’ houses emptied onto the street were weekly occurrences in the West. Ever since the rift between Awolowo the Action Group leader and Akintola his deputy, the Western Region that was an Africans-can-do-it model of governance and jaw-dropping development was turned into a landscape of sorrow, blood and tears. With fund from the public treasury and under the command of Fani-Kayode the deputy premier, Akintola’s well-armed hooligans held the upper hand while AG’s bully-boys sponsored by Dr Michael Okpara and the NCNC leadership were on the defensive. After the elections of 11 October 1965, Akintola used the state broadcasting services to announce false counts while the Okpara-sent Eastern Nigeria Broadcasting Service team secretly camped in Awolowo’s house declared the correct results ward by ward. On the night of 15th October, when Akintola was to announce himself the winner, Wole Soyinka, with a generous assistance from his pistol, forced the Western Broadcasting Service to air his own subservice tape asking Akintola to resign and go. Akintola and his supporters went berserk. The police declared Soyinka wanted and he fled to Okpara in the East for temporary refuge until his arrest on 27th October 1965.

On Thursday, 13th January when Sardauna arrived from Mecca, Akintola flew to Kaduna to meet him to dissuade Abubakar from imposing a state of emergency on the West or replace him with an Administrator. Akintola had recently buried his daughter and staunchest ally Mrs Modele Odunjo who on 26th October died allegedly of overdose of sleeping pills. She was married to Soji Odunjo, who was a staunch enemy of her father and he was also the son of the Alawiye’s Chief J.F. Odunjo whom Akintola also sacked as the Chairman of Western Region Development Corporation for being pro-Awolowo. Akintola had also sent his son, Tokunbo (who died in 1973) faraway to Eton College in England. He had imported the first ever bulletproof car into Nigeria: an £8000 Mercedes Benz. As the 13th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, he felt unchained and fired up for a total fight. With more men and firepower, he told the Sardauna, he would crush all disturbances from AG’s supporters and their Eastern sponsors. The Sardauna promised to discuss his request with the Prime Minister. Major Timothy Onwuatuegwu, a 27-year-old instructor at the NMTC who was detailed to track Sardauna’s daily movements reported this surprise meeting with Akintola to the Revolution’s high command. From his No 13, Kanta Road residence, Nzeogwu promptly dashed to the Kaduna airport where Sardauna had already gone to see off Akintola. Nzeogwu went to the VIP lounge saluted the Sardauna and wished Akintola safe journey back home convinced that in 48 hours at most, both VIPs would be counted among the dead.

Ahmadu Bello: killed by Nzeogwu during Ramadan
Ahmadu Bello: killed by Nzeogwu during Ramadan

That evening, Nzeogwu went back to the airport to pick up his best friend Major Olusegun Obasanjo the Officer Commanding the Field Engineers who had just finished his course in India and flew in via London. Obasanjo’s deputy Captain Ben Gbuile was supposed to pick him up at the airport but he was busy mobilising for the Revolution. And so he telephoned Nzeogwu who promptly came to the airport. Though they slept together in the same room, Nzeogwu never told him of the death awaiting certain personalities.

The following day, 14th January, Bernard Floud a British MP and director of Granada TV (now ITV) which partly owned the Northern Region Television Station was staying at the plush Hamdala Hotel in Kaduna. He had met with the Sardauna briefly to discuss funding and expansion of the television reach. They were supposed to meet the following day Saturday 15th January to continue the business talk. But there would be no tomorrow.

Emmanuel Ifeajuna: the sports hero turned revolutionary. This University of Ibadan Zoology graduate was the brain behind the revolution. He recruited Nzeogwu (who said he could gun down corrupt politicians) into the revolution

For Nzeogwu and his soldiers had cut through the Premier’s Lodge fence by the side and at the entrance rounded up three policemen (Police Constables Yohanna Garkawa, Akpan Anduka, Hagai Lai) and a soldier (Lance Corporal Musa Nimzo) rubbing their hands together between their knees to resist the harsh harmattan. Nzeogwu asked them to face the wall and coldly pulled the trigger on them. He was trying to man up his fellow soldiers who were still acting like reluctant rebels and give them a taste of where the night was heading. He then posted two new sentries by the entrance while he and other soldiers conducted a room-to-room search in the main house for the Sardauna. Routine police patrol that sighted the mutineers converging menacingly in front of the Premier’s Lodge radioed the British Police officer on duty in the Kaduna Police Operations room. He in turn phoned Mallam Ahmed T. Ben-Musa Sardauna’s Senior Assistant Secretary (Security). He immediately sprang up and went to the Lodge. He was shot on arrival by the sentries who were motivated by Nzeogwu’s earlier example. They had accepted the transformation from reluctant rebels to motivated mutineers.

The general alarm had woken Sardauna. He was not in the main house but upstairs in the rear annex with his senior wife Habsatu, the daughter of Mallam Abbas, the Waziri of Sokoto, his second wife Goggon Kano, the third, Jabbo Birnin Kebbi and Sallama, a house retainer. They listened and rattled prayer beads in fear for an hour as Nzeogwu and his motivated mutineers booted down doors, pumped bullets into guards mounting resistance and shouted to others, “Ina Sardauna? Take us to the Sardauna.” It was dark, Sardauna and his wives went downstairs and into the courtyard connecting the annex and the main house. They were trying to escape. On finding them, Nzeogwu shot the Sardauna and his senior wife who was trying to protect him. He then blew a whistle which was the agreed signal for all soldiers to converge at the rallying point at the front gate for the final onslaught on their symbol of national decay. The rocket-launching party then began shelling the house. Boom! Boom! The ground shuddered like the cannon fire which the great Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky laced into his 1812 overture. Nzeogwu was a lover of jazz and classical music.

Their beauty heightened his sensitivity to the decay which Nigeria was. He even mentored Captain Theophilus Danjuma to become a classical connoisseur. With the huge flame before him overpowering the harmattan and the night with abundance of light and heat, Nzeogwu was satisfied his own unit’s assignment was a success. He felt like a single note from an oboe, hanging high up there unwavering, avid for glory, above pulses from bassoons and basset horns till a drag from a clarinet took over and sweetened the note into a phrase of such delight, such unfulfillable longing making the coup’s failure unlikely with every passing bar. Nzeogwu then left for the brigade headquarters to await news from other units confident as ever like that high oboe note from Mozart’s Serenade for the Winds in B Flat that the news would be good news.

The mutineers had divided themselves into three groups. Nzeogwu headed the group that looked after the Sardauna, Captain Gbuile was to seize the 1st Brigade Headquarters, the TV and radio stations and Major Timothy Onwuatuegwu headed the group to delete the existence of Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun and his Deputy, Col Raphael Shodeinde. Ademulegun was startled when Onwuatuegwu entered his bedroom just after 2am. He was reported to have asked, how did you get in here? As the commander of the 1st Brigade of the Nigerian Army, he was the most protected personality in the whole of the Northern Region. While police personnel guarded the Premier and the Governor, Sir Kashim Ibrahim, his own guards were drawn from the 3rd infantry battalion. They guarded not only inside and outside his compound but around his main house too. But the guards had been compromised and they led Onwuatuegwu straight into the Brigadier’s bedroom. Had Ademulegun survived the assassination, he would have ordered all the guards, the guard commander and their officer commanding to face firing squad because as guards, they were supposed to die first before anything happened to him.

Nzeogwu: Led soldiers to kill Ahmadu Bello in Kaduna
British secret files on Nigeria’s first bloody coup, path to Biafra

But he was not scheduled to survive. Onwuatuegwu asked the Brigadier, “Get dressed and come with us sir. Those are my instructions; to bring you to the headquarters.” It sounded like nonsense to him. As the head of that headquarters since 17 February 1964, he was the only person that could give such an order. His wife Latifah, 8 months pregnant, planted herself fearlessly between her husband and the pointed guns knowing full well that if she remained glued to the comfort of their bed those weapons would not be diverted away from her husband. The Sardauna’s senior wife did exactly that at that moment somewhere else. (Any other Nigerian woman would have done the same. Contrary to what the New Feminists led themselves to believe, Nigerian women were never born to be weak. In the top bedside drawer was a service pistol. As a Brigadier, Ademulegun knew a pistol was no match for 6 soldiers armed with SMGs. But he would rather fight and die gallantly than degrade the honour of his office by surrendering to subordinates.

As he made a dash for a quick draw, Onwuatuegwu opened fire on the Brigadier, his wife and the unborn. Cruelty resulted when anything stood in the way of the indefinite expansion of the will to power. Without Ademulegun dead, Nzeogwu could not preside over the biggest Brigade of the Nigerian Army. Ademulegun’s children Solape and Kole were in the next room. They heard all the clash and they were the first to see their lifeless parents surrounded by a pond of blood. Onwuatuegwu and his mutineers then strolled out across the street unchallenged by the guards to the home of Colonel Shodeinde, Deputy Commandant of Nigerian Defence Academy whom Ademulegun usually handed over the Brigade too when he was not around. They killed him too in cold blood with an angry grenade. They then left for the Brigade Headquarters satisfied their mission was a success. That was what Nzeogwu meant when he asked his fellow mutineers not to see the epic bloodbath that was about to start as an outbreak of evil but their unique and generous contribution to the development and welfare of the nation. Anything that benefitted their Revolution cannot be injurious to morals. That was their driving belief. And it freed them to be terrible.

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