|1966 Nigerian coup d'etat|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Abubakar Balewa † |
Ahmadu Bello †
Samuel Akintola †
Festus Okotie-Eboh †
| Kaduna Nzeogwu |
|Casualties and losses|
The 1966 Nigerian coup d'état began on 15 January 1966, when mutinous Nigerian soldiers led by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna killed 22 peopleincluding the Prime Minister of Nigeria, many senior politicians, many senior Army officers (including their wives), and sentinels on protective duty. The coup plotters attacked the cities of Kaduna, Ibadan, and Lagos while also blockading the Niger and Benue River within a two-day span of time before the coup plotters were subdued. The General Officer Commanding, of the Nigerian Army, Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was compelled to take control of the government of a country in upheaval, inadvertently putting Nigeria's nascent democracy on hold. His ascendancy to power was deemed a conspiracy by the coup plotters, who were mainly Igbo officers, to pave the way for General Aguiyi-Ironsi to be the President of Nigeria. Consequently, the retaliatory events by Northern members of the Nigerian Army that led to deaths of many innocent Igbo soldiers and civilians caused the Nigerian Civil War.
Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu was a Nigerian military officer who played a leading role in the January 15, 1966 military coup, an event that derailed Nigeria's nascent democracy and introduced military rule to Nigeria.
Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna was a Nigerian army major and high jumper who played a principal role in the January 15, 1966 military coup. He was the first Black African to win a gold medal at an international sports event when he won at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. His winning mark and personal best of 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) was a games record and a British Empire record at the time.
Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria, on the Kaduna River. It is a trade centre and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas, with its rail and road junction. The population of Kaduna was at 760,084 as of the 2006 Nigerian census.
In August 1965 a group of Army majors (Emmanuel Ifeajuna, Timothy Onwuatuegwu, Chris Anuforo, Don Okafor, Humphrey Chukwuka, and Adewale Ademoyega) began plotting a coup d'état against incumbent Prime Minister Abubakar Balewa. The coup was planned because according to the majors, the men at the helm of affairs were running Nigeria aground with their corrupt ways. Ministers under them were living flamboyant lifestyles and looting public funds at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Timothy Onwuatuegwu was a Biafran Army Major and former Nigerian Army Major. He was a leading military figure in the Nigerian Civil War and a participant in the 1966 Nigerian coup d'etat.
Chris Anuforo was a Nigerian Army Major and one of the principal plotters of the January 15, 1966 coup, an event that derailed Nigeria's corrupt democracy and introduced military rule to Nigeria.
Major Donatus Okafor was a Nigerian army officer, Commander of the Federal Guards Brigade, and one of the principal plotters of the January 15, 1966 coup, an event that derailed Nigeria's nascent democracy and introduced military rule to Nigeria.
The president of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe left the country in late 1965, first for Europe, then on a cruise to the Caribbean. Under the law, the Senate president, Nwafor Orizu, became acting president during his absence and had all the powers of the president.
Nnamdi Azikiwe, PC, usually referred to as "Zik", was a Nigerian statesman who was Governor General of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. Considered a driving force behind the nation's independence, he came to be known as the "father of Nigerian Nationalism".
The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.
Prince Abyssinia Akweke Nwafor Orizu. was a Nigerian of Igbo origin and Nigeria's second Senate President from 16 November 1960 to 15 January 1966, during the Nigerian First Republic. Orizu was also Acting President of Nigeria from late 1965 until the military coup of January 1966. He was a member of the Nnewi Royal family. His nephew Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III is the current Igwe (King) of Nnewi Kingdom. Nwafor Orizu College of Education in Nsugbe, Anambra State, is named after him.
Late in the morning of 15 January 1966, at a meeting with some local journalists in Kaduna seeking to find out what was going on, it was brought to Major Nzeogwu's attention that the only information about the events then was what was being broadcast by the BBC. Nzeogwu was surprised because he had expected a radio broadcast of the rebels from Lagos. He is said to have "gone wild" when he learnt that Emmanuel Ifeajuna in Lagos had not made any plans whatsoever to neutralize Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi who was the Commander of the Army. Therefore, Nzeogwu hurriedly drafted a speech which was broadcast on Radio Kaduna sometime around 12 a.m. and in which he declared martial law over the Northern Provinces of Nigeria.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.
Lagos is a city in the Nigerian state of the same name. The city, with its adjoining conurbation, is the most populous in Nigeria and on the African continent. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and one of the most populous urban areas. Lagos is a major financial centre in Africa; the megacity has the fourth-highest GDP in Africa and houses one of the largest and busiest seaports on the continent.
Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi MVO, MBE was the first Nigerian Military Head of States. He seized power in the ensuing chaos following the 15 January 1966 military coup, serving as the Nigerian Head of States from the 16th of January 1966 until his assassination on the 29th of July 1966 by a group of mutinous Northern Nigerian soldiers who were led by Major Theophilus Danjuma, Major Ibrahim Badamusi Babangida, and General Murtala Mohammed were army soldiers who revolted against his government in what was popularly called the July Counter Coup.
Acting President Nwafor Orizu made a nationwide broadcast, after he had briefed President Nnamdi Azikiwe on the phone about the decision of the cabinet, announcing the cabinet's "voluntary" decision to transfer power to the armed forces. Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi then made his own broadcast, accepting the "invitation". On 17 January, Major General Ironsi established the Supreme Military Council in Lagos and effectively suspended the constitution.
Comprehensive list of casualties from the coup are below
Lieutenant Colonel Bukar Suka Dimka was a Nigerian Army officer who played a leading role in the February 13, 1976 abortive military coup against the government of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed. Dimka also participated in the Nigerian Counter-Coup of 1966 which toppled the government of General Aguiyi Ironsi.
The First Republic was the republican government of Nigeria between 1963 and 1966 governed by the first republican constitution.
A Man of the People (1966) is a novel by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. Written as a satirical piece, A Man of the People follows a story told by Odili, a young and educated narrator, on his conflict with Chief Nanga, his former teacher who enters a career in politics in an unnamed fictional 20th century African country. Odili represents the changing younger generation; Nanga represents the traditional West African customs, inspired by that of Achebe's native Nigeria. The book ends with a military coup, similar to the real-life coups of Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Yakubu Gowon.
This article is about the particular significance of the year 1966 to Nigeria and its people. See also: Timeline of Nigerian history.
The 1966 Nigerian counter-coup, or the so-called "July Rematch", was the second of many military coups in Nigeria. It was masterminded by Lt. Colonel Murtala Muhammed and many northern military officers. The coup began as a mutiny at roughly midnight on July 28, 1966 and was a reaction to the killings of Northern politicians and Officers by mostly Igbo soldiers on January 15, 1966 The July mutiny/counter coup resulted in the murder of Nigeria's first military Head of State General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi and Lt Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi in Ibadan by disgruntled northern non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Upon the termination of Ironsi's government, Lt. Colonel Yakubu Gowon was appointed Head of State by the July 1966 coup conspirators.
The 1966 anti-Igbo pogrom was a series of massacres committed against Igbo people and other people of southern Nigerian origin living in northern Nigeria starting in May 1966 and reaching a peak after 29 September 1966. These events led to the secession of the eastern Nigerian region and the declaration of the Republic of Biafra, which ultimately led to the Nigeria-Biafra war. The 1966 massacres of southern Nigerians have been described as a holocaust by "Greene -1975. The Struggle for Secession 1966–70: A Personal Account of the Nigerian Civil War by N. U. Akpan. The Nigerian Civil War 1967–70. The Royal African society in January 1975 and others have variously been described as genocide.
Chief Victor Babaremilekun Adetokunboh Fani-Kayode, Q.C., SAN, CON (1921–1995) was a leading Nigerian politician, aristocrat, nationalist, statesman and lawyer. He was elected deputy premier of the Western Region of Nigeria in 1963 and he played a major role in Nigeria's legal history and politics from the late 1940s until 1995.
There have been a large number of successful and failed military coups in Nigeria since the country's independence from the British Empire in 1960. A military coup is the violent or non-violent overthrow of an existing political regime by the military. Between 1966 and 1999 the army held power in Nigeria without interruption apart from a short-lived return to democracy between 1979-1983. “Military coups and military rule became a seemingly permanent feature of Nigerian politics.Buhari was the one who lead the military coup of 1983. Buhari removed then head of state shehu shagari and imprisoned him for two years in a closed door without light.
William Walbe, was a colonel in the Nigerian Army who served as the military aide-de-camp (ADC) to General Yakubu Gowon, the third Nigerian Head of State.
The Operation UNICORD was an offensive launched by the Nigerian Army at the beginning of the Nigerian Civil War. It involved the capture of 6 major Biafran towns near their northern border.
Victor Banjo was a Colonel in the Nigerian Army. He ended up in the Biafran Army during the Nigerian Civil War. Victor Banjo was mistaken for a coup plotter against the Nigerian Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, by the Government of Aguyi Ironsi. He was alleged to have staged a coup plot against Biafran President Odumegwu Ojukwu and was executed as a result. It took a second military tribunal judge to sentence Banjo, because Ojukwu's first military judge stated that there were not enough evidence to convict him of coup charges. There has been no third-party verification of Banjo's involvement in either the Nigerian Coup nor the Biafran Coup. His alleged involvement in both coup plots has been based on unsubstantiated hearsay.
Brigadier Ibrahim Bako was a senior officer in the Nigerian Army who played a principal role in two Nigerian military coups: the July 1966 counter-coup and the December 1983 coup. The 1983 coup ousted the democratic government of Shehu Shagari while the July 1966 coup ousted the military government of General Ironsi. Bako was killed while attempting to arrest President Shehu Shagari during the December 1983 coup d'état.
Humphrey Chukwuka is a retired Nigerian Army Major, former Biafran Army Colonel, and one of the principal plotters of the January 15, 1966 coup, an event that derailed Nigeria's nascent democracy and introduced military rule to Nigeria.