Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Why the Orkar Coup Failed, and How Col UK Bello was Killed

Max Siollun:

Since today is the 24th anniversary of the abortive coup by Major Gideon Orkar, Major Saliba Mukoro and others, I am reposting this post from a few years ago which chronicled the coup in detail…

Originally posted on Max Siollun's Website:

This is an interesting series of interviews. The first one is with Major Abubakar Adamu Mohammed, former Chief Security Officer to former President, General Ibrahim Babangida. The second one is a rebuttal interview with Lt-Col Tony Nyiam, one of the surviving executors of the Orkar coup. Intrigues…read on…

From the Sun.

The coup plotters at their trial in 1990: L to R - Capt Harley Empere, Major Gideon Orkar, Capt Perebo Dakolo, Lt Cyril Ozoalor, Lt Nicholas Odeh

The coup plotters at their trial in 1990: L to R - Capt Harley Empere, Major Gideon Orkar, Capt Perebo Dakolo, Lt Cyril Ozoalor, Lt Nicholas Odeh

Why Orkar coup failed
From Dennis Mernyi, Abuja
Monday, May 11, 2009

•Major Mohammed
Photo: Sun News Publishing

Major Abubakar Adamu Mohammed, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to erstwhile military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has given an insight into why the bloody Orkar coup of April 1990 failed.

Major Mohammed in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun in Abuja on the coup, which almost terminated the Babangida regime cited confusion among the coup leaders, Major Gideon Orkar and Lt Col. Tony Nyiam over the killing of the Aide-de-camp (ADC) of the president…

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The Countries That Block Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Turkey, Vietnam:

February 13 1976: The Death of Murtala Muhammed

Max Siollun:

Today is the 38th anniversary of the death of General Murtala Muhammed.

Originally posted on Max Siollun's Website:

//The bullet riddled Mercedez Benz car in which Gen Murtala Mohammed was murdered on Friday February 13, 1976.

The photo above shows the bullet riddled Mercedez Benz car in which General Murtala Mohammed was murdered on Friday February 13, 1976.

Just a brief reminder about today’s iconic date in Nigerian history. 35 years ago, on February 13, 1976, Nigeria’s then head of state General Murtala Muhammed was assassinated on his way to work during an abortive coup led by Lt-Colonel B.S. Dimka.

Full details of Murtala’s life and the events that led to his death are in my book Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture.

Murtala’s car was ambushed by a group of soldiers in Lagos and he was shot to death.  Below is a photo of the bullet riddled car in which he was killed. Note the bullet holes in the windscreen.

Here is a video of Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar’Adua confirming the death sentences on the men involved in the coup in…

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Northern Nigeria Before Independence

Latest Review of Soldiers of Fortune

See the link below for the latest review of my book Soldiers of Fortune:

“Forget marketing and whether publishers want to sell their book, anyone who cares about Nigeria and the truth behind why it is where it is today, must have this book!”


“The book is the dispassionate story of the Buhari and Babangida era. It is told without favouring any of the actors whilst remaining fair to all of them. “




Max Siollun Interview Regarding New Book “Soldiers of Fortune”


My new book “Soldiers of Fortune: Nigerian Politics From Buhari to Babangida (1983-1993)” was released last week. The book is a sequel to my other book “Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966-1976)”. It continues where Oil, Politics and Violence stopped, and chronicles the Buhari and Babangida years in Nigeria.


I gave an interview last week to Anthea Gordon of the Africa is a Country website. In the interview, I answered questions and talked emotively about my motivations for writing the book, the challenges I faced, and what the book seeks to achieve. You can read the full interview at:



I want to present Nigerian history as something more than a mechanical rendering of dates and facts.”


“My books have the feel of a fly on the wall reconstruction, or an action packed thriller. I do not just want the reader to know what happened. I also want to take the reader on a journey through the dizzying twists and turns, and cast of characters in Nigeria’s history: Ibrahim Babangida, Mamman Jiya Vatsa, Muhammedu Buhari, MKO Abiola, Dele Giwa, Gideon Orkar, Gani Fawehinmi, Ebitu Ukiwe, Sani Abacha etcetera. Many people also do not know the exploits of some of these familiar names before they entered the national limelight. There are also other people who are not as famous as them, but who the public do not realize made pivotal contributions to Nigeria’s history.


I want readers to feel as if they personally met these people, were physically present when crucial decisions and conversations took place, and experienced all of it.”


“Nigeria’s history reminds one of a Greek or Roman tragedy in multiple acts, with a revolving cast of characters. There is a lot of Caesar like back-stabbing.”


“The origins of, and answers to, many of Nigeria’s problems are buried in the graveyard of its past. Only by digging up those buried secrets can the country learn lessons from them, heal, and move on.”


“My intention is for Soldiers of Fortune to become a “one stop shop” compendium and ultimate reference point for Nigeria between 1984 and 1993. That is why I dotted the book with several tables and a massive “library” in the Appendices. For example, the Appendices contain an itemization of every single cabinet minister, military governor, and AFRC member that served in the Babangida government. I want Soldiers of Fortune to be the “go to” place for anyone that wants to check any prominent controversy, fact, event, person or date in Nigeria between 1984 and 1993.”


“Nigeria’s young generation did not create most of Nigeria’s problems, but they inherited them, and have to deal with them. “


“It is rare for Nigeria to go more than a few years without a “near death experience”. Most countries go through cliff-hanging and tense crises every decade or so. In contrast, Nigeria has cataclysmic hold your breath and close your eyes dramas every few years.”


“I am not sure that young Nigerians appreciate just how drama filled their history is. Hollywood script writers could not have written a more conspiratorial thriller with as many plot twists, friends turning on each other, corruption, gun battles in city centers, dazzling women, and rags to riches billionaires.”



Win a Copy of My New Book “Soldiers of Fortune”

You can buy the book from:

My new book “Soldiers of Fortune: Nigerian Politics from Buhari to Babangida (1983-1993)” goes on sale today (July 15, 2013). The book is the sequel to “Oil, Politics and Violence” and covers Nigeria’s second period of military rule under Major-General Muhammadu Buhari and General Ibrahim Babangida.

Some of the key topics covered by Soldiers of Fortune are:

*The overthrow of President Shagari.

*The kidnap of Umaru Dikko.

*The 1990 Orkar coup.

*The annulment of the June 12, 1993 election won by Moshood Abiola.

…and lots more.

Here is what reviewers who have read the book have said about it:

“The truth is that this book needs to be read by every student of history, every politician, every political scientist, every person that has an interest in our country and every individual that wishes to fully understandNigeria and the source and foundation of her many challenges.” - Femi Fani-Kayode, former Nigerian Aviation Minister

“Max Siollun’s Soldiers of Fortune reads like a Robert Ludlum thriller. He has brought an important period of Nigeria’s history to life and this book is going to generate a lot of controversy and interest.” Obi Asika, CEO of Storm360.

“…he gets closer to understanding the inside story of Nigeria’s military rule and […]cast of personalities than other literature on the subject.” Kaye Whiteman, former editor, West Africa magazine

“A gripping historical page-turner that reads like a novel. Soldiers of Fortune is a remarkable book that must be read by all Nigerians.” Cheta Nwanze, former online editor, NEXT

“Max Siollun stands unchallenged, in contemporary times, as the Chronicler-in-Chief of the Nigerian military. Soldiers of Fortune is a compelling, pause-often-and-wonder account of yet another unfortunate epoch; narrated with clarity and an unmistakable commitment to truthfulness – qualities which should never be taken for granted in Nigeria.” Tolu Ogunlesi, Writer


You can buy the book from:

How to Bring Down Boko Haram

Good video documentary by Al-Jazeera on the Nigerian government’s war against Boko Haram. It interviews Wole Soyinka, Yvonne Ndege and features a classic moment when presidential spokesman Doyin Okupe tells a fellow guest to shut up. Never a dull moment when Nigerians are around.

Zambia v Nigeria (African Nations Cup) Highlights

How Israel Killed Hamas Military Leader Ahmed Jabari

Ahmed Jabari was the commander of Hamas’ military wing – the  Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. He was born in Gaza city in 1960, and was a former member of Fatah. He left Fatah and joined Hamas, later becoming its military leader. He is a father of 14, and was responsible for the kidnap of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the negotiations regarding Shalit, and his eventual release.



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