February 13 1976: The Death of Murtala Muhammed


 
//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 which Murtala was killed:

 

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43 responses

  1. Happy anniversary!!! Don’t forget Ibrahim Kagara aka Ibrahim Taiwo. Ever wondered why they rushed to change their names from Rufai to Ramat and Kagara to Taiwo. Mmmm…..

    1. Good spot Ekuson (especially the bit about Taiwo being known as Kagara when he was a schoolboy).

  2. Max, it is very good that we do not forget. One of the achievements of your excellent book is the ‘moderation’ of the image of Nigerian militaryheroes. A full profile of Murtala Muhammed results in the picture of a man different from the hero stories passed down verbally. One of the weak points of your otherwise brilliant book is the lack of pictures; except for the four on the front cover, thatis. Perhaps that will be corrected in a revised edition?

    1. Like I have said before, there are not too many human beings that are either one dimensional heroes, or one dimensional villains. Human beings tend to be a complex tapestry of good and bad characteristics.

      Photos will be in the next book…they cost a lot, but I will strive to get them….

      1. Was Clement Yilda ever caught for his role in the demise of MM? Just curious. Our younger readers who have not been around too long may not understand this question. The name of the other fellow wanted along with Yilda escapes my memory.

        1. Clement Yildar and Dauda Usman were never captured….till today.

          1. Thanks a bunch for the information. I am pretty sure that both men returned to the country under assumed names, held other jobs and raised families. This wouldn’t surprise me one bit.You I have closely examined the trajectories of the bullet holes and don’t know what to make of them. I do know for sure that their was a military cap featured in the back seat of the original pictures. I also do know that MM died with his ADC( who usually sits on the passenger side of the front seat) one Lt. Akinshehinwa(spelling??). What is your read on the trajectories of the bullet holes? Any grounds for a conspiracy here? Just curious.

            1. Ekuson, 2 other people (apart from MM) died in that car. Only one survived. I don’t have any particular views on bullet hole trajectories. Sadly, I’m not a ballistics expert. The facts are well known though: gunmen walked up to the car and pumped many bullets into it. The gunmen are also well known.

              1. I really want to move far away from this MM story and focus my attention on the project for the re-colonization of Africa which goes by the acronym “Africom” and how so little African intellectuals have paid attention to this wholesome and subtle takeover of the entire continent.As I understand it Nigeria is to the epicenter for this invasion and resource grab by the West. It so irks me that many educated Africans have said diddly squat about this recolonization. Can we truly start this conversation now and find out who is for(sabos) and against this unmitigated meddling.

              2. Gen. MRM was a great hero ever un4geatable.

                1. Ekuson Debango | Reply

                  Gen. MRM was a great hero ever un4geatable.

                  >>>YOU MAY CHANGE YOUR MIND AFTER YOU HAVE VIEWED A VIDEO FOOTAGE OF HIM EXECUTING UNARMED WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN ASABA. SUCH VIDEO INDEED EXISTS. THIS IS WAR CRIME BY ANY OTHER NAME.IF THIS IS YOUR IDEA OF GREATNESS, THEN YOUR WORLD FRIGHTENS ME A GREAT DEAL.

  3. he had a vision that some did not share.

    1. Can you tell us one of those vision?

    2. What the hell is this vision that you are unable to tell the world. You know damn well there ain’t none to share with us and I suggest you shut you gob.

      1. MM knew there was something wrong with the Nigerian state but didn’t fully know how to effect the right and needed change. But he tried at least.

        1. There is nothing wrong with Nigeria State than MM and his colleagues, They were the architect of Nigeria problem. You indicated that ” MM didn’t fully knew how to effect the right and needed change” Because MM was naturally a dumb-ass greedy soldier that love power while he had no common sence and human intelligent.
          Finally you said that “he tried atleast” What can of tried you meant ? You lost me here. Do you mean trying to steal goverment fund to build more skyskripper in Kano City? or his irresponsible habit of opposing his predecessors efforts without proposing noting? What good had MM done to that country from 1966-1976 as a top millitary officer, as a minister, as a member of SMC, and finally as a Head of state? Rather he created many useless avenues for waisting the nations economy till date.

        2. MM knew there was something wrong with the Nigerian state but didn’t fully know how to effect the right and needed change. But he tried at least.

          >>>SINA: THIS IS THE EXACTLY THE KIND OF SENTIMENT THAT GETS ME ALL WOUND UP. I ASKED A SPECIFIC QUESTION WHICH REQUIRED A SPECIFIC ANSWER. I AM NOT READY FOR A ” DIDN’T FULLY UNDERSTAND… HE TRIED AT LEAST..” KIND OF ANSWER. HIT ME WITH GOOD EXAMPLES WHY THIS POTENTATE OUGHT TO BE REVERED BY THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA, A NATION THAT CAN ONLY APTLY BE DESCRIBED AS THE BASTARD CHILD OF BRITISH IMPERIALISM. I SUPPOSE REWARDING MEDIOCRITY IS WHAT GOT US IN THIS STINKHOLE WE NOW CALL A COUNTRY.SOME OF YOU OBVIOUSLY WERE BORN WELL AFTER FEBRUARY 13, 1976, WELL AFTER THE FACT. MOST OF WHAT YOU ACCEPT IS PUERILE ANS STALE REGURGITATIONS HANDED DOWN BY YOUR MENTALLY INCAPACITATED ELDERS WHO CANNOT TELL RIGHT FROM WRONG. I ALSO INVITE THESE SENILE MUSH HEADS TO PROOF ME WRONG HERE. I AM STILL WAITING TO BE CONVINCED OTHERWISE. THIS JUST AIN’T A HARD ACADEMIC EXERCISE FOR ANY INTELLECTUAL TO HANDLE.

  4. M.M paid severely for the innocent souls he wasted in Igboland during the Nigerian civil war.

  5. The blood he spilled on the Niger and the Nigerian soldiers he sent to early grave caused him his life.

  6. IT A PITY WHAT A PERFECT MAN OF PROMISE

    1. IT A PITY WHAT A PERFECT MAN OF PROMISE
      Praise
      November 10, 2011
      >>> Dear, you hardly said a darn thing to buttress you point. I know why.It is because there’s isn’t diddly squat to say about his greatness- at least not that I am aware of. All I am asking is for somebody who has valid information about his greatness to convince me right here. Nobody has been able to do so and I don’t mind waiting until hell freezes over(this sure as hell ain’t happening any time soon either).

      My very best wishes to you all.

      Ekuson Debango

  7. my his gentle soul rest in perfect peace

    1. Dr. Ekuson Debango | Reply

      Only God can grant him that.Wish as much as you want I know you can’t be God.We shall see who is right and who is wrong on judgement day.
      I am sure that the Dimka’s wish their son the same.Do you think? Wishes are like dreams, they are both free.

  8. ayodele olaniyi lawrence | Reply

    This is good history

  9. Lest I forget. Today simply reminds me of the anniversary of Col. B.S. Dimka’s actions.Quite a day it was as he was on the news a lot.

    1. all nigerians we are sorry for missing general murtalar muhammad

      1. Only you knew why you missed Murtala Mohammed, not Nigerians, even some of his family members who wanted to live long on this earth must had condemned and denounced him by now so that they could be free from the plague and perppetual cause that was long awaiting for them from God due to Muritala’s bloody and barbaric life style when he was alive.

        1. murtala was head of state for leass than 8month before his assasination, in the course of his duty, he never used convoy nor siren, he refused to have any official residence in the military barracks as his predecessor and military head of states after him, he will drive from his house to his office everyday no convoy, he was assasinated on his way to office while in a traffick in lagos- can u just imagine that- a whole head of state, this is to mention but few

  10. Did the killer of gen murtala have been killed

  11. praise be to god.grant ramat with your greatest paradise.&punish dimka with a hottest deals.

  12. praise be to god.grant ramat with your greatest paradise.&punish dimka with a hottest deals.

  13. So where are d peaple that killed murtala now

  14. So where are d peaple that killed murtala now they are still alive in the world

    1. Two of them disappeared off the face off the Earth and have not been seen, heard from, or apprehended since 1976.

  15. Nigeria is a nation but it does not have a quality like others

  16. Political voilence should be erradicate

  17. Gracesoamazing | Reply

    please those who died along with Gen. Murtala should be reflected like the driver and others.

  18. Reblogged this on Max Siollun's Website and commented:

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

  19. Late Gen Murtala Muhammad was a compatriot who laboured for the benefit of every Nigerian….! May his legacy keep the hope of Nigerian citizens alive……! February 13th 1976. ”An unforgettable memory in the Nigerian history”

  20. Max, please the names of his driver and ADC? Thanks

  21. Stephen Akanbi | Reply

    Hello Max

    The late Rear-Admiral Augustus Aikhomu is an Ishan and not an Urhobo as stated in the “Ukiwe Affair” in chapter 7 of your book.

    1. Hello Stephen. Thanks for your comment. That was an error in the first edition of the book. I noticed it and corrected it in later editions (e.g. it does not appear in the e-book).

  22. I just want state some fact regarding murtala, honestly the igbos will never agree that murtala was a good man becoz of the alleged genocide which has never been proven- truth or not, in time of war killing is no crime and you will not be brought to justice for killing at a time of war simply becoz that is the justice, regardless MM is a hero of nigeria and africa as whole
    The fact is that murtala was a northerner who wanted to carve out the north out of nigeria after he staged the second coup but was advised against such measures it was then that they handed the leadership to yakubu gowon which came as a suprise to nigerians becoz yakubu gowon was not from the core north and was in fact not a Muslim, from there he ceased to be a northerner and converted to a Nigerian hence the phrase fellow nigerians which he was the first to use- if you are talking about achievement go and read about history and his bio you will understand only if u read without prejudice. He remains my hero

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