Tag Archives: coup

#Nigeria’s First Coup: In Pictures, Images, and Text

Today is the 51st anniversary of Nigeria’s first military coup. Rather than rehash it I have included video clips and audio interviews below with the key participants that will tell you all you need to know about it.

Various Articles, Interviews, and Resources on the First Coup: https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/nigerias-january-15-1966-coup-50-years-later/

Video Series on the Nigerian civil war: https://www.facebook.com/Oil-Politics-and-Violence-Nigerias-Military-Coup-Culture-1966-1976-157457414278806/videos/

Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun (one of the victims of the first coup):


Brigadier Ademulegun and his wife:


My BBC article on the first coup: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35312370?ocid=socialflow_facebook#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Article on/photo of Major Wale Ademoyega by someone who knew him well: https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/the-nzeogwu-and-ademoyega-i-knew/

The Life of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (Nigerian Prime Minister who was killed during the coup):




Interview with Major Nzeogwu: https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/interview-with-major-nzeogwu/

26th Anniversary of the Orkar Coup in #Nigeria

Today is the 26th anniversary of the April 1990 coup attempt against General Babangida in Nigeria. Rather than rehash the events  (which I have written about before) in this post, I have instead included links where you can read all about the coup in an account by one of its plotters, and another view of the coup by General Babangida’s former Chief Security Officer.

That coup was a watershed in Nigeria, and accelerated the turn of events that led to the insurgency in the Niger Delta, and indirectly to the controversy that followed the June 12, 1993 election annulment, and the “power shift” to the south in 1999.

If you want to read more about the Orkar coup and these tumultuous years, you can of course do so in my book “Soldiers of Fortune: A History of Nigeria (1983-1993)“.

Have a great weekend everyone.



40th Anniversary of Murtala Muhammed’s Assasination





Today is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Nigeria’s former military head of state General Murtala Muhammed. He was assassinated on February 13, 1976, on his way to work during an abortive coup. 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. Above is a photo of the bullet riddled car in which he was killed. Note the bullet holes in the windscreen.


Brigadier Murtala Muhammed Overthrows General Gowon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw8iHwN-V0s


US State Department Report on Murtala Muhammed: https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/us-state-department-report-on-murtala-muhammed/


Murtala Muhammed’s speech on Nigerian democracy: https://www.facebook.com/157457414278806/videos/1851800698475/

The assassination of Murtala Muhammed:



Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Speaks to the press about Coup Plot: https://www.facebook.com/157457414278806/videos/1849886570623/

Lt-Colonel Dimka speaks to the press: https://www.facebook.com/157457414278806/videos/1851800698475/

Lt-General Obasanjo announces execution of coup convicts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjEA83pgstg&list=PLTCNM3JtW0UlisCGV98STnBtiGoS7YTaZ&index=3

Max Siollun (@maxsiollun) | Twitter

An Analysis of the Coup in Mali

An army mutiny in Mali seems to have morphed into a military coup. Apparently the Malian Defence Minister visited an army barracks and was unable to reassure troops that the government could suppress a Tuareg uprising. The troops fired into the air, headed for, and looted the Presidential lodge. The army then made a TV broadcast announcing the overthrow of President Amadou Toumani Toure, a curfew and suspension of the constitution.

Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Toure is apparently safe, and is being guarded by elite “red beret” troops who have remained loyal to him.

One the coup leaders Captain Amadou Sanago spoke to the BBC and claimed the Malian army intends to organise new elections for the election of a “new President, legally for all Malians”.  When he was asked why the army should overthrow Mali’s democractically elected government, he dropped the phone and ended the telephone interview.


A coup in Mali



Former Liberian Leader Samuel Doe – America’s “Step Child”


Great documentary series on how America supported former Liberian President Samuel Doe.  It chronicles the 1980 coup in which soldiers overthrew, killed and disembowelled the former President William Tolbert.  Master Sergeant Samuel Doe (as he then was) succeeded Tolbert as Liberia’s Head of State.

The barely literate Doe was clearly not fit to lead a country.  Yet he was propped up with American aid, led a tyranny in which he favoured his Krahn ethnic group and Liberia eventually descended into civil war.
One of the most astonishing quotes from this series is an American diplomat who said of Doe:
“He should have lost but he rigged the election. But at that time all west African elections were rigged. It was a very normal thing to do… for the government to ‘win’ the election even though they may have had less than a majority of the vote.  It did not trouble us at all.”


Interview with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Great revealing interview with Ojukwu where he discusses several areas of Nigeria’s history including the January 1966 and July 1966 coups, the Awolowo -v- Akitola conflict, the Yoruba/Igbo “carpet crossing” saga, the political rivalry between Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, Balewa, Awolowo, Akintola et al, the 1966 pogroms and the educational disparity between northern and southern Nigeria.

January 15: Anniversary of Nigeria’s First Military Coup

ITN report on Nigeria’s first coup on January 15,1966. Plus excerpts from Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi’s first press conference.


How did Tafawa Balewa Die?

A lot has been said recently about the death of Nigeria’s first Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. A few weeks ago, Matthew Mb u (a former Minister) alleged that Balewa was not killed by soldiers during Nigeria’s first military coup as has been alleged, but actually died of an asthma attack while under their custody. See:


Then Femi Fani-Kayode (son of “Fani Power:) posted a rebuttal of Mbu’s claims:


Things have now taken another turn with The Nation newspaper alleging that Balewa was killed up to five days after the coup. Read on:



The Nation has interviewed two more witnesses. An actual participant in the coup alleges that Balewa was shot:


……and another witness claims the PM was NOT shot:


Interview with Balewa’s son


Interview with retired security office Alhaji Mohammed Gambo Jimeta

Interview with police officer that found Balewa’s body

Statement of Balewa’s ADC to the Police

Matthew Mbu apologises for his comment about Balewa’s death

Official Federal Military Government Announcement of Balewa’s death:


Discovery of Balewa’s Body:


Claims that Balewa was killed FIVE DAYS after Jan 66 Coup


The revent Balewa news took a bizarre twist when a man claiming to be the former PM’s son waskidnapped, then freed by security forces – only to be disowned by Balewa’s family who claimed no knowledge of him!


Abacha’s First Speech

Do you guys remember that inconspicuous fellow called Sani Abacha?  Believe it or not, he was something of a key speech maker.  I’ve found this golden nugget video of him making his first broadcast as Head of State in 1993. This is the night he overthrew Ernest Shonekan and took the top job himself. Video footage of this speech was rare back then. So watch and enjoy the wordsmith Abacha. Have a great weekend everyone.

Babangida and Vatsa: A Widow’s Pain (Video Documentary)

An oldie but a goodie. As Babangida prepares for a political comeback and possible contesting of the 2011 presidential election, I have posted an updated link to the great documentary about the trial and death of Major-General Mamman Jiya Vatsa in 1986 for an alleged coup plot agaist General Babangida’s government in 1985.  Great videos with interviews with Vatsa’s widow, children and the other convicts, and photos of Babangida acting as Vatsa’s Best Man during his wedding. Watch and learn….

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6