Search this Site and the Web

Monday, February 15, 2016

Gen. Murtala Mohammed -|- Murtala Muhammed, true leader, lives on

Murtala Muhammed, true leader, lives on
Gen. Murtala Mohammed: 40 Years on

Murtala Muhammed, true leader, lives on
Adenekan Moruff -Lekki, Lagos.

Murtala Muhammed
YESTERDAY, February 13, 2016 marked 40 years since one of the greatest Nigerian Hero – General Murtala Ramat Muhammed was assassinated. Understandably, Murtala represents different things to different people. One thing stands out: His six months reign as Head of State of Nigeria remains indelible in our history.

Murtala was a true son of Africa, who had a clear direction of where he wanted Africa to be and how he wanted Africans to be seen and accepted by the rest of the world. His speech at an extra-ordinary meeting of Organisation for Africa Unity OAU made him one of the most respected leaders of the time. For him, freedom was what Africa needs, freedom from western colonisation and hegemony.

During his famous speech at the OAU he said: "Africa has come of age. It is no longer under the orbit of any extra continental power. It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful. The fortunes of Africa are in our hands to make or to mar. For too long have we been kicked around: for too long have we been treated like adolescents who cannot discern their interests and act accordingly…The time has come when we should make it clear that we can decide for ourselves; that we know our own interests and how to protect those interests; that we are capable of resolving African problems without presumptuous lessons in ideological dangers which, more often than not, have no relevance for us, nor for the problem at hand."

To some conspiracy theorists, some sections of that speech signed his death warrant. Many believed he was a walking corpse. He was a strong believer of Africans for Africa.
Brigadier (later General) Murtala Muhammed became the head of state on July 30, 1975 in a bloodless coup d'état. It is to his credit the phrases, "Fellow Nigerians" and "with immediate effect" found their way to the Nigeria lexicon.

His policies won him broad popular support, and his decisiveness of critical national issues elevated him to the status of a folk hero. One of his first steps was the cancellation of the controversial 1973 census, which was believed to be "written" in favor of the northern Nigeria. He reverted to the usage of the 1963 census as the official figure with which Nigeria is known and official figure to be used in Government circuit.

He took several steps with "immediate effect," restored public confidence in the federal government including dismissal of over 10,000 public officials and employees with or without benefits, on account of age, health, incompetence, or malpractice. This purge was said to have cut across all strata of the civil service.

Murtala was a man who didn't believe in formalities. Throughout his days as the Head of State, he maintained a low profile policy, little surprise he lived in the same house he had occupied as Director of Army Signal Corps and drove to work at the Dodan Barracks every morning from his house with no siren, convoy nor outriders. There was a report that few days after his assumption of office, he shunned the sirens and convoy and rode alone with his driver, from Lagos to Kano in his personal car.

He was not just interested in amassing the wealth of our nation to himself. In an interview with The Punch of May 4, 1982, the late Chief MKO Abiola, a very close friend of Murtala, said that Murtala had only N7.22 in his bank account when he died." He wasn't like the parasitic leaders that came after him or we now have we have today.

Murtala Muhammad initiated a comprehensive review of the Third National Development Plan. Singling outinflationas the greatest danger to the economy, he reduced themoney supplythat had been swollen by government expenditures on public works. He also announced that his government would encourage the rapid expansion of the private sector into areas dominated by public corporations.

He reappraised Nigeria's foreign policy; it was driven by the theme "Nigeria first". This theme became apparent with respect toAngola. Nigeria had worked with theOAUto bring about a negotiated reconciliation of the warring factions in the formerPortuguesecolony, but late in 1975 Murtala Muhammed announced Nigeria's support for the Soviet-backedPopular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, citingSouth Africa's armed intervention on the side of the rival National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
Adenekan Moruff writes from Lekki, Lagos.

Gen. Murtala Mohammed: 40 Years on
Written by Femi Fani-Kayode
Fani-Kayode was Minister of Aviation in the Obasanjo administration

If there was one man that had a profound effect on our history, perhaps more than any other, it was Gen. Murtala Ramat Mohammed. Sadly he was assassinated 40 years ago, on February 13th 1976. In a clime and a nation in which there are few true heroes, he was certainly one of them.

I could write a whole book on this man. It is a pity that the younger generation of Nigerians don't know much about him or about what he did and achieved for our nation both before and after he became Head of State in 1975. Forty years after his murder his name still brings joy and admiration to his associates, friends and loved ones and terror and trepidation to his detractors and foes.

Of all the former Heads of State and leaders in our country I admire him the most. His courage, focus, brazenness, righteous anger, strength of character, bellicose nature, passion and ability to take the bull by the horns and do what needed to be done, no matter whose ox was gored and no matter what the consequences were, was exemplary and outstanding.
In these days of cowardice, guile, deceit, doublespeak, subterfuge and political correctness, Mohammed would not have found much pleasure or joy and neither would he have been fully appreciated. He was blunt, fearless and irrepressible and, as they say, he was ''as tough as nails''. He was all that a real warrior ought to be. Most important of all he was inspirational: he scorned death and he had no fear of it.

What a man this was: truly the first among equals. He was a living example of the veracity of the adage that says "who dares wins". His life was a manifestation of the fact that truly "fortune favors the bold". Our domestic policy under his watch brought positive and monumental changes to the fortunes of our country and the character of our people. Our foreign policy under him, throughout the six months that he was Head of State, was a sight to be seen. It was Nigeria at her proudest and her best.

In those days we were rich, loud and boisterous. We could boast of having Africa's strongest army and her most outstanding and best- educated middle class. We were big, strong and powerful and when Nigeria spoke the world listened. When we sneezed Africa literally caught a cold. When we roared, the world shook. We wielded this great power and influence on the world stage with immense dazzle and razzmatazz. Yet we were also cautious, restrained and deemed as being highly responsible. That is when Nigeria was regarded as the Giant of Africa and rightly so.

Without General Murtala Mohammed the eventualliberation of Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa would not have been achieved when it was. Though he did not live to see it, he set the ball rolling and he threw down the gauntlet to the western powers and all those that supported racial tyranny and apartheid in the nations of southern Africa.
Some historians have even argued that that is precisely why he was eventually murdered. Yet if that was the motivation for organizing his assassination it did not stop anything because the cat was already out of the bag and his legacy had already been established and taken root.

This is confirmed by the fact that his extraordinary and dynamic foreign policy vis a vis the total liberation of our brother African nations and his unrelenting opposition and resistance to white minority rule in South Africa and Rhodesia (as it then was) continued under the able leadership of his second in command, General Olusegun Obasanjo, after he took over as Head of State on Feb. 14th 1976. The rest is history.

Permit me to end this contribution with an aside. I am mindful of the fact that many people do not share my views about Mohammed and some regard him as a complete villain. The truth of the matter is that he was not perfect and neither did I attempt to confer sainthood on him in this piece. He was no angel and neither was any other person that has ever ruled this country or indeed any other country.

His detractors often cite his leadership of and role in the northern revenge coup of July 29th 1966, during which hundreds of Igbo army officers were killed, as his greatest sin, whilst others cite his brutality during the course of the civil war. The irony is that those that share that view often eulogise people like Major Kaduna Nzeogwu and Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, the leaders of the January 15th 1966 coup, for killing innocent and unarmed civilians in their homes (and in some cases with their family members) in the middle of the night whilst they denigrate Major Murtala Mohammed (as he then was), Major T.Y. Danjuma (as he then was), Major Martins Adamu and others for their reaction to such barbarity. I do not seek to justify the events of July 29th or to endorse the murder of those that were killed but we must put and see these things in their proper context.

In any case my take is that you cannot judge a man by one or even two events in his life. You have to look at the whole gamut of activities throughout his soujorn on earth and weigh the good against the bad, In the case of Murtala Mohammed it is my view, and that view is unapologetically subjective, that the good certainly outweighs the bad.

Finally it is pertinent to note that many have attributed to him a tendency and trait that he certainly did not harbor. The first is that he was a tribalist and a religious bigot. This is false. As a matter of fact nothing could be further from the truth. If he was either of the two I would be the first to say so and I would not only expose him but I would also vent my spleen on him and his legacy. Many can testify to the fact that if there is anything or anyone that I despise more than anything else it is those individuals that suffer from the delusion of tribal and racial superiority and religious bigotry. Thankfully Mohammed was not afflicted with that particular malaise.

How anyone can describe him as a tribalist when he married a yoruba woman as his first and only wife amazes me. How anyone can call him a hater of southerners when the greatest beneficiary of his tenure of office was a southerner by the name of Chief MKO Abiola? It was when Murtala Mohammed was Head of State that Abiola managed to secure the numerous ITT communication contracts in Nigeria that made him one of the richest men in the world.
If Mohammed had been a tribalist he would have found a fellow northerner and Hausa Fulani to give contracts to and he would not have given them to a Yoruba man. His numerous friends in the south, which included people like my late fathers law partner, the late and brilliant Chief Sobo Sowemimo SAN, together with many others puts a lie to the suggestion that Mohammed was a northern supremacist. He was far from that.

The second allegation which is often made against him is that he was responsible for the infamous Asaba massacre which took place in 1968 during the Nigerian civil war and in which over 1000 innocent elderly Igbo men and young boys were slaughtered. I have written about the Asaba massacre probably more than anyone else over the years and the sheer horror of that event is mind-boggling and chilling. It has always been my view that all those that were involved in it ought to be made to face justice. This is because, apart from the starving to death of over one million Igbo children, the Asaba massacre was probably the greatest war crime and crime against humanity that took place during our civil war.
It is true that Murtala Mohammed was the Commander of the Second Division in the Mid-West but he was not in Asaba when the massacre took place. He was not involved in the killings and neither did he order for them to be carried out. Whilst the killings were taking place he was at the Divisional Headquarters of his Command in Umunede and he was nowhere near Asaba.

Some notable historians such as the British author John De St. Jorre in his book titled ''The Nigerian Civil War'' have asserted that the Asaba killings were ordered and personally executed by an individual whom he described as ''a young igbo-hating Major from Benin'' who was outraged at the fact that many of his soldiers were killed during the course of the siege.

He claims that Mohammed knew nothing about the massacre until well after the evil act was concluded. I accept this narrative because De St. Jorre's book is probably the most profound and objective historical account of the Nigerian civil war. He was a highly respected historian of international repute. The second reason that I accept his account is because Murtala Mohammed himself often told those that cared to listen that he knew nothing about the murders in Asaba and that once he found out about them he went to great lengths to discipline and sanction the officers that were involved. He went further by urging the then Head of State, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, to apologise for the the killings on behalf of the Nigerian Army and this was done.

One thing is clear: if Mohammed had indeed ordered the Asaba killings he is the type of man that would have said so openly and he would not hide behind a lie. That is the type of leader and officer that he was: he was prepared to take responsibility for his actions, whether good or bad. Given this I think that it is historically inaccurate and most unfair to blame him for the atrocities that were committed in Asaba even though he was indeed the Commanding Officer of the Second Division in the Mid-Western Region.

The truth is that in military conflicts all sorts of terrible things happen and we must never forget what those that suffered, that were starved to death and that were butchered in their millions were subjected to during our civil war. By the same token we must not forget the hundreds of thousands of officers, soldiers and innocent civilians that sacrificed their lives and put everything on the line to keep Nigeria one. There were angels and demons on both sides of the conflict and our prayer must be that Nigeria never experiences such a civil war again.

We must also acknowledge the fact that it would be a great sin for us to judge any man solely on what we perceive to be his negatives whilst at the same time attempting to disregard or play down his positives. There were many sides to the enigma called General Murtala Ramat Mohammed: some good and others bad. That is what made him human. That is what made him special and unique. I have done the research and I have weighed the man. To me, regardless of conflicting views which are more often than not held and voiced passionately, he remains a hero even though he was cut short in his prime.
May General his courageous soul continue to rest in peace and may those that are in power today resurrect his spirit and build on his great legacy.

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


Biafra Videos: Explosive secret about Biafra...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Featured Post


Topics: Mindset of the enemy. Yoruba were in world's best universities when Usman dan fodio was still learning to ride a horse Th...