MUST READ:January. 15th 1966: A Night Of Blood & Slaughter By Femi Fani-Kayode

Perused his article beneath…

On the night of January fifteenth 1966 a rebellion occurred in Nigeria which brought about the homicide of various driving political figures and senior armed force officers. This was the first overthrow in the historical backdrop of our nation and 98 for every penny of the officers that arranged and drove it were Igbo. From the political class those that were executed incorporated the accompanying: Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the Prime Minister, who was snatched from his home and whose body was dumped some place along the Lagos-Abeokuta street.

Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the old Northern Region, who was executed in the holiness of his own home together with his wife, his driver and his security aide. Boss S.L. Akintola, the Premier of the old Western Region, who was gunned down in the vicinity of his family and Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, the Minister of Finance, who was brutalized, kidnapped from his home and whose body was later dumped in a hedge.

From the positions of the military those that were killed included Brigadier Zakari Maimalari, who hosted held a mixed drink gathering in his home a couple of hours prior that night which was gone to by a large portion of the youthful officers that took part in the upset. Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun who was shot to death in his wedding bed alongside his eight-month pregnant wife. Others included Col. Ralph Shodeinde, Col. Kur Muhammed, Lt. Col. James Pam, PC Yohanna Garkawa, PC Haga Lai, Lance Corporal Musa Nimzo, Sgt. Daramola Oyegoke, PC Akpan Anduka and Ahmed Ben Musa.

Unfortunately the rebels went to our home that night too and they brutalized and stole my dad, Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode, the Deputy Premier of the old Western Region. What I saw that night was traumatic and obliterating for me and my family and, obviously, what the country saw that night was horrendous. It was a night of slaughter, barbarity and dread. The occasions of that night get under way a progression of occasions which changed our history. The outcomes of the occasions of that night are still with us till this day. It was a dismal and frightful night: one of blood and butcher.

What I saw was as per the following. Amidst the night, my mom came into the room which I imparted to my more seasoned sibling, Rotimi and my more youthful sister Toyin. I was six years of age at the time. The lights had been cut so we were in haziness and whatever we could see were lights from three huge vehicles. The official home had a lengthy drive so it took the vehicles a while to contact us.

We saw three arrangements of headlights and heard the motors of three lorries drive up the drive-way. The tenants of the lorries, who were formally dressed men and who conveyed lights, situated themselves and arranged to storm our home whilst calling my fathers name and requesting him to turn out. My dad went out to meet them after he had called us, petitioned God for us and disclosed to us that since it was him they needed he should go out there. He clarified that he would preferably go out to meet them than let them come into the house to shoot or hurt us.

The moment he ventured out, they brutalized him. I saw this. They tied him up and tossed him into one of the lorry. Interestingly, the first thing they said to him was “the place are your hooligans now?” My dad’s reaction was “I don’t have hooligans, just courteous fellows.” I think this made them brutalize him considerably more. They tied him up, tossed him in the back of the lorry and after that raged the house.

When they got into the house, they stripped each alcove and corner, shooting into the roof and closets. They were exceptionally ruthless and unpleasant and we were startled. My mom, Chief Mrs. Adia Adunni Fani-Kayode, was shouting and crying from the gallery since everything she could do was spotlight on her spouse, who was first floor.

“Try not to execute him, don’t murder him!!” she continued shouting at them. I can even now imagine this and hear her voice arguing, shouting and crying. I didn’t know where my sibling or sister was as of right now in light of the fact that the house was altogether bedlam. I was only six years of age and I was remaining there amidst the house, encompassed by formally dressed men who were stripping the entire place and threatening my gang.

At that point out of nowhere something uncommon happened. Out of the blue one of the troopers came up to me, put his hand on my head and said: “don’t stress, we won’t slaughter your dad, quit crying.” He said this thrice. After he said it the third time I looked in his eyes and I quit crying. This was on account of he gave me trust and he talked with empathy. With freshly discovered certainty I went hurrying to my mom who was all the while shouting on the gallery and advised her to quit crying in light of the fact that the warrior had guaranteed that they would not execute my dad and that everything would be alright.

I clutched the expressions of that officer and that night, notwithstanding every one of that was going ahead around me, I never cried again. They took my dad away and as the lorry drove off my mom continued wailing and crying as was other people in the house with the exception of me.

From that point they went to the home of Chief S.L. Akintola, the Premier of the Western Region, an extraordinary statesman and patriot and a dear uncle of mine. My mom had called Akintola to illuminate him of what had happened in our home. She was sceaming down the telephone asking where her spouse had been taken and at this point she was entirely insane. Boss Akintola attempted to quiet her down guaranteeing her that all future well.

When they got to Akintola’s home he definitely realized that they were coming and he was readied for them. Rather than turning out to meet them, he had positioned some of his policemen and they began shooting. A weapon fight followed and thus the double-crossers were postponed by no less than 60 minutes. By Special Branch reports and the official articulations of the rebels that survived that night and that were included in the operation their arrangement had been to get my dad and Chief Akintola from their homes, take them to Lagos, assemble them together with the other political pioneers that had been kidnapped and after that execute all of them together.

The trouble they had was that Akintola opposed them and he and his policemen wound up injuring two of the troopers that went to his home. One of the warriors, whose name was obviously James, had his fingers brushed off and the other had his ear brushed off. After some time Chief Akintola’s ammo ran out and the shooting halted. His policemen remained down and they surrendered. He turned out waving a white hanky and the moment he ventured out they just butchered him.

My dad saw Akintola’s relentless homicide in absolute stun and repulsiveness since he was tied up in the back of the lorry from where he could see everything that unfolded. The troopers were clearly maddened by the way that two of their men had been injured and that Akintola opposed and postponed them. After they slaughtered him, they proceeded onward to Lagos with my dad. When they arrived, they went to the Officer’s Mess at Dodan Barracks.

When they took my father away everybody in our home thought he had been murdered. The following morning a modest bunch of policemen came and took us to the place of my mom’s first cousin, Justice Atanda Fatai Williams, who was a judge of the Western Region at the time. He later turned into the Chief Justice of Nigeria. From that point we were taken to the home of Justice Adenekan Ademola, another High Court judge at the time, who was a dear companion of my dad and who later turned into a Judge of the Court of Appeal.

As of right now the entire nation had been tossed into disarray and nobody comprehended what was going on. We heard bunches of stories and did not comprehend what to make of what any longer. There was disarray and perplexity and the whole country was grasped by trepidation.

After two days my dad at last called us on the phone and he let us know that he was alright. When we heard his voice, I continued telling my mom “I let you know, I let you know.” Justice Ademola and his dear wife, Auntie Frances, were sobbing, my mom was sobbing, my sibling and sister were sobbing and I was simply cheering since I realized that he would not be executed and I had let them know all.

I never became more acquainted with who that fighter was (that guaranteed me that my dad would not be executed), but rather I trust that God talked through him that night. I additionally trust that he might well have been an officer since he talked with certainty and power.

These people who completed this overthrow were not the only one: they made them once more from components in the political class who related to them. Some have said that it was an Igbo upset whilst others have said that it was an UPGA (alluding to the political cooperation between the Action Group and the NCNC) overthrow yet that is a story for one more day.

Whatever anybody calls it or trusts two things are clear: the results of the activity that those youthful officers took that night were sweeping and the way and way in which they slaughtered their casualties was vile and boorish. Such viciousness had never been seen in our shores. There has never been one more night like that and the aftereffects of that night have been destroying and significant.

In my perspective insufficient Nigerians welcome this. Some in our nation can’t excuse the individuals who took an interest in the rebellion and, however I don’t share that conclusion or demeanor, this is justifiable. Others trust that those young fellows (they were all in their 20’s) made the best decision and they say that those killings were important and chivalrous. This is a conclusion which I detest as well as discover unsuitable and horrifying. There is nothing courageous about disobedience and the homicide and slaughter of guiltless and exposed men and ladies. .

The overthrow influenced the nation in a similarly significant way in light of the fact that the occasions of that night prompted a counter-upset six months after the fact. It was a staggering and lopsided reaction. Unfortunate

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