January 15, 1966: Can We Know And Accept The truth Now?


ojukwu during Biafra war
By Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema
Fifty years after a group of young Nigerian military officers carried out the first coup which ended Nigeria’s democratic experiment, their action still rankles and haunts the country. One would have thought fifty years is long enough to enable survivors of the generation that had ringside seats to that experience and its ugly fall-outs and succeeding generations of Nigerians, to which this writer belongs, come to terms with that unedifying phase of her history. Perhaps, I assume too much: for one, from a historical perspective, fifty years is a mere drop of water in the ocean of time. Events that occurred in the lives of countries centuries before our first coup still polarize and haunt them. Till today, there are segments of the German population who have not come to terms with the enigma of Adolf Hitler. Secondly, it serves certain political, sectional and group interests to continue to perpetrate myths about the January coup. Although there is evidence to indicate that things might not be what they seem or is generally assumed, the myths continue to gain currency because many of its perpetrator are decisive game-changers in Nigeria’s councils of the high and mighty; because the study of history in Nigerian schools is virtually ancient history; and to make matters worse, contemporary Nigerian politics is still shaped by perceptions from that coup. But if Nigeria must move forward, we Nigerians must look the spectre of January 15, 1966 in the eye.
This essay should not be interpreted as either pro or anti January 15, 1966. Personally, I wish the coup never took place; that the people killed that day were not murdered. But the coup plotters did not just emanate from the invisible realm. Even if they were ambitious or idealistic or naive …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper