April 22 2022 marks the 32nd anniversary of the last bloody coup in Nigeria.
Shortly after dawn broke on April 22, 1990, the following broadcast was heard over the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Lagos:
“Fellow Nigerian Citizens,
On behalf of the patriotic and well-meaning peoples of the Middle Belt and the southern parts of this country, I , Major Gideon Orkar, wish to happily inform you of the successful ousting of the dictatorial, corrupt, drug baronish, evil man, deceitful, homo-sexually-centered, prodigalistic, un-patriotic administration of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. We have equally commenced their trials for unabated corruption, mismanagement of national economy, the murders of Dele Giwa, Major-General Mamman Vatsa, with other officers as there was no attempted coup but mere intentions that were yet to materialise and other human rights violations.”
The coup failed and the Generals led Nigeria till 1998.
Speech given by General Abacha after crushing the 1990 coup.
“I, Lieutenant-General Sani Abacha, Chief of Army Staff, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, have found it necessary to address you once again in the course of our nation’s history. In view of the unfortunate, development early this morning, I’m in touch with the CGS, Service Chiefs, GOCs, FOCs, AOCs, of the armed forces and they have all pledged their unflinching support and loyalty to the federal military government of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida who is perfectly safe and with whom I am in contact.
“Early this morning there was sporadic firing by a few disloyal and misguided soldiers in some isolated parts of Lagos, followed by an embarrassing radio broadcast.
“Fellow Nigerians, you will all agree with me that the reasons given for this grave misconduct are significantly motivated by greed and self-interest. The soldiers involved decided to constitute themselves into national security nuisance for no other cause than base avarice.’
‘Most of these disloyal elements have been arrested and are already undergoing interrogation. The remaining dissidents are advised in their own interest to report to the nearest military location and hand over the arms and ammunition in their possession. All formation and unit commanders are hereby directed to exercise effective command and control. “At this stage, let me reiterate our commitment to pursue vigorously the transition programme. No amount of threat or blackmail will detract the federal military government’s attention in this regard. We are set to hand over power to a democratically elected government in 1992. I wish to assure all law-abiding citizens that the situation is now under control and people should go about pursuing their lawful interest.
“Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you.”
The coup plotters at their trial in 1990: L to R – Capt Harley Empere, Major Gideon Orkar, Capt Perebo Dakolo, Lt Cyril Ozoalor, Lt Nicholas Odeh.
They will never be forgotten.