" ITREALMS: History never dies by Reno Omokri: A disinformation against Ndigbo in Internet age - ITREALMS

Saturday, September 17, 2022

History never dies by Reno Omokri: A disinformation against Ndigbo in Internet age - ITREALMS

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“Tribal considerations were completely out of our minds at this stage. But we had a set-back in the execution… But the other three who were stationed in the South failed because of incompetence and misguided considerations in the eleventh hour … But in the East, our major target, nothing practically was done. He and the others let us down.” - Late Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, purported leader of 1966 Military coup in Nigeria.
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Putting South East on a slab:

With the above, reading Reno Omokri recently in a piece entitled “History Never Dies” it reminds one of frantic efforts being made by some traducers who claimed the gift of the pen and closeness to the media work to mislead the rest of us, simply because Nigeria has deliberately removed history in schools’ curriculum, whilst they catch in to put Ndigbo or South East where Igbo is largely spoken on the slab for another pogrom probably.

Though one heard lately in some quarters, history is being re-introduced in some schools. Whichever way, it’s important to be up and reading nowadays with the availability of Internet and avalanche of disinformation, whilst genuine history continues to get digitized.

Who's late Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu:

The best way to commence this piece is to share the 1967 extracts from Dennis Ejindu’s interview with late Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, the first Nigerian Military Intelligence Officer; Born in Kaduna the capital of then Northern Region to parents from Anioma in Okpanam town of the Mid-Western Region (near Asaba in present-day Delta State). Nzeogwu attended Saint Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Kaduna for his elementary education and for his secondary education attended the modest Saint John's College also in Kaduna.

The excerpts from Ejindu’s interview with late Major Nzeogwu in May 1967 on the vexed issue of January 1966 coup, thus:

“Ejindu: All right. A lot has been talked and written about the January coup. But how tribalistic was it really in conception and execution?

Nzeogwu: In the North, no. In the South, yes. We were five in number, and initially we knew quite clearly what we wanted to do. We had a short list of people who were either undesirable for the future progress of the country or who by their positions at the time had to be sacrificed for peace and stability. Tribal considerations were completely out of our minds at this stage. But we had a set-back in the execution. Both of us in the North did our best. But the other three who were stationed in the South failed because of incompetence and misguided considerations in the eleventh hour. The most senior among them was in-charge of a whole brigade and had all the excuse and opportunity in the world to mobilise his troops anywhere, anyhow and any time. He did it badly. In Lagos, even allowing for one or two genuine mistakes, the job was badly done. The Mid-West was never a big problem. But in the East, our major target, nothing practically was done. He and the others let us down.”


Nzeogwu was also quoted on the purported plans by then Eastern Region of Nigeria to secede, as saying:

“… secession will be ill-advised, indeed impossible. Even if the East fights a war of secession and wins, it still cannot secede. Personally, I don’t like secession and if this country disintegrates, I shall pack up my things and go,” Nzeogwu declared.
Now, given the above quotes from the key player, Nzeogwu, himself, why on earth should any right thinking person resort to blackmailing a people with disinformation.

What Reno will not tell you:

Historically, including the ones available to Reno online, informed who played which role and he choose not to tell us that, but looking closely especially at the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, informed that the planning of the coup of January 1966 began with an inner circle of university-educated young officers who intended a national military revolution by snatching power in the regional capitals of Kaduna (Northern Region) and Ibadan (Western Region), and later taking control of Lagos (Federal Territory).

It was also on record that Nzeogwu was tasked with leading the revolution in the Northern Region starting with Operation Damisa on 15 January 1966 and, at later stages, Operation Kura, Operation Zaki and Operation Giwa which would have culminated in the murder of the northern establishment.

According to Wikipedia, Nzeogwu had started his preparation by organizing a two-day night exercise "Damisa" (Operation Tiger) to train soldiers in new fighting techniques. The exercise was approved by authorities of the 1st Brigade Headquarters apparently unaware of the real intentions of Nzeogwu and the Brigade Major, Alphonso Keshi had sent circulars to all units operating under the Brigade to contribute troops towards the success of the exercise. By the time Major Keshi realized "Operation Damisa" was actually a military conspiracy it was too late to counter it.

The execution & martial law:
On the execution, the largely acclaimed online Wikipedia, recorded that in the early hours of 15 January 1966, Nzeogwu led a group of soldiers on a supposed military exercise, taking them to attack the official residence of the premier of the north, Sir Ahmadu Bello in a bloody coup that saw the murder of the Premiers of Northern and Western Nigeria. The Prime Minister (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa), a federal minister (Festus Okotie-Eboh), and top army officers from the Northern and Western regions of the nation were also brutally murdered. From the existing government, the premier of the Eastern region (Michael Okpara), the President of the Nigerian federation (Nnamdi Azikiwe) and the Igbo Army Chief (Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi) were notable survivors.

Nzeogwu's modus operandi as recorded in the North, contributed in no small measure to the success of the coup in Northern Nigeria.

According to a Nigerian Police Special Branch Report, Nzeogwu executed, at least, 4 army and police security personnel including one of the men on his team (Sergeant Daramola Oyegoke). Nzeogwu also participated in the execution of Col. Raph Shodeinde, his superior officer at the Nigerian Military Training College and is reported to have shot indiscriminately at fleeing women and children.

Aguiyi Ironsi effort to stop the coup:

Further, Wikipedia recorded that “After waiting for an early morning radio announcement from Major Adewale Ademoyega in Lagos which did not take place because of the failure of the coup in Lagos, Major Nzeogwu made a mid-day broadcast, declaring martial law in Northern Nigeria.

Following the announcement from Kaduna, and information that Nzeogwu was gathering forces to attack Lagos which was a huge possibility at the time, Commander of the Army, Maj. Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi sent emissaries led by a man Majaor Nzeogwu heavily respected, Lt. Col. Conrad Nwawo, to Kaduna to negotiate peace talks with him and a possible surrender. Maj. Nzeogwu set conditions which Gen. Ironsi agreed to. Aguyi Ironsi assumed power, and Nzeogwu was later arrested in Lagos on 18 January 1966 contrary to agreements earlier reached between Nzeogwu and Ironsi. He was held in Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Lagos before being transferred to Aba Prison in the Eastern Region where he was released in March 1967 by Governor of the Eastern Region, Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

With the above historical facts, Reno Omokri in his efforts to exonerate Major Nzeogwu and join the traducers party, reeled out disinformation against Ndigbo which could be classified as being undue smart by half and trying to justify as well as heap the blame of the civil war between 1967 and 1970 on Ndigbo, fully aware of the root cause either by commission or omission, given the above extract, even himself, Reno published same in Vanguard in January 17, 2016, entitled "Nzeogwu after 50 years: The nationalist dressed in the garb of a tribalist, by Reno Omokri"

Ejindu vs Reno history:

Looking at the highlighted sentences in the interview with Ejindu, its evident that Reno was on a mission to deliberately disinform, because a region classified as major target by the coupist becomes the key player, even though the entire South was a failure. Nzeogwu never claimed to be an Igboman even though he was found dead in Nsukka. Whether he killed himself or was killed, that will be story for another day, but largely he has his preference to identify with the North than South East, even in his dressing.

In all this gibberish in the name of ‘history never dies’ by Reno, it has one identifiable goal to continue to mislead Nigerians and the people, simply because the media polarized the coup as a sectional coup then and they even went on to give a list of some victims of the coup drawn unreservedly from other parts of Nigeria only for some of the disinformation conveyers to realise later, including Reno, their flaws by adding a few names from South-East.

In other words, Reno also forgot that the so-called perpetrators of 1966 was not solely a South East coup as he and co-sojourners of traducers tend to bend, but crop of patriot soldiers across Nigeria, which actually began the plan in the North; who like today see corruption as a danger and capable of destroying the country. A similar of what happened in Ghana under Jerry Rawlings rule, unfortunately some people including Reno, are still using the power of the media to share skewed history in order to score political cheap points and put Ndigbo up on yet another slab.

Since it’s obvious, Deltans have vehemently denied being Ndigbo but speak Igbo as a language, its acceptable, but then, should Nigerians hold Niger Deltans over the failed Gideon Orkar coup? The answer is no.

Why the coup failed in Lagos:
Thank God, at last, he began to sing another song by adding some Igbo officers on the coup death toll including Lt. Col. Arthur Unegbe, who was incharge of Weaponry in Lagos and eventually killed for refusing to cooperate with the coupist of January 15, 1966.

Reno, equally tried very hard to state that Nzeogwu was an Igbo man instead of Midwesterner, even when it was very clear Nzeogwu is of Okpanam in present day Delta State and MidWest as at the time of the first coup. This has been an over-reaching attitude of which some Midwesterners choose when to accept to be Igbo man only when it becomes politically convenient, like the Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of today. Likewise the Mamman Vasta purported coup? Etc.

What of December 1983 coup:

In December 1983 there was a coup which eventually put Buhari then as Head of state, and many were imprisoned without any known cases against them including late Dr Alex Ekwueme, Dr Ambrose Alli and Pa Ajasin while President Shehu Shagari was reportedly put on house arrest.

So, with the Buhari’s first head of state after the 1983 coup, all Fulanis should be put up for slaughter? Moreso, since Buhari who accepted head of state position, is a Fulani? Incidentally, that is exactly what the likes of Reno are doing and canvassing with their disinformation over and above the 1966 coup which brought in Major General Aguiyi Ironsi as head of state, an Igboman who happened to be the most senior army officer at the time of the coup.

Who foiled the January 15 coup, Reno?:

Despite the over 3 million innocent soldiers and civilians of Igbo extraction murdered in the wake of the 1966 anti-Igbo pogrom, following the media instigated announcement of death tolls from a section of the country by political mechanization, inclusive of those added to the death toll, during the about 3 years civil war, its unbecoming that those who should know are now majorly the traducers. 

Till date, can Reno and cohort gave us any coup where names of victims became a national broadcast item since 1966, after all Nigeria has had successive coups.

According to the HistoryVille, those who actually foiled the coup were senior Igbo officers, namely the Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Lieutenant-Colonels Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Conrad Chukwujimje Dibia Nwawo, Alexander Attah Madiebo, and Major Alphonso Keshi.

Noteworthy is that as Brigade Major, Two Brigade, Kaduna, Keshi on learning about 'Operation Damisa' has transformed into a coup sting, informed Madiebo, who reportedly moved quickly to the Brigade Headquarters where Nzeogwu had taken over Ademulegun's seat and worked on Nzeogwu, whereas Ojukwu, the then Commanding Officer Fifth Battalion, Kano, stood his ground strategically and all jointly worked with Ironsi to fly in Nwawo, then Defence Attache in London and Nzeogwu's teacher which brought down the Major’s tempo and demands, thereby forcing him to soft paddle.

This aspect of report by HistoryVille reiterated the report by Wikipedia.

There was no Igbo coup:

Therefore, though Reno and likes may claim oblivious of the above stated facts, it’s still very clear that January 15, 1966 coup was not and can never be an Igbo coup as some media mongers including Reno, have chosen to disinform the world, especially Nigerians for their self-aggrandizement. 

It was, as we say in this part of the world in local parlance that the January 15 coup attempt was a military escapade and not regional or ethnic affairs, therefore, not an Igbo coup under any disguise.

Traducers and disinformation mongers need a rethink especially with the evolution of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) and associated platforms that have made some disinformation an embarrassing route at this time of our history.

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