A coup d'etat is a violent or nonviolent takeover of a government by the armed forces. A coup can either be bloody or bloodless.
The first military coup in Nigeria happened on January 15, 1966. Eight military coups happened after the first one. Some were successful, while others failed.
These are the failed military coups in Nigeria and those who executed the coups.
1. The Coup of 1966
This was the first military coup in Nigeria. It was executed on January 15, 1966, six years after independence.
The first and only prime minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, was killed during the coup. The premier of the Northern region, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, and his Western region counterpart, Samuel Ladoke Akintola, and other top officials were also killed during the coup.
The coup was executed by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and some other junior officers in the military.
According to political scientists, the coup was successful because the plotters failed in their plans to capture the government.
Although the head of the military, General Aguiyi Ironsi, took over the government after the death of top political leaders, the original plan of the coup plotters failed.
2. The 1976 Coup
The coup was regarded as the "Dimka Coup" because it was executed by Bukar Dimka.
The bloody and aborted coup led to the assassination of General Murtala Muhammed. Upon General Muhammed's death and the foiling of the coup, then Lt General Olusegun Obasanjo became Head of State.
3. The Coup of December 1985
The coup was executed by Major General Mamman Jiya Vatsa during General Ibrahim Babangida's military regime.
Many military officers were arrested, jailed, and later executed for their involvement in the coup.
4. The Coup of 1990
Major Gideon Orkar staged a violent and failed attempt to overthrow the government of General Ibrahim Babangida. He was arrested and later executed by the military regime.
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