It is about noon of Saturday, January 15th, 1966 the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) announced that the there was a mutiny by a dissident section of the Nigerian
Army and that an overpowering majority of the army was still loyal to the Federal Government.
However, in the early hours of that morning, January 15th,1966, a coup d'etat led by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu led to the killing of four powerful Nigerian politicians.
The four powerful Nigerian politicians killed are Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria in Kaduna ; Chief S.L. Akintola, Premier of Western Nigeria and political ally of the Sardauna in Ibadan ; and in Lagos Sir Abubakar Tafawa Belewa, the Federal Prime Minister and Chief Okotie Eboh, the Federal Finance Minister.
In the night of January 15th 1966 more than forty civilians and twenty four army officers were killed and many were wounded.
In January 16th, 1966 exactly 11:50 pm on Sunday, the acting President Dr. Nwafor Orizu, made a brief announcement saying that he has been advised by the Council of Ministers that they had decided to hand over power to the Armed Forces.
Consequently, Major J .T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, broadcast to the nation.He said that the Army had accepted the invitation to assume power, that he had been formally invested with the authority as Head of the Federal Military Government and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces .He suspended the offices of President and Prime Minister and Parliament.He also suspended the offices of the Regional Governors and the Premiers and Executive Council.
Major J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi the Supreme Commander, later appointed Regional Military Governors to head the Regional Military Governments.The Chief Justice, other Judges, the Judiciary, all Civil servants, and the Police Forces will continue to function as at present except that the Native Authority and Local Government Police came under the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police.
All Political appointees such as Corporation and Board Chairmen, Directors members etc were sacked. The numbers of Ministries were reduced, Political activities and party flags were banned. Permanent Secretaries were rescheduled and Portrait of the ex-President , Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa were removed ordered by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
On Ist April 1966, the four Military Governors appointed by Major J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi joined the Federal Executive Council.The Federal Executive Council was later renamed as Central Executive Council. The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces then announced," There is now only one Government of Nigeria although there are at present five separate and distinct Civil Services" important things relating to such subjects as Agriculture, Education, Culture, Health and Industry became subjects for the Central Government.
On May 24th,1966 the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces , Major J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi announced some fundamental changes
All Political parties and Major tribal Unions were abolished. The Federal System of Government was also abolished. The Regions were abolished giving way to groups of provinces and the Public Services became unified. Nigeria now had a unitary form of government. The National Military Government was given the responsibility to henceforth Legislated for the whole country.
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