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Today in History: Gideon Orkar Staged the Bloodiest Coup in Nigerian History Against Babangida

Today the 22nd of April 1990, Major Gideon Gwaza Orkar a Nigerian military officer staged the bloodiest coup in the history of the country against the government of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Orkar and his conspirators seized the FRCN radio station, various military posts around Lagos and the Dodan Barracks Lagos, the military headquarters and presidential residence. 

In his coup address, Orkar gave three reasons for the coup.

"For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state the three primary reasons why we have decided to oust the satanic Babangida administration. The reasons are as follows":

1. To stop Babangida's desire to cunningly, install himself as Nigeria's life president at all costs and by so doing, retard the progress of this country for life. In order to be able to achieve this undesirable goals of his, he has evidently started destroying those groups and sections he perceived as being able to question his desire.

2. Another major reason for the change is the need to stop intrigues, domination and internal colonisation of the Nigerian state by the so-called chosen few. This, in our view, has been and is still responsible for 90 percent of the problems of Nigerians.  This indeed has been the major clog in our wheel of progress.

This clique has an unabated penchant for domination and unrivalled fostering of mediocrity and outright detest for accountability, all put together have been our undoing as a nation.

This will ever remain our threat if not checked immediately. It is strongly believed that without the intrigues perpetrated by this clique and misrule, Nigeria will have in all ways achieved developmental virtues comparable to those in Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, India, and even Japan.

3. The third reason for the change is the need to lay a strong egalitarian foundation for the real democratic take off of the Nigerian state or states as the circumstances may dictate.

He proceeded to announce the excision of some Northern States from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"In the light of all the above and in recognition of the negativeness of the aforementioned aristocratic factor, the overall progress of the Nigerian state a temporary decision to excise the following states namely, Sokoto, Borno, Katsina, Kano and Bauchi states from the Federal Republic of Nigeria comes into effect immediately".

Major Orkar and 41 other conspirators were convicted of treason and executed by firing squad on July 27, 1990 by the government of General Ibrahim Babangida.

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Babangida Dodan Gideon Gwaza Orkar Lagos Nigeria


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