Biafra News
  • FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • Pin It
  • Linkedin
  • Buffer
  • WhatsApp

Buhari a Coupist, His 1983 Coup Was to Derail Igbo Presidency - Ezeife

Buhari a Coupist, His 1983 Coup Was to Derail Igbo Presidency – Ezeife 

…Babangida’s 1999 plot blocked second chance

Elder statesman, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has provided some fresh insights into the 1983 military coup d’etat led by Gen. Muhammadu Buha­ri, which overthrew the demo­cratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari.
The Buhari coup of 1983 was meant to short-change the Igbo people and keep them out of the presidency – a ploy which has continued till today.
Ezeife affirms that the key objective of the1983 military coup, which sacked the Second Republic’s President Shagari and enthroned Gen. Buhari, was to prevent former Vice President Alex Ekwueme from succeeding Shagari, hence derailing the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction – 24 years after the country’s civil war.

Ezeife, an astute politician, Havard-trained economist and former governor of Anambra State, expressed these views in an exclusive interview with The AUTHORITY newspaper at the weekend, on the heels of the 51st Anniversary of the nation’s first military coup.
According to Ezeife, “The then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) had already re­solved that Dr. Alex Ekwueme, who was the Vice President, would be given automatic pres­idential ticket, an arrangement which didn’t go down well with the political elite in the North, prompting the Northern mil­itary officers to stage a coup against the Shehu Shagari ad­ministration which was already doing a second term in office.”

Providing further insights into what he saw as the unend­ing travails of Ndigbo in the post-war Nigerian state, the blunt-speaking and politician and economist revealed that the 1999 intervention by Gen. Ibra­him Babangida, which installed Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was also a northern script to pre­vent former Vice President Ek­wueme from succeeding former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Ezeife said: “The Buhari coup was meant to prevent the handover of power to Ekwueme. Then, this time again, the par­ty we formed – we are the G-34 who formed the People’s Dem­ocratic Party (PDP). The party gave Ekwueme the candidacy unopposed, unchallenged”.
“Ekwueme, in considera­tion of fairness of the Ndigbo, said no; let’s go for a proper pri­mary. Weeks to that proper pri­mary, my friend and big help­er, Babangida, thought of how to get back to power.

“He went and made a deal with Obasanjo that he wants to step aside and after four years of Obasanjo he returns. That was how what was for Ekwueme was given to Obasanjo. So, that was what happened to us”.
Taking a look at the big na­tional picture, Ezeife noted the 1914 North-South amalgama­tion by the British was to use Southern resources to cover the deficit in the North but observed that even today, the resource gap was even wider, a scenario that makes the North more desper­ate for resources than the South.

His words: “What was the immediate cause of amalgama­tion? It was to use the surplus re­sources of the South to cover the deficit of the North. What did the amalgamation do? It took Igbo resources, Igbo ability to develop the whole.
“That’s what amalgamation achieved. The resource gap to­day is wider than what it was in 1914, with the North more des­perate for resources than the South”.
The AUTHORITY recalls that the military coup of Decem­ber 31, 1983, which was coordi­nated by key officers of the Ni­gerian military, led to the ouster of the democratically-elected government of Shagari and the installation of Maj. Gen. Bu­hari (then General Officer Com­manding, 3rd Armoured Divi­sion, Jos) as the Head of State.
Meanwhile, Babangida’s al­leged intervention in 1999 led to the emergence of Obasanjo, against the much-anticipated as­cendancy of Ekwueme, the ar­rowhead of the G-34 that mor­phed into the PDP.

The later scenario is viewed by some observers as a strate­gic pacification project of the South West by the North, fol­lowing the nullification of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola’s earlier “success­ful” presidential bid and mount­ing threats of secession by the re­gion.
More than 46 years after the Nigeria-Biafra fratricidal civil war, the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria remain the only major tribe in the country which has not held power at the presiden­cy – whether in military or ci­vilian garb.


Anambra man of the year awardAnambra man of the year award
  • FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • Pin It
  • Linkedin
  • Buffer
  • WhatsApp

Emeh James Anyalekwa, is a Seasoned Journalist, scriptwriter, Movie producer/Director and Showbiz consultant. He is the founder and CEO of the multi Media conglomerate, CANDY VILLE, specializing in Entertainment, Events, Prints and Productions. He is currently a Special Assistant (Media) to the Former Governor of Abia State and Chairman Slok Group, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. Anyalekwa is also the National President, Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN)

Comments are closed.

Sorry for the interruption

We are deeply concerned with our user experience. Which is why we use responsible ads.

Please work with us by disabling your ad blocker and let's create a sustainable web together.

I get it. I have disabled my ad blocker. Please let me in.