Through all this, Ogunewe kept in touch with Gowon in Lagos and was crucial to arrangements that were subsequently made to successfully repatriate non-eastern soldiers and their families out of the region - a remarkable achievement for which he was rewarded by being fully reabsorbed into the Nigerian Army without loss of rank after the civil war. But even this was not so straightforward. For one, Ogunewe had to resist all kinds of entreaties to allow vengeful Igbo mobs gain entry into the barracks to liquidate the northern troops there. Secondly, according to then Major (later Brigadier) Benjamin Adekunle, Lt. Col. Murtala Muhammed had contacted Lt. Yar'Adua secretly and ordered him to break into the armoury to secure arms and ammunition for northern soldiers - to the exclusion of others. This led to a clash between them which almost cost Adekunle his life later on.
Not that Lenin was a pacifist: rather, his hope was to transform the world war into an international civil war, when the 'imperialist' powers refused to cease fighting and thereby revealed their rapacious ambitions.
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The only exception made among the January 15 group was for those surviving officers who not only took part in the January 1966 coup but also participated in the Biafran invasion of the Midwestern region in August/September 1967. Most officers in this overlapping group were brought before a Military Board of Inquiry, jailed until October 1974, and all except Lts. J.C. Ojukwu and Ijeweze (?Igweze) who were retired - eventually dismissed. They include Major A. Ademoyega, Captain Ben Gbulie, Capt. E. M. Udeaja, Lt. F.M. Okocha, Lt. B.A.O. Oyewole, Lt. N.S. Nwokocha, Lt. G.B. Ikejiofor, Lt. G. G. Onyefuru, Lt. A.R.O. Egbikor, Lt. A. N. Azubuogu, and 2/Lt. C.G. Ngwuluka. Interestingly, prominent surviving January 15 mutineers like Captain Emmanuel Nwobosi (rtd), who did not take part in the Midwest invasion, but played other roles in the civil war (as a Colonel in the Biafran Army, Field Commander and later Chief of Staff in General Ojukwu's HQ) were spared in a general amnesty covering both the January and July 1966 rebellions.
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However, before I dwell on the sad issue of 29th July 1966, I would like to recall to you the sad and unfortunate incidents of 15th January 1966 which bear relevance. According to certain well-known facts, which have so far not been disclosed to the nation and the world, the country was plunged into a national disaster by the grave and unfortunate action taken by a section of the Army against the public. By this I mean that a group of officers, in conjunction with certain civilians, decided to overthrow the legal government of the day; but their efforts were thwarted by the inscrutable discipline and loyalty of the great majority of the Army and the other members of the armed forces and the police. The Army was called upon to take up the reins of government until such time that law and order had been restored. The attempt to overthrow the government of the day was done by eliminating political leaders and high-ranking Army officers, a majority of whom came from a particular section of the country. The Prime Minister lost his life during this uprising. But for the outstanding discipline and loyalty of the members of the Army who were most affected, and the other members of the armed forces and the police, the situation probably could have degenerated into a civil war.
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[…] issues and events leading up to the Easter Rising of 1916, the ensuing Anglo-Irish War, and the Civil War that took place after the much contested 1921 Treaty with England. Some of the items on display […]