Armed Forces Remembrance Day 2024.
On January 15, 1966, a group of young military officers staged the first coup in Nigeria and the following leaders were killed in that blo+ody coup:
Sir Ahmadu Bello, Premier Northern Region.
Sir Abubakar Tafawa, Nigerian Prime Minister.
Chief Samuel Ladokr Akintola, Premier Western Region.
Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh-Itsekiri, Premier Midwest Region.
The following military officers also paid the ultimate prize in that coup:
Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun
Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari
Colonel Kur Mohammed
Colonel Ralph Shodeinde
Lt. Colonel Abogo Lagerma
Lt. Colonel James Pam
Lt. Colonel Arthur Unegbe.
It was seen as a coup against the North and therefore led to the counter coup of July 29, 1966 where the Head of State, Gen Aguiyi Ironsi, his host, the fearless Col Adekunle Fajuyi among others were killed. There was no plan to kill Fajuyi but because he refused to release to the coupists the Head of State who was on a visit to the Western Military Governor in Ibadan, he was eliminated too.
Before the counter coup, Aguiyi Ironsi had, through Decree 34 changed the system from federal to unitary system and the regions were changed to provinces. That was the foundation for the system we operate till date.
Yakubu Gowon, who became the Head of State after him splitter the four provinces of North, East, West and Midwest to twelve States as follows:
North-Western State Sokoto
North-Eastern state Maiduguri
Kano State Kano
North-Central State Zaria
Benue-Plateau State Jos
Kwara State. Ilorin
Western State Ibadan
Lagos State Ikeja
Mid-Western State Benin
South Easten Calabar
East Central Enugu
Rivers State Port Harcourt