How do you tell the story of Nigeria without the mention of Major Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna?
Depending on who you ask, he is variously described as bright, intelligent, affable, shy, ruthless, cold, calculating, a nationalist, an ethnic irredentist, etc.
Not happy with the direction his country had taken during the First Nigerian Republic, the man who was the Nigerian army major and high jumper and the first Black African to win a gold medal at an international sports event in 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna (1935- 1967), became the brain behind the first ever coup in Nigeria.
Given the fact that he was the most educated amongst those planning the coup, Ifeajuna wrote the unpublished manuscript on why the 1966 coup d’ état happened.
Is it a known fact that Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu was the face and head of the coup but a head needs it’ s neck to function and that neck was Ifeajuna.
In a interview with Ojukwu in the year 1992, he debunked the claim that Kaduna Nzeogwu was the leader of the plot, as was believed then and the Nigerian Police Special Branch report, stated that Ifeajuna, Don Okafor and Captain Ogbu Oji were the creators of the 1965 coup.
Ifeajuna killed Maimalari, Lieutenant Colonel Abogo Largemap and was also believed to have killed the Prime Minister Balewa.
Ifeajuna, Victor Banjo, Phillip Alale and Sam Agbam were excuted by firing squad for treason on 25 September 1967, by the order of Ojukwu.
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