Victims and heroes of July 29,1966 counter coup

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….Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi was assassinated on July 29th 1966.

This was the scene of his third and final burial.

His body had been initially buried in a shallow grave near to the spot where he had been executed alongside Lt. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi on the outskirts of Ibadan.

ironsi final resting place

Ironsi

The graves were discovered a few days later by a unit of the police Special Branch, disinterred and reburied at the military cemetery in Ibadan.

Over 100,000 people poured into the township to witness the burial in his hometown of Umuahia-Ibeku on Friday, January 20th 1967.

The central government which had replaced the Ironsi regime had declared three days of national mourning.

Standing around the grave before his gold-plated coffin was lowered into his final resting place were his widow Victoria (dressed in black) next to Lt. Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the military governor of the Eastern Region which would reconstitute itself as the secessionist state of Biafra; Commodore J.E.A. Wey, the Chief of Naval Staff and Lt. Colonel David Ejoor, the military governor of the Mid West Region. Also present in the front row on the left (arms folded in dark jacket) is Sir Louis Mbanefo, the Chief Justice of the Eastern Region.

My Father, Lieutenant Emmanuel Makinde was present in the background having accompanied Commodore Wey to whom he served as aide-de-camp.

Source of Photo: Top Foto.

Lt. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi was assassinated on July 29th 1966.

This was his third and final grave

Fajuyi’s final grave

Fajuyi…the hero of our time

 

His body had been initially buried in a shallow grave near to the spot where he had been executed alongside Major General J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi on the outskirts of Ibadan.

The graves were discovered a few days later by a unit of the police Special Branch, disinterred and reburied at the military cemetery in Ibadan.

After the Aburi Conference held in Ghana in the early part of January 1967, the central government which had replaced the Ironsi regime had declared three days of national mourning.

Fajuyi was re-buried on Saturday, January 28th 1967 according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. In attendance were Commodore J.E.A Wey, the commander of the Nigerian Navy and member of the Supreme Military Council; Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo, Fajuyi’s successor as military governor of the Western Region; Lieutenant-Colonel David Ejoor, the military governor of the Mid-Western Region and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the former civilian premier of the Western Region.

Fajuyi was a veteran of the UN peacekeeping operation in the Congo. He was the first Nigerian officer to be awarded an international military citation when as a major, he was the recipient of the Military Cross for leading his company in combat on November 27, 1960 and also for subsequently extricating it from an ambush during operations on January 3, 1961.

Drum Magazine Photo Article (June 1967)

The Last Salute To A Soldier Of Honour

“A Man of Honour, Francis Adekunle Fajuyi rests in peace. He died because he refused to let his guest and superior officer go out alone to his death. It was a gesture typical of Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, a great Nigerian who lived his whole life by the highest principles.”

Source of Photo: Drum Magazine.

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