History: Obasanjo Vividly Explains How He Survived The Dimka Coup
Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Sunday, explained how he narrowly escaped the February 1976 military coup d’état that killed General Murtala Mohammed.
Obasanjo revealed this at the celebration of the 80th birthday of General Bajowa held in Igbotako, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.
According to the ex President, it was General Olu Bajowa (retd.) that indirectly spared him from being killed in the coup which was orchestrated by Lieutenant Colonel Buka Dimka.
In his words, Bajowa, who is a former Commandant, Command and Staff College, Jaji, is a “respectful” and “cultured” man.
Obasanjo highlighted Bajowa’s remarkable performance when he (Obasanjo) appointed him to lead the 11 Battalion during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war of 1967-1970.
“I want to say something about Olu – either he knew it or he didn’t know. When Dimka coup came, if Olu had not been what he is, I would have gone with the coup,” Obasanjo began.
“Olu is very respectful. He is very conscious of our culture. He had a child, a boy, and wanted to name the child after me. He had to call me early in the morning, that morning Dimka struck.
“And because Olu said he was coming, I had to wait a little bit. I waited beyond the time I would have gone out. Olu then came, he made the request and I granted the request.
“So, I was a little bit late in going on the route that I normally took to work. And Reinumuje went ahead of me and they thought it was me and they shot his car. They shot his car, Murtala was shot. Indirectly, that is how Olu Bajowa saved my life,” he narrated.
Obasanjo described Bajowa as a able soldier.
The 1976 Nigerian coup d’état attempt was a military coup which happened in Nigeria, on 13 February 1976, when a faction of the Armed Forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel Buka Suka Dimka, sought to overthrow the government of General Murtala Mohammed.
Mohammed was assassinated in the then capital, Lagos, along with his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Akintunde Akinsehinwa, when his car was ambushed in Ikoyi enroute Dodan barracks.