In a book, “Danjuma: The making of a General”, written by Lindsay Barrett, a biography, we read that the call came at 5 am to the government house Ibadan. At the Lagos end was a Lieutenant Colonel Gowon making a random call to know the exact situation and a Major Danjuma who had broken into the ground floor of the government house at Agodi, Ibadan, was the one who picked the call.
In total panic, not knowing their fate only a few steps away, up the stairs were, the Supreme Commander, Major General Thomas Johnson Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi and Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi.
“Rankash Dede sir”, was Danjuma’s answer when recognized the soft voice of the most senior northern officer, Yakubu Gowon, who had no less than 15 other senior officers of other tribes ahead of him, including Brigadier Ogundipe and Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu.
“We are here to arrest the Supreme Commander”, continued Major Danjuma…. “Can you do it”, was the question from Gowon, “Yes Sir”, quipped Danjuma.
Gowon then gave the order, “Go ahead”. And that was how The fate of Africa’s most decorated Soldier and Africa’s first British appointed General was arrested, beaten until he could no longer stand up and then SHOT!
Same treatment was given to his host, The Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi.
This book was published in 1979 and I read it for the first time in 1980… It was even meant to celebrate Danjuma as the author Lindsay Barrett tried to throw off his readers, by infusing a queer story of how Danjuma only wanted to arrest Aguiyi-Ironsi, but his soldiers rebelled, then they drove off without him to kill both Ironsi and Fajuyi.
The question remains, why did he, as the only one with the 3 other soldiers who climbed up to do the arrest also include Fajuyi!??
And when they got downstairs after having disarmed everyone, all he needed to do was lock them up then call Gowon for instructions…but, did he!??
Imprinted largely into the lines in that book and printed on my mind, ever since the very first time I read this book as an undergraduate, were the questions about the Nigeria built on such structure, of blatant tribalism, prebendalism… And these realities of the Nigerian situation, Iniquity, Inequity, inequality, unbalanced, tethering toward a clear illogical, unworkable union, have been etched ever since in a conscious mind, knowing this country will never work, so long we continue to operate under such a system.
Brigadier Ogundipe was miles ahead of Yakubu Gowon in Seniority, but Danjuma a Major, only pandered to Gowon a Lieutenant Colonel. Even the Nigerian Army was then all about Nepotism. Fajuyi did no wrong, but that didn’t matter, what mattered was the North. At the end, a northern recruit told a General, a Brigadier General, the 3rd most decorated African soldier and the natural Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Army, that he cannot take orders from a, “Yoruba berebe launin”
Theophilus Danjuma and Yakubu Gowon, both Christians, both Northern minorities, personally gained from he deaths of Aguiyi-Ironsi and Adekunle Fajuyi. Gowon was Head of State for 9 years and Danjuma rose to become the Army chief, only the period that Late Shehu Musa Yar’adua became the de facto number 2 to Obasanjo, was Danjuma seemingly outschemed.
Throughout the years that followed, from 1979, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma had gone on to make himself very rich, making stupendous amount of money, mostly from owning oil blocks in the Niger Delta region and from sitting on the Board of many corporate establishments…. And as soon as Obasanjo was back as a Civilian president in 1999,so was Danjuma also back as The minister of Defence.
That T Y Danjuma is trending and many are sympathetic, is for me a dark humor, a little rehearsed, then forced to make him humane. I am sickened.
When it mattered to him, and mostly too, Danjuma plays the Northern Fiddle and blows the Northern flute, dancing to the music and smiling to the bank and new positions…
Where was Theophilus Danjuma when J S Tarka was championing the cause of a United Middle Belt against the Feudal North!??
Where was Theophilus Danjuma when Boko Haram was killing all the Christians in Jos, Taraba and in other Christian minority states of the North … And where was Danjuma when a Conspiracy was hatched against Obasanjo in the North, between 2000 to 2003, simply because as a Christian southern president, Obasanjo was Not acceptable to the North…!
Where was Danjuma in the heady days of “Political Sharia” …!??
If Not for the bulk Southwest votes for Obasanjo in 2003, that large got him reelected, where was that support from Danjuma, who had fallen out with Obasanjo prior to 2003 and back to his usual Tangent.
And with The Grande Northern Conspiracy against yet another Southern Christian President, in President Jonathan, where was Danjuma….!!??
— With Buhari, as was wont of him.
Perhaps I should add that president Jonathan never once in his 5 years and 23 days in office issued an oil block to anyone. Earlier in 2006 Obasanjo had revoked OPL 246, the Oil Block Abacha had given to Danjuma…. And Jonathan neither returned any of the revoked Oil Blocks nor Issued a New One.
I know there was a lot of pressure on Jonathan to give OPL 246 back to Danjuma, but Jonathan didn’t.
Today, Theophilus Danjuma is Trending for what he failed to do about Nigeria when he had The Opportunity to be Fair, to be Just, to Berth an Egalitarian society. Danjuma played the Northern card, climbing every step to his heights, wrong by wrong…..Yet, he now throws the off tangent card!??
There are more than just tangents to the Nigerian circle of abnormalities.
I shall be only glad when we are all thinking people.
A manipulated trig definition of, “Self Defense”, a la Theophilus, to suit his own ends, only becomes an obtuse defense of a man with his past. And I will never be part of that. It would result in a tangent that is pretty negative…!
The Real conversation is, Danjuma was part of the conspiracy that brought the Buhari calamity.
Danjuma cannot claim not to know the Buhari that was to come.
Same with Obasanjo and Babangida. Danjuma is even worse… While both Babangida and Obasanjo warned Tinubu of who Buhari would turn out to be, Danjuma threw the Truth out and sang his praises… That Buhari is a sine wave in a continuous curve was known in and out of the military.
He was neither sharp, smart or a liberal. He was the butt of officers’ mess jokes, and also the cause of serious concerns in moderacy.
They all threw us under the bus and Danjuma does not deserve any empathy for whatever he may have said lately.
That Today the likes of Obasanjo, Babangida, Danjuma are talking out will not, should not make great examples of the “Born Again” cliché, since a sine wave is a Cartesian representation, a deliberate attempt to deceive, that took us from a definite direction of growth, unity and prosperity to this menace of poverty, disunity, killing fields, all for personal and segregational interests..
Technically, a good representation is cyclical, like a circle. It involves good input from each member and then moves on to the issues that affect everybody…. Right from when the economy started going bad, from 80% of appointments going to the North, from the 97% versus 5% dichotomy, should the likes of Danjuma, Obasanjo, Babangida have started to speak. The are conspiratorial and complicit to every evil visited upon Nigeria by the monster they berthed.
The actual nature of discussion that will perhaps make more visible sense is not in self defense, for people will only die, but in the death of the feudal North and the birth of the federal Nigeria.
In a less Greedy, less self-centered space, a call for RESTRUCTURING from Danjuma would make a decent visualization of him in an academic gown – though its not linear, the conversation is still going some where, that a mental approach is being given to solving Nigeria’s problems.
I remember being part of The South West summit that took place in Abeokuta at the presidential library… Obasanjo who was not sold on the idea, was inundated and bombarded by the likes of Dr Christopher Kolade, Chief Mrs Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, Chief Afe Babalola, who hammered on the Need for Restructuring…
And today, is Obasanjo not now also singing the Restructuring song…!??
Tell Danjuma, while he still has some time left to make peace with the Earth and Heavens, it will do him some good to say the Truth, even for this once — This present structure is Not Working.
Danjuma, tell your people and the Feudal North, Restructure, or we all go Bust!
Enough of endless Grandstanding and Gaslighting. The Nigeria you helped create and benefited from is an Albatros, it is a Monster, it sucks Blood and decapitates Limbs….
It is only when a Nigeria is created that is different from how you went about the event of July 29 1966, that you can have the peace that will remain elusive in Taraba and in other places in the North Central Zone!