Home FEATURES On This Day On This Day: Major Gideon Orkar’s 1990 Coup

On This Day: Major Gideon Orkar’s 1990 Coup



On this day: in history (1990), Major Gideon Gwaza Orkar staged a coup against General Ibrahim Babangida. Orkar’s people seized the FRCN radio station, various military posts around Lagos and the Dodan Barracks, Lagos, the military headquarters and presidential residence. Babangida was there when the barracks were attacked, but managed to escape by a back route.

In his coup address, amongst other things he called for the consideration of an excision of five northern states. However, the coup was crushed by the Babangida regime and Orkar was executed for his role. He refused to attempt to escape even though he could easily have. He also joined the coup plot very late being conscripted into the plot only a few weeks before its execution. The coup began after the group had met for a final briefing at a warehouse in Ikorodu, Lagos State, which was owned by Grear Ogboru.

Other than Orkar’s speech, which Lt. Gen Abacha in his own broadcast later that day would describe as “an embarrassing radio broadcast,” other factors contributed to the failure of that coup.
There was the fact that the coup had to be launched in a hurry. The plotters, mostly mid-level officers, feared there had been a leak within their ranks and did not want to be rounded up. They began an offensive that eventually delivered a premature baby.

There were tactical failures as well. Capt. N. H Empere’s failure to secure the T-55 tanks at Dodan Barracks when he had the chance to do so was fatal. Those same tanks would be used by the Abacha-led troops to decimate the coupist. Also, failure to neutralize Gen. Babangida and Abacha were also key factors in a day of many failures for Orkar’s men.

#myhistorydiary #history #army #nigeria




Created by Okey Obiabunmo

Liked it? Take a second to support Cmoni on Patreon!