WHO WAS EMMANUEL IFEAJUNA?
And why no Igbo man has named his son Ifeajuna since his death:
Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna was born around 1935 and was executed by Emeka Ojukwu on 25 September 1967.
He was an Onitsha man who graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI) with a science degree. During his time at UI, he led many student’s union protests.
While also at UI he became close friends with Christopher Okigbo and J.P. Clark, both of whom would go on to become prominent Nigerian poets.
lfeajuna was also a close friend of Emeka Anyaoku, later Commonwealth Secretary-General. He was affiliated with the Dynamic Party, led by mathematician Chike Obi.
At the 1954 Games in Vancouver, Canada, he competed wearing only his left shoe yet managed to clear 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m), which was both a Games record and a British Empire record for the discipline. The resulting gold medal made him the FIRST Black African to win at a major international sports competition.
He was one of the first University graduates to join the Nigerian Army. Post-graduation, he became a science teacher at Ebenezer Anglican Grammar School in Abeokuta. Ifeajuna remained in regular contact with Okigbo, who also went on to teach, and the two continued to discuss revolutionary politics.
This culminated in Ifeajuna leaving the teaching profession to join the army in 1960. He underwent training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, United Kingdom. As a graduate, he rose quickly within the military ranks and reached the position of Major in January 1966. He was the brigade major in Lagos.
People often think that Major Kaduna Nzeogwu was the brain behind the first coup. Major Ifeajuna was the brain behind the first coup and Emeka Ojukwu later confirmed this in one of his interviews.
It was and it’s still believed that Ifeajuna killed the prime minister Tafawa Balewa and captured and killed Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari his commanding officer. Ifeajuna also shot and killed Lieutenant General Abogo Largema at a hotel in the Ikoyi district of Lagos. He also killed the finance minister Festus Okotie-Ebo.
According to the coup plotters, they wanted to finish off the first republicans and make Obafemi Awolowo president.
The first coup was foiled by General Aguiyi Ironsi and Emeka Ojukwu (both Igbos). Ifeajuna then fled to Ghana where he was welcomed by Kwame Nkruma, the then president. Nkrumah’s regime was overthrown shortly afterwards and Ifeajuna returned to Nigeria (during the war) after assurances from Emeka Ojukwu that his life would not be at risk. Ifeajuna again became involved in the military, this time within the Biafran Army.
Ifeajuna, Victor Banjo, Phillip Alale and Sam Agbam began negotiating with the federal Nigerian officials, via British agents, hoping to bring about a ceasefire, overthrow Ojukwu/kill Ojukwu, kill Gowon, make Obafemi Awolowo president and gain prominent positions for themselves. Ojukwu uncovered this plot and sentenced the four to death by firing squad for treason.
Ifeajuna claimed the plan was to preserve civilian lives in Enugu from an oncoming assault by federal troops (which he arranged with the Nigerian Army and the British). Ifeajuna and his three co-conspirators were executed on 25 September 1967. Enugu, the Biafran capital, was captured by federal Nigerian forces two days later (courtesy of Ifeajuna and co).
Ifeajuna achieved a lot for Africa but his betrayal of his own people and longer-throat for money/power/ambition finished him off. Today, no Igbo man wants to name his son Ifeajuna.
Ifeajuna is simply a saboteur and a traitor!
Nzeogwu received a proper military burial. Ojukwu received an over-proper military burial with the current president at the time GEJ present. But Ifeajuna received nothing.
A lesson for traitors and those currently working against their own people.
September 14, 2018 is another day set aside by the indigenous people of Biafra IPOB to remember those killed by sabotage in the course of the freedom fighting
#Sit at home 14/09/2018.