Saturday, April 23

26 Years After Orka’s Coup: Why I Did Not Kill President Babangida

26 Years After Orka’s Coup: Why I Did Not Kill President Babangida

LT. SOS ECHENDU!

The calm and cool Sunday afternoon breeze was slapping travelers on this quiet country road down south. Traffic was light thus driving on a two lane smooth road deeper into a sprawling sub division was like high ways to heaven. The clear blue sky was strikingly colorful and immaculate.

You could feel heaven hugging the earth this mid cold falls Sunday. At the median of the road were trees blooming with kaleidoscope of colors. Soon, the colorful leaves would turn brown and the leaves would begin to leave the trees. Old farmlands littered with antic farm equipment dotted the roadsides, inside beautifully landscaped gardens and acres of land.  As I travelled along, I was occasionally interrupted by raging farm trucks plying and  of country people disturbing the serenity of nature.

Behold the sights of corner stores along this road, set in between the Pleasant Valley Mountains and the Blue ridge mountains of North Carolina. Even the benighted wandering birds flew helplessly with the freedom of their souls seeking pleasure and peace along this clean and manicured country road. Lt Echendu Jebose

I pulled into this upscale sprawling subdivision and found him: LT. SOS ECHENDU!

This is where he calls home now, along with his beautiful wife and family. He is no longer a Nigerian soldier, but an investor and a Nuclear medicine scientist living in United States, 24 years after he master minded the siege on Dodan Barracks, the seat of Federal Military Government of Nigeria, in Nigeria’s last coup of April 22, 1990 that attempted to topple then President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.

For many years, Lt Echendu, described by one of his colleagues, Capt. Tolofori as a” Very brilliant and courageous officer”’ stayed on the run due partly to the failure of the coup and a heavy bounty on his head by the then Military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida: “Jebose, I wasted seven years of my life on the run. Hence, I married late. It’s a huge sacrifice worthy for my country. No regrets.”

April 22, 1990, a group of Army Majors and Lieutenants, attempted an uprising against the Military administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Late, Major Gideon Orkar led these young officers. Lt Echendu was one of the major key player officers of that coup. His mission was to implode Dodan Barracks and as an Armored Vehicles officer expert, dislocate all Armored vehicles, secure the Dodan Barracks perimeters in order to allow the Infantry entrance, execute and or capture the president. He was given this assignment because he lived inside Dodan Barracks and tactically knew the logistics and operations of the environment.

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