As Nigeria marks the Armed Forces Remembrance Day 2024, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has expressed sadness at the event of January 15, 1966.
The group said the event set Nigeria on a sad trajectory in its political development from which it is yet to recover.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Professor Tukur Muhammad-Baba, it condemned attempts to re-write history, and said the North was yet to recover from the war.
“January 15th, 2024 marks the 58th anniversary of a very dark day in the political history of Nigeria.
“It is beyond a Remembrance Day for members of the armed forces who paid the supreme price in defence of the nation, as it was on 15th January, 1966, that the first ever military coup took place in Nigeria, signaled by the cold-blooded assassination of 21 people,” the statement said.
He said, for ACF, 15th January, 1966, remained most poignantly significant “because Northern Nigeria lost its most illustrious sons to the guns of the coup plotters, ending their brilliant political and military careers.”
According to the statement, the 1966 coup sign-posted the death of Nigeria’s nascent democracy which event still reverberates most negatively in the national political history.
“Repeated attempts by a section of the country especially dating back to the Oputa Panel of 2001 but now increasingly through the ungoverned social media to re-write the facts of the coup and its sour significance will not be tolerated.
“Arewa will never forget and the nation should not, and no amount of historical revisionism will erase the rabid ethnicism clear in the planning and execution of the coup.
“The attempt to whitewash the political mess, as indeed being attempted by otherwise highly educated people, will not erase the dark and indelible ink in which the history of the event is written.
“ACF decries, rejects and condemns any such historical revisionism, or attempts to shatter the unity of Arewa.
“The strategy is puerile at best and provocative. January 15th, 1966, remains a day of infamy in our national history.
“The essence of marking the date as we do is not to ever forget its dire consequences and we must guard against similar actions in the future,” it said.