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DISCOVER NIGERIA: The Eid El Kabir Of 1985

By Nehi Igbinijesu.

Photo Credit: Sunmi Smart Cole

It was Eid El Kabir morning on the 27th August, 1985, when the fearful blare of general purpose machine guns filled the air around Dodan Barracks. A mutiny had been in the offing. Nigeria’s strongman at the time, General Muhammadu Buhari had been ousted in a bloodless palace coup led by Major General Ibrahim Babangida and other members of the Supreme Military Council (SMC).

Despite justifying their claim to power with relieving Nigerians of General Buhari’s draconian style of government, it was widely believed that the real reason for overthrowing the Buhari regime was based on an order for investigation into allegations of fraudulent award of contracts in the Defence Ministry. Buhari’s insistence on this investigation against the general view of the SMC became his fait accompli.

Upon assumption of power, General Babangida introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme in 1985. Popularly referred to as, “Maradona” for his sly and evasive approach to public policy making, he is best remembered for his annulment of the most credible election ever held in Nigerian history on 12th of June 1993.



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