Nzeogwu and the 1966 coup: Another perspective

Nzeogwu and the 1966 coup: Another perspective

Sunday, January 12, 2020 4:38 pm


Fidel Castro

Wale Adedayo

Major Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu, who carried the first coup in Nigeria in 1966, was selfless. He was ready to die if need be in order to make Nigeria a better place. And, he was in a haste. He saw tomorrow and sought to make his society better. 

Unfortunately, he was not matured enough to know that in any revolution, the selfish and myopic often show up among the Comrades. Besides, he was also a Black or White person. And, only experience teaches that issues in the world are not just about being Black or White. There are many Grey areas to be considered.

Above all, Nzeogwu, unlike Fidel Castro of Cuba, relied on his Catholic background, naively believing that God always favours those who want the best for their societies. Instead of asking his ancestors for direction, it was a foreign religious crutch he used, thus the untold disaster that followed the epoch events of 15 January 1966.

Ifa’s involvement from the beginning of the Cuban Revolution was not only confirmed on 8 January 1959, when a white dove landed on Castro’s right shoulder with two others hovering in front as the Leader delivered his speech, the CIA failed in its almost 1,000 attempts to snuff life out of Castro using every resources at the disposal of successive American Governments. 

But Nzeogwu remains a first class Nigerian Patriot. He was a class act African. Continue to rest in peace man! We are learning to pick up the pieces and to improve on the process you initiated. We have come to realise that the grey areas are key. We have also turned back to what our fathers were into, trying our best to improve on it better than Castro and his comrades did.


On Castro and divination, below is a story published by Uhuru Times, using Reuters, entitled:

From the archives: Yoruba gods protect Fidel Castro – Cuban Babalawo

Yoruba gods protect ailing Fidel Castro from witchcraft and want to see him continue leading Cuba, the first priest of the Santeria religion to be elected to parliament said on Monday.

“Olodumare says he is the one that should be there and so he is untouchable,” said Antonio Castaneda, a babalawo (priest) in the religion slaves brought to colonial Cuba from Nigeria.

Hurricanes may batter Cuba this year, but Castro’s health will not break, according to the orishas (deities), he said.

The 614-seat National Assembly elected on Sunday must approve Cuba’s top leadership at its first session on February 24, when Cubans will learn whether Castro will retire as head of state.

Castro, 81, has not appeared in public since stomach surgery for an undisclosed illness forced him to hand over power temporarily to his brother almost 18 month ago.

Santeria followers have believed their gods were on Fidel Castro’s side ever since a white dove landed on his shoulder during a victory speech in Havana after his 1959 revolution.

Castaneda, who played the sax at Havana’s famed Tropicana cabaret for 30 years, never joined Cuba’s Communist Party, but considers himself a “revolutionary.” He praised Cuba’s social safety net despite widespread economic hardships Cubans face.

He said 60 percent of Cubans believe in Santeria and he can give them a voice in the National Assembly. Castaneda won a seat as president of the Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba, which is close to the government.

The orishas augur a good year for Cuba, the babalawo said. “If Cuba marches ahead, so too does the Comandante,” he said.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Eric Beech)


* This story was first published by the international news agency, Reuters, on Monday, 21 January 2008.

-Wale Adedayo, a political analyst, is the publisher of Uhuru Times

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