Abuja - Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday said he was “persuaded” to take over the reins of power after the 1976 coup which claimed the life of the then head of state, Murtala Muhammed, Daily Post reports.
Muhammed was killed on February 13,1976 in a coup spearheaded by Bukarsuka Dimka, a colonel in the Nigerian Army.
Obasanjo, who was the second-in-command at the time, escaped being killed by the coup plotters.
Obasanjo recollected the events when he hosted the cast and crew of the yet to be released film, titled “1976” at his Presidential Library in Abeokuta.
The former president said Nigerians had thought that the coup would bring the country to an end.
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He said there were misconceptions about the coup, which upturned the political situation at the that time.
Obasanjo said the misconception stemmed from the fact that most of those involved in the coup were Christians and killing the head of state, who was a Muslim, was seen as a bad signal for a nation according to Premium Times.
“The killing of a Muslim on a Friday by a gang thought to be Christians, particularly, when we remembered the first coup, which upturned the political situation, gave a bad signal,” Obasanjo recalled.
Speaking further on his experience with the slain Muhammed, Obasanjo said, “We worked like jackass for the peace of the country and I was persuaded to take over the headship of the country”.
On the film, which was partly shown during the interaction, Obasanjo described the film, as “a mixture of sweet and sorrow”.
“It will make us to remind ourselves not to go back to the dark days, which put us in ‘go-no-go’ situation.
“We can have more of this, as there are more national issues that can be portrayed. We are capable of the best and that is what this film has shown.”
The film’s Executive Producer, Tonye Princewill, remarked that the cast and crew of “1976” was on tour of the country to seek support and endorsement for the film, billed to premier in November.
- News 24