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Role I performed in 1966 coup – General Atom Kpera

A former military governor of the defunct East Central State (presently Anambra State), Brigadier General John Atom Kara (red), has explained his position within the 1966 coup. Kara said he was given concern within the coup due to the fact his Officer Commanding ‘Exercise Damisa’, which he defined as ‘orders.’ The former navy, who governor narrated his involvement to Daily Trust, stated, “I was in Kaduna as a 2d lieutenant in 1966, having again to Nigeria in August the previous 12 months.

“So I changed into there in Kaduna. I joined the engineering phase of the army career in which I became earlier than the 1966 coup. I become commanding a troop because it becomes called inside the Engineers simultaneously inside the infantry it’s far known as a platoon. I recognize the next question would be, how did it show up? The long and brief is that I took part in that coup because my Officer Commanding organized what was referred to as ‘Exercise Damisa,’ and on our personal, we knew as it orders.

It changed into that exercise that we were going for, a schooling workout inside the nighttime. My entire squadron was also part of the workout. So we went out there inside the night in which we may want to do a night (attack) and then occupy strategic locations. “That turned into the practice and my troop was assigned to capture and defend the then National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in Kaduna.

“In my personal case, I become assigned to shield the Radio station. Within the first night time, we did the nighttime assault the Zaria Road, then came to the Radio station, surrounded it and positioned troops to defend it. After the nighttime assault in the bush, our commanders enumerated the diverse locations called VPs (crucial factors).

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The Officer Commanding then came and inspected and stated, ‘Okay, stand down’ which means you may now cross. That becomes true. Then the subsequent nighttime… we assembled at 7 pm, went via the same exercise, and my O/C came and inspected, however this time, he didn’t say,’ stand down.

He simply stated, ‘Okay, you may get your stand-down orders later.’ The following day, I noticed one officer named J. C. Ojukwu who said the workout was completed, and Major Hassan Katsina turned in with us. I requested him: ‘What are you speak approximately?’ That was once I started out having a concept that it turned into a coup. Then our O/C got here and stated we must stay on our posts and no longer permit every person to be available or go out. That became the second night once I started having the idea that it turned into a coup.

That is why I said I participated in it blindfolded. I wasn’t the simplest one; all our officers, in all likelihood only the Igbo officers knew that it become a coup. In that squadron, there were four non-Igbo; every other man or woman changed into an officer of Igbo extraction. That was the way it went.

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