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Nigeria’s General Murtala Muhammad , Africa’s Son who contributed to the Liberation of South Africa And Republic of Namibia.

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Late General Murtala Muhammad

 

By: Zubair A Zubair

 

Leaders spends time to read ,carefully read this article if you want to make a good leader . History: Throughout our history, Africa has had her own men and women as outstanding fighters for Liberation of Africa , One of them is late Nigerian Military President General Murtala Rufai Ramat Muhammed (8 November 1938 – 13 February 1976) was the military ruler (Head of the Federal Military Government) of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976.

 

MILITARY CARREER: Murtala Muhammed joined the Nigerian Army in 1958. He spent short training stints in Nigeria and Ghana and then was trained as an officer cadet at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in England, he subsequently took a specialized signals course in the tenth arm specialty of Signal at Carrerick Garrison. After his training, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1961 and assigned to the Nigerian Army Signals that same year, later spending a short stint with the Nigerian No. 3 Brigade.

Assassination: Murtala Muhammed was killed, aged 37, along with his Aide-De-Camp (ADC), Lieutenant Akintunde Akinsehinwa, in his black Mercedes Benz saloon car on 13 February 1976, in an abortive coup attempt led by Lt. Col Buka Suka Dimka , when his car was ambushed en route to his office at Dodan Barracks, Lagos . The only visible sign of protection was a pistol carried by his orderly, therefore making his assassination an easy task.

HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO LIBERATION OF AFRICA: In the case of Murtala Muhammad and South Africa General Murtala Muhammed recognized the political dimension of the South African liberation war, as shown in his masterful speech, Africa Has Come of Age, delivered at the OAU Summit in Addis Ababa, on 11 th January 1976. South Africa viewed itself as the protector of Western Civilization on the continent, embarrassing its Western sponsors with the crudity of its racist ideology. In its own version of the American Monroe Doctrine, it stated its right to dominate all of Africa south of the Equator. Subscribing to Bismark’s geopolitical ideas, it regarded this area of millions of square kilometres as its ‘legitimate sphere of influence’, which endeared it to the then American Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger; another student of Bismarck’s outmoded 19 th century doctrine. Given the international distaste for its racist policy, which made it a pariah, it insisted on having buffer states between its borders and the Equator, which would not challenge its apartheid policies. It therefore supported Portuguese colonialism in Angola and Mozambique, Ian Smith’s racism in Rhodesia, and the neo-colonialism of the USA, France, Belgium and the UK in the other countries. Nations such as Tanzania, Mozambique, and to a lesser extent Zambia were subject to orchestrated terror, and Angola became the arena where the racists hoped to crush the challenge to its hegemony. Murtala Muhammed accepted this challenge, and harnessed the resources of his country to establish the freedom of Angola under the leadership of the MPLA. Murtala estagblished very forcefully that the fight was between African Nationalism, the right of the black man to freedom, and Western Imperialism which condemned the African to slavery for the past five centuries. There was no question of Apartheid South Africa fighting the political red herring of International Communism.

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Proof was the economic, military, and diplomatic support given to Apartheid by the US, which kept its huge African-American minority as second class citizens. Although Nigeria contributed money and some ammunition to the MPLA, its vital contribution was political. The OAU was a hodgepodge of nations from right, left and centre, which tended to adopt vacuous policies, the least common denominator in political terms, bland, uncontroversial, and unthreatening. One of these was the policy of giving equal support to all liberation movements, regardless of effectiveness or coloration. Since all the occupied territories which the OAU was committed to liberate had multiple ‘liberation movements’, it was possible for ‘freedom fighters’ to collect money from the organization’s headquarters in Addis Ababa and spend it right there, in the expensive hotels of that great city. In the case of Angola, which the Summit was convened to discuss, Murtala showed not just the futility but also the danger of this policy. While the OAU was obliged to support the movements equally, the policy put no constraints on outside forces. Thus the USA, Mobutu’s Congo, and South Africa allied with the FLNA and UNITA to destroy the MPLA, the movement which controlled most of the country, and had the resources to lead the country in the anti-imperialist struggle. In this situation Murtala demonstrated that this policy was a formula for inaction while imperialism did its worst. The open support given by racist South Africa to the FLNA and UNITA showed that these movements were beyond the pale, their alliance a threat to all Africans. His analysis also put the pro-Western majority in the OAU on the spot, because of the West’s support for Apartheid’s objectives in Angola and the rest of Southern Africa. His speech which capped a period of vigorous Nigerian diplomacy forced a basically conservative group to recognize the MPLA as the sole legitimate government in Angola. Culled from (Reflections on Nigerian Leadership: Murtala Muhammad By Patrick Wilmot Former Professor of Sociology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria).

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HIS SERVICE : He (General Murtala Muhammad) was
1- Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria from July 30, 1973, until he was assassinated on February 13, 1976.
2- He sponsored The Southern Africa Relief Fund, launched in Nigeria in 1977, for public contributions in support of African liberation struggles, received over twenty million naira.
3- International Seminar on the Eradication of Apartheid and in Support of the Struggle for Liberation in South Africa, organised by the Special Committee against Apartheid in Havana from May 24 to 28, 1976
4- “Programme of Action against Apartheid”, endorsed by the General Assembly, in resolution 31/6 J of November 9, 1976
5- International Conference in Support of the Peoples of Zimbabwe and Namibia (Maputo, May 16-21, 1977), organised by the United Nations in consultation with the Organisation of African Unity; World Conference against Colonialism, Racism and Apartheid in Southern Africa (Lisbon, June 16-20, 1977), organised by non-governmental organisations.
6- A study of United States policy towards southern Africa, prepared for the National Security Council in 1969 and classified secret, was published by the press in 1975. Throughout her history, Africa has had her own men and women who have shone forth as outstanding fighters for such a full life. We refer to giants such as Chief Albert Luthuli, Eduardo Mondlane, Amilcar Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Mohammed V and others. AFRICAN LEADERS ACKNOWLEDGING GENERAL MURTALA MUHAMMAD CONTRIBUTIONS TO LIBERATION OF AFRICA STATES: O.R Tambo in August 1977 in Lagos eighteen month after Gen.Murtala Muhammad’s assassination has these to say: We refer also to the late General Murtala Muhammed(2) who, hardly eighteen months ago in Addis Ababa, said, “when I contemplate the evils of apartheid my heart bleeds…”. We did not know then that a month later Murtala Muhammed`s heart would bleed for the last time, through fatal wounds opened by the hands of crazed assassins. Neither did the world know then that five months later the blood of South African youth, men, women and children would flow in the streets of Soweto, Langa, Mameledi, Alexandra and other black ghettos at the hands of the same enemy forces. The enemies of progress were frightened by the fact that he actively led this great nation into the frontline of the struggle to destroy the apartheid regime at a time when that regime was trying to reverse the historical process in Angola, as it has attempted to do in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, away from the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, away from freedom from want and fear. Mr. President, this World Conference for Action against Apartheid has therefore an obligation to honour the memory of this great hero, to honour him in a manner befitting a man of resolute and revolutionary action. Speech at Crucial Stage in the Struggle for Liberation of Southern Africa – Statement at the World Conference for Action against Apartheid by O. R. Tambo, Lagos, Nigeria, 23 August 1977. GENERAL MURTALA MUHAMMAD’S SPEECH THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD: Here’s the conclusion of his brilliant oration at the OAU Summit a month before his Death: “Africa has come of age. It is no longer under the orbit of any extra continental power. It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful. The fortunes of Africa are in our hands to make or to mar. For too long have we been kicked around: for too long have we been treated like adolescents who cannot discern their interests and act accordingly. For too long has it been presumed that the African needs outside ‘experts’ to tell him who are his friends and who are his enemies. The time has come when we should make it clear that we can decide for ourselves; that we know our own interests and how to protect those interests; that we are capable of resolving African problems without presumptuous lessons in ideological dangers which, more often than not, have no relevance for us, nor for the problem at hand.” This speech was a manifesto of African liberation, a guide to its future.

HIS SUPPORTS: The Government of Nigeria under General MURTALA MUHAMMAD as Military President gave Nelson Mandela £10,000 for his self keep when he travelled north from his apartheid hellhole. Over 6,000 South Africans Enjoyed Free Education sponsored by his Regime. He supported SWAPO Leader Dr Sam Nujoma of Namibia with weapons and Cash . After Namibia had gained Independence about two decades after his assassination. The Government of the Republic of Namibia Named a Road (express) before the fallen Nigerian Military Leader as a way to Immortalize his contributions to Namibia’s Liberation.

 

The above story is compiled by
Zubair A Zubair, a Nigerian based columnist, Pan Africanist, and he could be reach through his Email: Zubairkano118@gmail.com

History

Brief History Of Modakeke

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Modakeke is a town in Osun State, South West Nigeria, with a population of close to three hundred thousand people.

The Modakekes are also known as the Akoraye and have a history of valor at war and are prosperous farmers.

With the fall of the Oyo Empire to the Fulani, the Yoruba kingdom was thrown into confusion and the inhabitants of the Old Oyo were dispersed and started new settlements all around Yoruba land.

Fleeing southwards in search of new abodes after the fall of the Oyo Empire, the Oyos started settling among the Ifes in 1834.

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As the Romans of old, they were soldier-farmers. They were hardy as soldiers and industrious as farmers.

Having lost all their possessions in their hasty flight, they started life in Ife by doing menial jobs to enable them eke out a living.

The reigning Ooni of Ife, Oba Akinmoyero was said to have received them well.

They started growing and producing different types of food crops on farmlands given to them by their hosts.

A good number of them got recruited into Ife’s weak army and it was through their gallantry that Ife had its territory extended to Alakowe, its present boundary with Ilesa.

Prior to the arrival of the Oyos, Ijesha land extended to the present location of the Palace of the Ooni of Ife.

This is why the Palace area is known as Enuwa (Enu Owa) until today.

Ooni Akinmoyero gave the displaced Oyo an expanse of land to stay outside the walls of Ife,the place given to the Modakekes was home to a species of bird called Ako (Stork), Hence the origin of the appellation AKORAYE(The stork has a place).

It was also customary for the storks at the location to chirp and sing the rhyme Mo-da-ke-ke-ke-ke which was most of the time heard by the Ifes and it was decided that the new settlement would be called MODAKEKE

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History

History of the Ajanakus Family in Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria

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Early 19th Century: The Beginning
The Ajanakus family traces its roots back to the early 19th century in Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria. The family’s progenitor, Pa Ajanaku, was known for his wisdom and leadership within the local community. He was a respected farmer and trader, contributing significantly to the agrarian economy of Ilesa.

Late 19th Century: Expansion and Influence

By the late 1800s, the Ajanaku family had expanded both in size and influence. Pa Ajanaku’s descendants continued his legacy, establishing themselves as prominent figures in agriculture and local commerce. The family became known for their cultivation of cocoa, a key cash crop in the region, which boosted their economic standing.

Early 20th Century: Community Leadership

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In the early 1900s, the Ajanaku family began to take on more formal leadership roles within Ilesa. Members of the family held various chieftaincy titles and were involved in the administration of the town. Their influence extended to education, as they were instrumental in the establishment of local schools, promoting literacy and learning in the community.

Mid-20th Century: Modernization and Political Involvement

The mid-20th century saw the Ajanaku family adapting to the changing political landscape of Nigeria. They played key roles during the colonial period and the struggle for independence. Family members were active in local and regional politics, advocating for the rights and development of the Ilesa community.

Late 20th Century: Economic Diversification

As Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the Ajanaku family diversified their economic activities. They ventured into various industries, including manufacturing and real estate. Their entrepreneurial spirit contributed to the economic growth of Ilesa and Osun State.

21st Century: Legacy and Continuity

Today, the Ajanaku family remains a pillar of the Ilesa community. They continue to uphold their legacy of leadership, community service, and economic contribution. The younger generation has embraced modern professions, including law, medicine, and technology, while still honoring the family’s historical roots in agriculture and commerce.

The Ajanakus’ enduring legacy in Ilesa is a testament to their resilience, adaptability, and commitment to their community, reflecting the broader historical and cultural evolution of Osun State and Nigeria as a whole.

 

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History

Margaret Walker: Trailblazing Poet, Scholar, and Activist

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Margaret Walker was born on July 7, 1915, in Birmingham, Alabama was a college student at the age of 15 when she begin writing poetry. She received a BA from Northwestern University in 1935 and an MA from the University of Iowa in 1940. In 1936 she joined the Federal Writers’ Project in Chicago, where she became friends with Richard Wright and joined his South Side Writers Group.

In 1941 Walker became the first African American poet to receive the Yale Younger Poets Prize, for her debut collection For My People (Yale University Press, 1942). She was also the author of the poetry collections This Is My Century: New and Collected Poems (University of Georgia Press, 1989), October Journey (Broadside Press, 1973), and Prophets for a New Day (Broadside Press, 1970).

Walker married Firnist Alexander in 1943, and together they had four children. In 1949 they moved to Mississippi, where she joined the faculty at Jackson State College. She returned to the University of Iowa for her doctoral studies and received a PhD in 1965. The following year, she published her dissertation as a novel, Jubilee (Houghton Mifflin, 1966).

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In 1968 Walker founded the Institute for the Study of the History, Life, and Culture of Black People at Jackson State College. As director of the institute, which was later renamed the Margaret Walker Center, she organized the 1971 National Evaluative Conference on Black Studies and the 1973 Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival.

After Walker retired from teaching in 1979, she published On Being Female, Black, and Free (University of Tennessee Press, 1997), a collection of personal essays, and Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius (Warner Books, 1988), a work of nonfiction informed by her friendship with Wright. Margaret Walker died of cancer on November 30, 1998, in Jackson, Mississippi.

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