“The General’s Gambit: A Tale of Power and Betrayal in Nigeria.”

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               On march 5,1986, Major General Mamman Jiya Vatsa was executed by firing squad along side 13 other military officers. This execution followed a guilty verdict for reasonable charge delivered by a tribunal led by Gen Idio-Mu. Vatsa, a childhood friend of the then military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, faced allegations of plotting and financing a coup.
The sequence of events leading to Vatsa’s arrest began on December 23,1985. Late that night, Gen.Vatsa, who was the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and a member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council, received a call from his friend Babangida, then head of state, inviting him to Dodan Barracks in Lagos the seat of power of the time. Gen Vatsa’s wife, Yufiya advised her husband Vatsa against going to Lagos to honour the invitation because it was already late in the night. suddenly, before he could make a decision, one of the junior officer loyal to General Babangida , Lt. Col. UK. Bello stormed his residence with a squad of soldiers fully armed surrounding everywhere and effectively placing Vatsa under house arrest.Vatsa was subsequently accused of treason, specifically being charged with the involvement of plotting and financing a coup. Prior to this frame up, Vatsa had earlier been accused of involvement in a coup plot led by Col. Dimka which was denounced and later discovered to be false. A case of giving (a dog a bad name to hang it). Gen. Vatsa close friendship and personal relationship with Gen.Ibrahim included being classmates way back at Government college Bida, and military colleagues did not save him. His wife Yufiya, attempted to mediate between her husband and Babangida in her naivety and firm belief in friendship, justice, truth and fear of God Almighty, but her efforts was unsuccessful.
Unfortunately, following the tribunal’s verdict led by Gen. Idio-Mu. Gen Vatsa and 13 other convicted soldiers were sentenced to death. The execution were carried out amidst widespread condemnation, General Mamman Vatsa was a revered reputation poet and writer, which perhaps necessitated the interest and widespread public condemnation, his execution and that of the other military officers attracted.
Despite the past history and efforts by close eminent individuals to appeal to draw Babangida’s attention to close their long standing friendship. Gen. Ibrahim Babangida was always hell bent on dealing with any perceived obstacle, being it friend, colleague, associate without showing leniency, due to what some people referred to as fear of the unknown, lust for power and greed.
General Mamman Vatsa’s Military career began with his graduation from the Nigerian Military Training College in the year 1962, followed by training at the India Military Academy, where he became a second Lieutenant. His military involvement included participation in the counter- coup of July 1966, aimed at avenging the earlier coup of January 1966.
During this period, Gen Vatsa served at the Battalion in Ibadan, where Major General Aguyi Ironsi was killed. Today, the Babangida who orchestrated the killings of so many sons and daughters with the likes of one of Nigeria’s finest, respected, and globally acclaimed Journalist, publisher of News watch Magazine, Dele Giwa was murdered in a very despicable and barbaric circumstances with a letter bomb in 1986 in early hours of Saturday in his residence at Ikeja.
Targeted the killings of very many officers via arranged Air crashes, orchestrating the execution of several military officers in Nigeria, derailed the transition to democratic rule by consistently cancelling already concluded elections, perpetually sitted in a customized wheel chair in one corner of the over one hundred rooms villa, which was supposed to be an extension of the Nigeria seat of governance, which he converted to his personal residence on stepping aside according to him to pressure civil society groups, and international organizations.
Babangida was responsible for the annulment of election won by chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola ( MKO) of blessed memory.

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