Fifty
years ago today, on July 29th 1966, a man by the name of Lt. Col. Francis
Adekunle Fajuyi gave his life in Defence of our country and the then Head of
State, General Johnson Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi.

His
killers were a group of northern army officers who participated in the
so-called northern “revenge coup” of July 29th 1966.

No
less than 300 Igbo army officers were slaughtered that night together with a
handful of yoruba soldiers, including Fajuyi.

Lt.
Col. Fajuyi was a Yoruba man who opted to die in Defence of an Igbo Head of
State. This was not only honorable and courageous but it was also unique and
unprecedented.

He
was a selfless hero and a man that we shall honor and immortalize in the new
Nigeria that is to come.

Those
that murdered him, General Aguiyi-Ironsi and the famous 300 in cold blood that
night are still running the affairs of our country till today. They determine
who is who and who gets what. They decide who our President will be and how
long he will remain in power.

As
a matter of fact their hateful hegemony and evil intentions are even more
pronounced and frightful today than they were in 1966 and their grip on the
levers of power in our country is even stronger.

Today
they are fully in charge and some of those that actually shot Fajuyi are fully
behind them.

Yet
despite their intention to dominate, silence, break and destroy the rest of us
one thing remains clear: the Fajuyi spirit of courage, unity, selflesness and
sacrifice has been imbued by millions in the southern and Middle Belt regions
of our country.

These
are men and women that are prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with the
oppressed of our nation, whether they be Niger Deltans, Igbos, Yorubas? Middle
Belters or anything else.

These
are men and women that are prepared to resist the perfidious religious and
ethnic agenda of the “born to rule” in our midst and that recognise
the fact that they regard the rest of us as nothing but slaves.

When
it comes to southern rights and interests we the Yoruba particularly must learn
a lesson from our own son Fajuyi and emulate his example.

Like
him, if necessary, we must be ready to sacrifice our lives and liberty in
defence of any or all of our southern and Middle Belt bretheren that are facing
persecution, genocide and injustice at the hands of our collective slave
masters.

It
is also time for us to appreciate the fact that if we truly want to be free we
must extend our hand of friendship across the River Niger to the Igbo and we
must see their bitter travails as being ours as well.

We
must also feel the pain when an Igbo or Niger-Deltan youth is slaughtered by
President Buhari’s army in the name of “crushing all opposition and
dissent” and “keeping Nigeria one”.

We
must acknowledge the fact that Nigeria cannot remain one as long as there is
ethnic and religious bigotry, oppression and injustice.

We
must appreciate the fact that there can never be southern, or indeed Middle
Belt, emancipation without southern unity.

Fajuyi
understood that point 50 years ago. Consequently he opted to resist the evil in
the land and die for it. He was indeed a true martyr.

He
paid the supreme price for his fellow southerner and he stood against northern
adventurism, oppression, domination and hegemony.

50
years later it is time for the rest of us to do the same. It is time for us to
acknowledge and honor his sacrifice and come together as one. It is time for us
to stand up, look at our collective oppressors in the eye and say “no
more”.

No
longer should we bow our heads in submission, servility and shame. It is time
for us to rise up, invoke the power of the Living God and be men.

May
the gallant and beautiful soul of Lt. Col. Fajuyi continue to rest in eternal
peace and may those that murdered him 50 years ago be brought to justice.

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