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Was Murtala Mohammed a good man?

Was Murtala Murhammad a good man?

Well this is something I'm not really familar with but I am wondering if Murtala Mohammed was actually a good and well respected person rather than just a military dictator.

It's very hard to find information on this so I thought here would be a good place to start.

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36 answers

Murtala is what Buhari will never be.

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One of the things I like about advanced democracies like America and Britain is that the bar to cross before anyone is regarded as a 'good man' is set vey high. In Nigeria,it's almost relish exalting mediocrity and faliures. How can anyone describe Murtala Mohammed as a good man? It's a national disgrace that this man adorns the 20 Naira note and has landmarks named after him. Murtala led the 1966 counter coup which saw the killings of officers based on ethnicity alone. This man led many soldiers to their deaths in senseless military adventures. This man became the face of the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy and their born to rule mentality of which Boko Haram is an of-shoot. Murtala literally destroyed democracy in Nigeria. Thousands of Nigerians died because of this man and his coup and the pogrom's in the north. Troops under him commited war crimes from the killing of defenceless civilians To Molest and looting. This blood- thirsty war criminal is good man? If he was alive, I would spit on his face.

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@OP - go to a busy street in asaba and carry a placard with this question boldly printed on it, an avalanche of projectiles should answer you question.

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Murtala Muhammed was an uneducated soldier who was admitted into the army on quota system introduced by Balewa government shortly after the independence. He rose to the rank of Lt. Col so fast purely on nepotism. He was the leader of the coup which overthrew Ironsi. He was a blood-thirsty, ruthless and brutal dictator. The forces he commanded were implicated in numerous acts massacres, ra.pe, pillage, looting at Asaba, Onitsha, Nsukka, Awka, etc. He doesn't respect or obey an order from the headquarters. He had numerous followers in the army. He attempted to make many amphibious landing to capture Onitsha, but failed and lost many men in the process. He will forever be associated with mediocrity. He inspired his deputies like Buhari, Babangida and Abacha to nurse the ambition of power. He taught them how to take power with brute force. He is a symbol of a nation where mediocrity trumps meritocracy

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Civil War Genocides

The genocide of Anioma by Gen. Murtala Mohammed and Major Gen. Ibrahim Haruna (Retd), during the Nigerian-Biafran War started on the 21 of September, 1967 on the recapture of Benin City from the Biafrans sweeping Asaba, Ogwashi-Uku, Ibusa, Otutu and Ishiagu, Igbodo, Aboh and Ushisha communities but the massacres carried out in Asaba remains the most severe and unforgettable in which mostly helpless women, youths and children were killed in vapidity by the federal troops.

Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Retd) the then Head of State would later apologise to the Igbo community, while Major-General Ibrahim Haruna, the General officer Commanding (GOC) Two Division of the Army during the Civil War while testifying at the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission Panel aka Oputa Panel held in 2004, insistently maintained that he had no regret for the Asaba massacres in which the Igbo were killed by his troops since it was motivated by sense of duty to protect the unity of the country, he stated this under cross examination by Ohanaeze Ndiigbo group.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anioma

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Murtala Mohammed was definitely a good man. He is the very reason that Nigeria has a very strong foreign policy (Pan-Africanism). He's also the reason the country isn't a stooge to the West or East.

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WAI was not muritala's Time. WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE happened during Buhari/Idiagbon time, around 18. Idiagbon cleaned up the country. Streets were cleaned up, every month people not only cleaned out their houses and gutters but they actually did all they could to keep it clean so they would not have to work so hard the next time around. Idiagbon did an excellent job during the short time he was up there.

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Here is a profile of Murtala Muhammed. It is a an extract from a book on Nigerian history:

http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/max-siollun/the-roller-coaster-life-of-murtala-moh.html

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Ol bob Thank you o

My Mama go flog me for my crass Yoruba

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@doyin13

Your alias should be Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo IRUNMALE not iranmale.

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I don't know about fearless. More like reckless and ambitious.

His boneheaded stubborness during the war led to a lot of Federal losses.

He was also a major participant in the Second Coup that led to decimation of a fledgling officer corps.

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Murtala Muhammad was a charismatic leader who was well loved by majority of Nigerians. Those who belong to the school of thought that says he was a bad leader can be categorised into two. First, the easterners and their grudge against him is understandable; as one of the fearerless Nigerian war commanders that helped decimate their ambition to secede from the rest of the country, we do not expect them to sing his praises.

Second, the civil servants, who were indicted for their bad work ethics and yet were compensated by the Gowon regime with fantastic arrears of salaries and bonuses - nicknamed Udoji award. His reform of the civil service was meant to trim the work-force, remove corrupt and bad eggs and make the civil service more virile and responsive to their duties to the nation.

Indeed he committed some attrocities during the civil war, but that was during the war, and soldiers are not known to be gentlemanly in war campaigns.  Ever heard of the scorch-earth policy used by one of the US war commanders during the civil war campaign in the US? Nevertheless, he apologised to the nation for all attrocites he committed during the war wnen he became head of state.

During his brief but eventful stay as head of state, he warmed himself to the heart of Nigerians with his people-oriented policies; there was job security as well as security of life, food was in abundance and economy was buoyant. His short reign was a blessing and majority appreciated it. When he passed, Nigerians mourned his death and he remain till today in the sub-conscious of those of us who was alive and valued service to humanity.

To live in the mind of those who love us is not to die.

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My Personal Opinion.

Murtala Muhammed laid the foundation for subsequent military dictatorships to THRIVE in Nigeria. He was definitely a focussed man who had a mission as Head of State. His mission was however ill-informed and he did many things without proper knowledge. Attempting to decree market prices was a recipe for economic chaos.

I admired his focus and determination. He was strong on discipline though I thought he went about most of those things in the wrong ways.

All said, I think his regime prepared the table for Nigeria's economic downward spiral

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MM will be remembered by some as someone that suggested that all Igbo men be castrated during the war.

How I wish his earlier plan of carving the North out of Nigeria succeeded sha.

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He was a mass murderer, but I have to leave the dead alone. Let them be for it profits none of us to dig up his ugly past.

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Murtala's foreign policy was awesome and led to the independence of Mozambique, Angola and a few years later Zimbabwe.

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MMH was the best Head of State Nigeria ever had!

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murtala was a focussed and decisive leader.

as a soldier, he demanded total submission from his juniors and at the same time disrespected his seniors

he was the brain being the 2nd and 3rd coup in nigeria

as head of state he had sincere intentions to reform nigeria and he was on that path b4 he was cut down

his strengths: a good leader, decisive, analytical, a good planner and strategist; interested in the well being of the country

his weaknesses: arrogance; nepotism

one thing im not sure abt is whether he was corrupt or not. but as we all know it takes time b4 u know the full nature of a man.

hie arrogance and nepotism eventually cost him his life when he promoted obasanjo and danjuma over bissalla and still left him in the army. he should have sacked him. (babangida, abacha etc have had learnt from this. thats why they sack any office they dont like)

although he came out as a good political leader he was a bad military general. he came out as the worst officer in the civil war and he wasted a whole lot of men when he took wrong decisions.

in summary he was a charismatic leader who had very large following

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That's rather ridiculous, my dear. Are you saying that dying young automatically makes a person bad? Come on!

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Kazey, you'll be surprised by how much of the past will determine the future, especially when it is the case of Nigeria. Too much cases - and too many diverse people involved here - with their different values.

I've alwayes believed some that things happen so the worst would not happen (bi eyi o s'ele). So, if MM was killed then, he was probably going to be the worst leader we could get. Thank God he died at a time people would have fond memories of him. So also the case of Abiola, even Abacha. Yes, Abacha. Who knows what he could have done if he was elected the President of Nigeria? That is why I'm optimistic about this Babangida issue too. God will always be God!

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Digging the grave of a dead man is very bad. He is dead, and so is his deeds, together with him in the grave. Why do we have to dig up the past? We need to move forward. We need Progress, Nigerians!

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Hey Guys, No grudges at all. Neither myself nor anyone close to me was affected directly by MM's actions. However all of Nigeria lost direction from his 1966 anger, and corruption became the problem of this country as aresult of his 1975 pruge. They said people were sacked for corruption but who produced the lists? Many innocents were sent packing because the real corrupt guy was writing the list. Others saw and now live with "i can be sacked any time, let me steal as much as possible now"

MM was just bad news for a Good United Strong Nigeria.

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it is well known that he was a war profiteer and he looted banks and supermarkets in biafra even though he claimed to have given up the loot on ascending power

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I've heard people say that, if his regime had not been cut short, he might have turned out to be one of the worst dictators ever to come out of Africa. Judging from the way he started (I think a military governor was executed for some reason) those people might be right.

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old2boy must realy have a lot of grudge with MM. If i remember rightly fromte info available civil servants sacked then were mostly corrupt guys.

and i would like to disagree that he was only recognise for his coup d'état. he was laying a foundation for a non-corrupt naija when he was terminated in his prime. he made people who had acquired propertie illegally to return them

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I think you may be confusing General Muhammed with General Buhari, whose regime launched WAI and who came three regimes after General Muhammed.

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What about the famous War Against Indiscipline (WAI) program? (I remember my parents telling me that during General Murtala Mohammed's short rule people had to form queues to enter commercial buses.) The old WAI program is the inspiration for the current Lagos State government's "KAI" programme ('Kick Against Indiscipline').

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There was a young military man who planned a counter coup with the aim of avenging the death of Northerners. He was bent on separating Northern Nigeria from the Republic. On being advised on the fact that the north would be the worse for it, he left in anger.

Some years later, this same man lost most of Nigeria's armour to a band of men led by his juniors in the army at Abagana. He abandoned the warfront, went to quarrel with his C-in-C and again left the stage in anger.

As Nigeria was developing, this same man came and destroyed the civil service. By sacking arbitrarily, he laid the foundation for others like him to seize power and for the workers to no longer believe in working for future gains. Because of his anger, his boys could not talk to him. They waited for him to simmer and sprayed him in their anger.

MM was a man without foresight or understanding.  Apart from coups, there is nothing else I know he planned and executed that marks him as a good man.

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i agree with u that his reign was too short. but he made marked improvements int he every day life of the average naija man/woman. and i don't believe there is anyone everyone will like. all humans have his/her own foibles

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Thanks, I just picked him as he seemed to be one of the more influental in nigerian history (on the money, airport named after him etc)

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Difficult to say.

His regime was just too short that people remember him for the reforms he was trying to carry out. Maybe if he had lived longer, he would have turned into another dictator like Abacha. Though, I still know a few people who says they never like him.

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