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How soldiers took away Ironsi, Fajuyi on coup day – Sister - NEWS - 234 Naira

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How soldiers took away Ironsi, Fajuyi on coup day – Sister by adminchuck(m) : 8:55 pm On Jul 30, 2016

The younger sister to late Lt.-Col. Adekunle Fajuyi, Mrs. Remi Ajayi, who was with him on the day of the 1966 coup, shares her memory of what happened to the then military governor of the old Western region in an interview with TheNEWS magazine.

Where were you on the night that Colonel Fajuyi was killed?

I was with him on the night of the incident. I was with him throughout the six months he was in the Government House in Ibadan as governor. That night, there was a cocktail party for all the Obas (monarchs) who came to Ibadan for a meeting and the Head of State, General Aguiyi Ironsi, was in attendance. I was watching them from where I was upstairs. After the meeting, everybody departed. Around 4am, I heard gunshots. It was strange to me because I had not heard gunshots before. I just closed my ears and went back to sleep. When I woke up, I went to the kitchen to greet the staff and to collect my meal. Then the staff asked if I heard gunshots. Then I remembered the noise I heard in my sleep, so I said oh! that was a gunshot. I quickly ran into my brother’s room because I thought he had been killed. On getting to his room, I saw him sitting quietly on a chair; that was unlike him. Nevertheless, I was very happy to see him. I rushed towards him and said to him, ‘Brother, I’m happy to see you, I heard there were gunshots in the night. I was afraid something bad had happened to you.’

Then he asked me, ‘Why are you walking about in the house? Aren’t you going to work today?’ I said to him, ‘ I am not going to work. I don’t know what is going on. What is happening to you?’ Then he said to me, ‘Okay, if you are not going to work, then don’t roam about the house. Go and stay in your room.’ Then, I left him, but I didn’t go to my room. I was worried because of the way he looked. I saw him and Ironsi, they went to his office to make a call in pyjamas. As they were coming, I dodged. After that, I heard Ironsi saying to him (Fajuyi) that, ‘Francis, but you told me I was safe in your territory yesterday.’ Then he replied, ‘Yes, I thought you were safe. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t hear anything. But don’t worry, the two of us will stay together. Go and dress up and I will dress up. Anything that will happen will happen to the two of us.’

Ironsi then went into his room and my brother went to his room too. Before long, they dressed up and they were in the sitting room downstairs in their military uniform. My brother was there before Ironsi and he was pacing up and down in the room. Then Ironsi came down. Meanwhile soldiers were coming in through the main door. Before they saw the Head of State, they told my brother, ‘Give us Ironsi, we want Ironsi. Give us Ironsi, we want Ironsi.’ Then my brother said to them, ‘No, you cannot take him, he is my guest. Why didn’t you take him in Lagos or elsewhere? You cannot take him here. If you are taking him, then you are taking me along.’ At that time, Ironsi was already coming down. The soldiers then went to him and picked him up.

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