The Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran war, was fought from 1967 to 1970 between the Nigerian government and the secessionist state of Biafra. The war claimed the lives of an estimated one to three million people and resulted in widespread devastation in the region.
Amidst the chaos of the conflict, there are stories of bravery and treachery on both sides. One such story is the alleged killing of Colonel Victor Banjo by Biafran leader, Emeka Ojukwu.
Contrary to some accounts which suggest that Banjo was given a task and failed to deliver, the reality is that he was a highly respected soldier who had been imprisoned by the Nigerian government. Upon his release, Ojukwu, who knew Banjo’s reputation as a brave and smart military strategist, approached him to join the Biafran army.
Banjo was initially reluctant to work with Ojukwu because of his Yoruba ethnicity, but he eventually agreed to fight alongside the Biafrans on the condition that he would only target the head of state.
Banjo led many successful battles for Biafra, the most famous of which was the Battle of Benin, which he won without firing a single shot. However, tensions between Banjo and Ojukwu began to rise when Ojukwu latter asked Banjo to attack Lagos and Ibadan, which Banjo refused to do as it was not part of the plan. Ojukwu pretended to reconcile with Banjo and promised him greater tasks ahead, but he was actually plotting against him.
Ojukwu deceived Banjo into returning to Enugu, where he was arrested and accused of planning to overthrow Ojukwu. Banjo tried to defend himself, but he was tied to a drum and executed by a firing squad of Biafran soldiers. As he was hit by bullets, Banjo defiantly yelled, “I’m not dead yet!” and had to be shot multiple times before he eventually died on October 20, 1967, at the age of 37.
The killing of Banjo had a significant impact on the Biafran army. With Banjo gone, Biafra lost many battles and eventually lost the war. Ojukwu fled the country with his family and went into exile. The alleged betrayal and killing of Banjo by Ojukwu have remained a contentious issue in Nigerian history, with many people questioning the motives and actions of both men.
The story of Colonel Victor Banjo’s alleged killing by Emeka Ojukwu during the Nigerian civil war is a tragic tale of treachery and betrayal.
Banjo, a highly respected soldier, was executed by his own comrades in the Biafran army after being falsely accused of plotting against the leader. The killing of Banjo had a significant impact on the course of the war and remains a controversial issue in Nigerian history
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