50 years after, Nigerians extol Fajuyi’s, Ironsi’s virtues

By Ikenga Chronicles July 26, 2016

50 years after, Nigerians extol Fajuyi’s, Ironsi’s virtues

Muyiwa Adeyemi and Iyabo Lawal

Fifty years after, Nigerians have stressed the need to turn the spot where the then Head of State, Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi, and erstwhile Military Administrator for Western Region, Lt. Col. Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, were killed into a national monument.

They were shot in Ibadan during Nigeria’s second military coup July 29, 1966.

“Where they were killed should be turned to a national monument. There should be films and books about him. And the government should raise more monuments, especially these days that we are talking about corruption and trying to promote integrity,” said Head of Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Professor O. B. C. Nwolise.

The family of Lt. Col Francis Adekunle Fajuyi began his 50th remembrance Monday in Ado Ekiti with the laying of wreaths at his tomb.

One of the daughters of the late Fajuyi, Mrs. Monica Olajuyigbe, led dignitaries including Governor Ayodele Fayose, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kolade Olusola, to perform the ceremony.

Fayose described Fajuyi, an indigene of present day Ekiti State, as a courageous man who died for the unity of Nigeria by not betraying his boss, Ironsi.

Fayose said: “Fajuyi was a man who has set a legacy that no man has been able to match. He demonstrated heroism and uncommon loyalty to his boss. He had the option of saying, ‘I don’t want to die’. He sacrificed his life for the sake of the nation and his profession. We will continue to remember him. He had faith in the nation. That was why he didn’t hesitate to sacrifice his life.”

Mrs. Olajuyigbe, who disclosed that the remembrance programme would continue in Lagos with a public lecture, said the family has instituted an education trust, to offer support and welfare for the children of soldiers who died in battle.

She said the Adekunle Fajuyi Education Trust would organise entrepreneurship and scholarship programmes from donations received.

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