Born after the generation of the nation’s founding fathers, well after the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates as well as the Colony of Lagos into one Country – Nigeria. The wasted generation inherited a promising nation with the right values and six years after independence, that generation forcefully took power pushing away the generation of Nigeria’s founding fathers.
The Majors that led …the first Coup – Majors Nzeogwu, Ifeajuna, Ademoyega, Okafor, Anuforo, Chukwuka, Obienu, Onwuatuegwu and Chude-Sokei were in their thirties and early forties when the struck in 1966.
- Jacob (and later Yakubu) Gowon who became Head of State after Ironsi was killed was age 29
- Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu became Governor of Eastern Nigeria and later Head of State of the then break-away State of Biafra before the age of 35.
- Murtala Mohammed became Head of State at age 37.
- Theophilius Danjuma retired as a 4 Star General before his 45th Birthday.
- Alex Ekwueme became Vice President before he was 50.
Interestingly, this generation saw the oil boom, the Udorji award, several military coups and a civil war! This generation also experimented with the soul of the nation – taking power from the Civilians twice, re-inventing the nation to suit their whims and caprices to the extent that the basis for having a nation was more than compromised. This generation mangled and manacled the visions of Nigeria’s founding fathers and changed the values of the nation, forcing today’s generation abroad in search of a better life, introducing corruption at all levels of our national life and passing the wrong values to today’s generation.
What is however interesting is the fact that, that generation still call the shots today with today’s generation just watching from the sidelines. Little wonder then why Nigeria is what it is today?
Bolaji Okusaga is a strategy and brand devotee with wide experience in the Mass-Media, Marketing, Public Relations and Banking. He is also interested in Politics, Policy and Corporate Governance.