Monday, 12 February 2018

General Murtala Ramat Muhammed [November 8, 1938 - February 13, 1976]

Murtala Ramat Muhammed

In the short span of 201 days in office before he was assassinated forty-two years ago today [February 13, 1976], General Murtala Ramat Muhammed’s dynamic administration gave the country a new sense of direction, duty and patriotism.
The bullet-riddled Mercedes Benz limousine in which Murtala was assassinated. His peaked cap which fell off on the rear could be seen in the direction of the arrow in the  picture

The following are some of the highlights of his administration:

·      Cancellation of the 1973 census which was weighted in favour of the north
·      Establishment of Public Complaints Commission
·      Review of the Third National Development
·      Disengagement of more than 10,000 public officials on account of age, incompetence or malpractice
·      Taking over the operation of the country's two largest newspapers
·      Demobilization of 100,000 troops from the swollen ranks of the armed forces
·      Making broadcasting a federal monopoly
·      Bringing remaining state-run universities under federal control 
·      Creation of 19 states, etc.

Olusegun Obasanjo consoling Murtala's young widow, Ajoke

In recognition of General Murtala Muhammed’s service to his fatherland, the following are some of the things done to immortalize him:

·      Naming of the largest and most modern airport in the country then after him
·      Introduction of the country’s then highest currency denomination with his image on it. He was the first Nigerian to have his image on a Nigerian currency
·      He was declared a National Hero alongside Sir Herbert Macaulay, the first Nigerian to qualify as an engineer; Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister; and Dr. Alvan Ikoku, a great educationist
·      Naming of streets, parks, gardens, buildings and other monuments after him in almost every major city in the country

Credit: Toyin Falola and Matthew Heaton, A History of Nigeria; Ahmed T. Abubakar, A Polity in Transition; and Olusegun Obasanjo, Not My Will.


  1. Sir, you didn't mention which town he hailed from. I was hoping to see that.

    1. This is not exactly the statesman's biography. That's coming up later on his birthday. He was from Kano, by the way. Many thanks .

    2. Kano? You might have to research that.Muritala Mohammed is from Edo state.

    3. He wasn't from Kano. He was from Edo State.

  2. More knowledge to you, OnigegeWura. You're doing a great job.