On this day 43 years ago, former Nigerian military ruler Murtala Muhammad was assassinated in Mercedes Benz W114/W115.
Murtala Mohammed was Nigeria’s former military head of state. He became president in July 30, 1975.
Murtala Muhammed was killed aged 37, along with his Aide-De-Camp (ADC), Lieutenant Akintunde Akinsehinwa in an abortive coup attempt led by Lt. Col Buka Suka Dimka, when his car was ambushed en route to his office at Dodan Barracks, Lagos by a group of soldiers.
During his brief stint as Nigeria’s leader, he acquired a reputation as a leader who traveled about without the fanfare typically associated with leaders in Nigeria. He hardly traveled in a convoy of attached vehicles. He was not known to blare sirens whenever he traveled in his car. He often travels incognito.
The only visible sign of protection was a pistol carried by his orderly, therefore making his assassination an easy task.
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He was succeeded by the Chief of Staff, Supreme HQ Olusegun Obasanjo, who completed his plan of an orderly transfer to civilian rule by handing power to Shehu Shagari on 1 October 1979.
Today, Muhammed’s portrait adorns the 20 Naira note and Murtala Muhammed Intl Airport in Lagos is named in his honor.
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