It’s been 45-yrs since Nigerian Head of State Gen Murtala Mohammed was fatally shot in his unarmoured Mercedes-Benz W115 limousine.
The bullet-riddled Mercedes limousine that Murtala Mohammed was shot in is currently displayed at the National Museum.
Today, the Nigerian presidential state cars with their thick layers of armour are more of “Tanks” than a cars.
Murtala Mohammed, who led the Northern counter-coup forces, ruled over Nigeria from 30 July 1975 until his assassination on 13 February 1976.
During his brief seven months stint as Nigerian Head of State, Murtala Mohammed hardly traveled in a heavily guarded Presidential convoy.
As the Head of State, the “Gentle and Simple 37 year old General” was entitled to fleet of armoured vehicles that will be used as official duties.
But his love for traveling in non-armoured vehicles and a heavily guarded convoy led to the successful elimination of the 36 year old General by Bukar Suka Dimka-led coupist.
Both local and international observers believes Murtala would have survived the bullets that was fired and pearced his unarmoured Mercedes-Benz W115 limousine.
Murtala’s assassination led to a total rethink that all presidential state cars must be bulletproof. His immediate predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo, upto the present president, Muhammadu Buhari, used armoured official vehicles.
The bullet riddled black Mercedes-Benz W115 limousine that Murtala Mohammed was fatally shot in is currently displayed at the National Museum, Lagos.
According to reports, the well-maintained limousine with over 20 bullet holes attracts 2000 tourists monthly.