Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Hero of February 13th

General Murtala Ramat Mohammed was born on November 8, 1938 to Risqua Muhammed and Uwani Rahamat in the ancient and historic city of Kano. He had his early education in Kano and finished up at Government (now Barewa) College, Zaria in 1957. In his early years General Murtala Muhammed was known as Murtala Rufai Mohammed. He changed this to Murtala Ramat Muhammed when he came to office as Head of State.General Mohammed enlisted into the Nigerian Army and was sent to Britain for training at Sandhurst Royal Academy as an Officer Cadet. His other advanced training courses and successes paved way for his rapid promotions in the rank and file of the Nigerian Army.
Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in 1961,he rose to the rank of Brigadier in 1971. After a year's course at Joint Services Staff College in England, he took his first political appointment as Commissioner for Communications in 1974 which he combined with his military duties.
In the short span of 201 days in office before he was assassinated, General Mohammed's dynamic administration gave this country a new sense of direction, duty and patriotism.
General Murtala Ramat Muhammed's colorful life thus came to a tragic end at the tender age of 38 years. Many monuments in the country are dedicated to his memory, including the International Airport in Lagos and a park in Benin City
He would also be remembered for the creation of 19 states out of the 12 carved out in 1967 and the setting up of a Public Complaints Commission which gave probity to our personal and public lives.

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