Adekunle Fajuyi

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Adekunle Fajuyi
Fajuyi-Adekunle.JPG
Military Governor of Western Nigeria
In office
15 January 1966 – 29 July 1966
Succeeded by Robert Adeyinka Adebayo
Personal details
Born 26 June 1926
Ado Ekiti, Nigeria
Died 29 July 1966(1966-07-29) (aged 40)
Political party None (Military)
Religion Christian

Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, BEM (26 June 1926 – 29 July 1966) was a Nigerian soldier and the first military governor of the former Western Region, Nigeria.

Originally a clerk, Fajuyi of Ado Ekiti joined the Army in 1943 and as a Sergeant in the Nigeria Signal Squadron, Royal West African Frontier Force, was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1951[1] for helping to contain a mutiny in his unit over food rations. He was trained at the Eaton Hall Officer Candidate School in the United Kingdom from July 1954 until November 1954 when he was short-service commissioned.[2] In 1961, as the ‘C’ Company Commander with the 4 battalion, Queen's Own Nigeria Regiment under Lt. Col. Price, Major Fajuyi was awarded the Military Cross for actions in North Katanga and extricating his unit from an ambush.[3] On completion of Congo operations Fajuyi became the first indigenous commander of the 1st battalion in Enugu, a position he held until just before the first coup of January 1966 when he was posted to Abeokuta as Garrison Commander. When Major General Ironsi emerged as the new C-in-C on 17 January 1966, he appointed Fajuyi the first military governor of the Western Region.

He was assassinated by the revenge seeking counter-coupists led by Theophilus Danjuma on 29 July 1966 at Ibadan, along with General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; who had arrived in Ibadan on 28 July 1966 to address a conference of natural rulers of Western Nigeria. By dusk, he was through with the assignment and was prepared to head back to Lagos, but his host, Lt. Colonel Fajuyi, convinced him to spend the night at the Government House, Ibadan.

The bloody overthrow of the civilian regime of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa’s government had taken place six months earlier in which the prime minister and other top government functionaries especially of Northern Nigerian extraction were killed.

The coup (seen then as a revolution) was successful in the North but failed in the South. Ironically, Aguiyi-Ironsi who did not participate in the violent bloodletting inherited the pieces of a shattered republic by virtue of his seniority in the armed forces. Yet, he was a victim of the counter-coup that claimed his life alongside his courageous host, Fajuyi. Fajuyi did all he could to persuade Danjuma not to kill Ironsi but when he saw that Danjuma insisted, he told him that he could not allow him unless he (Fajuyi) was killed first. This Danjuma did before going after Ironsi himself.

References[edit]

  1. ^ London Gazette: 1 June 1951 Issue 39243, Page 3087
  2. ^ London Gazette: 21 January 1955, Issue 40389, Page 500
  3. ^ London Gazette 19 December 1961 Issue 42545, Page 9289