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REWIND: Dogonyaro’s coup speech that overthrew Buhari on August 27, 1985

REWIND: Dogonyaro’s coup speech that overthrew Buhari on August 27, 1985
May 13
11:42 2021

Joshua Dogonyaro, a former commander of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), is dead. 

Dogonyaro, aged 80, died Thursday at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Plateau state.

He will be remembered, among other things, as the officer who read the coup speech that ousted Muhammadu Buhari, then military head of state, and brought in Ibrahim Babangida on August 27, 1985.

Here is the full speech below.

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I, Brigadier Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro, of the Nigerian Army, hereby make the following declaration on behalf of my colleagues and members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Fellow country men, the intervention of the military at the end of 1983 was welcomed by the nation with unprecedented enthusiasm. Nigerians were unified in accepting the intervention and looked forward hopefully to progressive changes for the better. Almost two years later, it has become clear that the fulfillment of expectations is not forthcoming.

Because this generation of Nigerians and indeed future generations have no other country but Nigeria, we could not stay passive and watch a small group of individuals misuse power to the detriment of our national aspirations and interest.

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No nation can ever achieve meaningful strides in its development where there is an absence of cohesion in the hierarchy of government; where it has become clear that positive action by the policy makers is hindered because as a body it lacks a unity of purpose.

It is evident that the nation would be endangered with the risk of continuous misdirection. We are presently confronted with that danger. In such a situation, if action can be taken to arrest further damage, it should and must be taken. This is precisely what we have done.

The Nigerian public has been made to believe that the slow pace of action of the Federal Government headed by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari was due to the enormity of the problems left by the last civilian administration.

Although it is true that a lot of problems were left behind by the last civilian government, the real reason, however, for the very slow pace of action is due to lack of unanimity of purpose among the ruling body; subsequently, the business of governance has gradually been subjected to ill-motivated power play considerations. The ruling body, the Supreme Military Council, has, therefore, progressively been made redundant by the actions of a select few members charged with the day-to-day implementation of the SMC’s policies and decision.

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The concept of collective leadership has been substituted by stubborn and illadvised unilateral actions, thereby destroying the principles upon which the government came to power. Any effort made to advise the leadership, met with stubborn resistance and was viewed as a challenge to authority or disloyalty.

Thus, the scene was being set for systematic elimination of what, was termed oppositions. All the energies of the rulership were directed at this imaginary opposition rather than to effective leadership.

The result of this misdirected effort is now very evident in the country as a whole. The government has started to drift. The economy does not seem to be getting any better as we witness daily increased inflation.

The nation’s meager resources are once again being wasted on unproductive ventures. Government has distanced itself from the people and the yearnings and aspirations of the people as constantly reflected in the media have been ignored.

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This is because a few people have arrogated to themselves the right to make the decisions for the larger part of the ruling body. All these events have shown that the present composition of our country’s leadership cannot, therefore, justify its continued occupation of that position.

Furthermore, the initial objectives and programmes of action which were meant to have been implemented since the ascension to power of the Buhari Administration in January 1984 have been betrayed and discarded. The present state of uncertainty and stagnation cannot be permitted to degenerate into suppression and retrogression.

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We feel duty bound to use the resources and means at our disposal to restore hope in the minds of Nigerians and renew aspirations for a better future. We are no prophets of doom for our beloved country, Nigeria. We, therefore, count on everyone’s cooperation and assistance.

I appeal to you, fellow countrymen, particularly my colleagues in arms to refrain from any act that will lead to unnecessary violence and bloodshed among us. Rest assured that our action is in the interest of the nation and the armed forces.

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In order to enable a new order to be introduced, the following bodies are dissolved forthwith pending further announcements: (a) The Supreme Military Council (b) The Federal Executive Council (c) The National Council of States. All seaports and airports are closed, all borders remain closed.

Finally, a dusk to dawn curfew is hereby imposed in Lagos and all state capitals until further notice. All military commanders will ensure effective maintenance of law and order. Further announcements will be made in due course. God bless Nigeria.

39 Comments

  1. tadaferua emus
    tadaferua emus August 27, 21:16

    U can see the command as u read along Nigeria our own country which have made all a sundry of men and women

    Reply to this comment
  2. udeagbala
    udeagbala August 27, 22:01

    some cabals were sidelined ,Buhari tried to change the normal tradition of our naija military govts,

    Reply to this comment
  3. flare
    flare August 27, 23:05

    Sounds like IBB, check the speech pattern, diction, motive, try using the smooth northern accent. Sounds like IBB.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Giwanruwa
    Giwanruwa August 28, 10:38

    And with these empty statements, this cohort of evil launched a nation on to the steep incline to destruction.
    Today, we are faced with undoing the damage initiated by those vile men. We pray that God will prosper us in that task; amen.

    Reply to this comment
  5. David Agbemavor
    David Agbemavor August 28, 12:20

    Your comment..Nigerian didn’t see anything yet, thy making noise for change this is the change thy are seein

    Reply to this comment
  6. Goose&Gander
    Goose&Gander August 28, 13:03

    UNCHANGED, he is back 30 years later, mouthing CHANGE, BUT JUST REPEATING THE SAME MISTAKES OF 30 YEARS AGO!

    Reply to this comment
    • omoba
      omoba August 28, 18:30

      mistakes? and can we be educated or reminded what those mistakes are, so that our man can be reminded at every given opportunity.
      omoba

      Reply to this comment
    • ebekuedike
      ebekuedike May 23, 17:33

      Your comment..We can now see clearly that there is no hope on this Buhari/ APC Government. Old age has even added negatively to this & if the NASS can not impeach this man & his canbinet, then where can we run to ?

      Reply to this comment
      • OBE
        OBE June 04, 19:55

        Let’s patiently wait for 2019. Emerging events will direct our action then.

        Reply to this comment
  7. efcc
    efcc August 28, 16:59

    hmmmm lets see hw he wil change d country.

    Reply to this comment
  8. ak
    ak August 28, 17:09

    Your comment..We expected them tonight back. But we all know what happened. We are GOOD students and graduates of empirical and concise history.
    The story was the kite for our support. But it was a personal agenda instead.
    That was how Nigeria became number one corrupt nation in Africa. Drugs all over the streets. 419 reigned. Wonder Banks. Magic Finance Houses. SAP etc. Gross indiscipline and first graduands of corrupt civil servants emerged. The decay of the fish head.
    And we lost it. The beginning of the decay.

    But almighty God brought him back to come finish the job. Don’t we have eyes? To behold God’s Grace?

    Reply to this comment
    • SammyG
      SammyG May 03, 18:56

      Your comment..Thanks Mr. Dave…you have answered our unconstructive critics very well…President Buhari meant well for Nigerians…it’s very unfortunate that the Cabals are trying to cause a slow back of activities lined up for economic development…I pray that God Almighty will give him the wisdom to succeed in taking us anew Nigeria where we will all be proud as a nation with the right people in public offices…thanks very much.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Dave
    Dave August 29, 05:49

    Is anybody going to talk about Babangida loots ?

    Reply to this comment
  10. Patrick Oguejiofor
    Patrick Oguejiofor August 31, 17:55

    Federal Character and Quota System was designed originally to enable the North to catch up and to ensure that no Ethic Group or Region dominate any section of the Nigerian polity. But now that the North is in charge, some people want to remove the same ladder they used in getting to the top. Buhari’s appointments appear divisive. The last election clearly divided Nigeria along ethno religious lines. Buhari as Father of the nation and President has the role to unite the Nation. He appear to be losing the capacity to do. The nation is rapidly tearing apart under his regime. It is not too late to correct things.

    Reply to this comment
    • Habib
      Habib October 19, 13:25

      The nation is not tearing apart, what is happening today is that some people are suffering from their wrong political arithmetic calculation by refusing to vote for the ruling party throughout the region during the last election and now continuously castigating and ridiculing the same govt they refused to vote into power, APC govt shared it’s prominent position s to its supporters leaving out these same people in the cooler, they are now crying high heaven of marginalisation, who is marginalising who? They marginalised themselves by going for the defeated party PDP and now resorted to asking for juicy appointments, how? What about the APC supporters who brought the govt into being? What will they say?

      Reply to this comment
  11. Mike
    Mike September 02, 18:33

    Basically a repeat of the 1983 shit. Nigeria in distress once again. But this Nigeria is wiser so it might lead to disintegration through a referendum perhaps. The new UN declarations on the rights of indigenous people is a clear hope for the presently oppressed Nigerians.

    Reply to this comment
  12. best
    best April 30, 16:55

    A nation where the president gives appointments according to voting pattern can’t be said to be one where the president is prepared for peace and unity. A country where the president empowers his ethnic group to kill other ethnic groups and occupy their land and rape their women can not be said to be united. A president who deliberately sold foreign currency to his religious group at official rate to go to mecca and expect businessmen to buy the same at a higher price does he care for other citizens that are not from his religion. A president that is quick to condemn attacks in other countries but when it happens in his country will be forced to say something b/c it is perpetrated by his brothers. I think if we continue like this in the next a 3 yrs Nigeria would have been gone

    Reply to this comment
  13. Edache
    Edache April 30, 23:29

    History repeating itself in Nigeria,as it is everything has changed in a negative way.

    Reply to this comment
    • peejay
      peejay May 01, 23:53

      In 1984 when PMB took over, I captured corruption and cage in his cage, but when the next Government took over power, They made mistake and let corruption out his cage, and corruption was freed and hadd taken every part of Nigeria.

      Reply to this comment
  14. peejay
    peejay May 02, 01:26

    in 1984 when PMB came on board, he caged corruption.But when the next government took over, they made mistake and let corruption out, and since then it had been dwstroying us.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Alan Crae
    Alan Crae May 02, 02:39

    Nothing changed. History repeating itself. After that statement what happened to this nation many years preceding the Abacha tenure. Can you please publish the coup theme that ushered the Abacha administration? The military are the ones who actually destroy this nation and they are still at it out of uniform. This nation is not about to get things right. There is confusion with no direction in the land.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Ikey
    Ikey May 02, 11:55

    Just want inn.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Special
    Special May 02, 19:44

    For sure history cannot repeat itself. PMB has already acknowledged his mistakes of the past. And now it’s democracy. As far as I am concerned, great changes have occurred in the governance of this country. It was our impatience that made us welcome the coup that ousted PMB in power only to be greeted with a govt without morals. If after two years of this govt and things remain like, then I’ll justify the pessimists. I bet you, most of those crying in this govt had nothing tangible or productive to offer before now.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Ebezige
    Ebezige May 02, 23:21

    Going through d speech what l noticed is that, the coup plotters gives reasons of Buhari slow Economic reforms by putting blame on d previous government and for me presently he is still doing same mistake of blaming Good luck Jonathan government instead recruiting effective hands and turning d country around.

    Reply to this comment
  19. joejoe
    joejoe May 03, 21:01

    Sincerely speaking,the same mistake is being repeated,but I wonder how those with such information voted for him…. he is obviously a mistake to this nation.

    Reply to this comment
  20. OZ
    OZ May 04, 11:35

    IT AMAZES ME WHEN NIGERIANS LEAVE THE ISSUES ON GROUND AND FOCUS THEIR CRITICISM ON THE WRONG OBJECT. WE HAVE ALWAYS FAILED AS A NATION TO ADDRESS ISSUES BECAUSE WE SENTIMENTALLY TAKE THE SIDES OF THE LEADERS STIRRING THE NATION IN BOILING OIL. WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING NOW IS TO ENSURE THAT THIS ETHNIC CLEANSING CHAMPAGNE BY THE FULANIS DOES NOT SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. TO DO THIS, THE NATION WITH ONE VOICE SHOULD CALL THE LEADERSHIP OF PMB TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. THESE HERDSMEN HAVE A LEADER AND HE CAN BE SUMMONED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS. BUT PMB IS STILL INDIFFERENT.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Mercy
    Mercy May 05, 03:58

    I hereby predict Buhari ‘s second ousting from office just like it happened the last time.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Jidon
    Jidon May 05, 07:32

    I think the prevailing issue here is that the President didn’t CHANGE in any way from his past administration as a Military Head of State. History is repeating itself, even though he has climbed to power in the garb of CHANGE. Common why promise CHANGE instead of RESTORATION of the past initiative if that PAST is a glorious one? Buhari knows he has a ridiculous past and couldn’t have got to power leaning on it. Having said that, the govt that overthrew him was no better but that doesn’t mean there is anything to relive in that administration of Buhari.

    Reply to this comment
  23. adjose
    adjose May 05, 11:49

    Some Nigerians has the character of women in their circle what i mean by this is when a woman has something in her mouth chewing that is the only time she will agree that the husband is feeding her but any day there is nothing to chew she will tell the whole world that she has not ate anything since she came to husband house to say something because the herdsmen start operating in different ways it means Buhari is behind their action infact if we continue with this sentiment there will be nothing to achive in this change president Buhari is the only person that can move this nation forward. if u like bring any pastor or Imam forward they cannot achive what GMB is able to achive. tribalism and sectionalism has becloud us even some people cant even see anything bad in armed robber because he is his brother

    Reply to this comment
  24. Wake
    Wake May 22, 09:51

    No good and experienced surgeon will hurry over the life of his delicately sick patient. If you have an iota of love for this country you will watch Buhari deal with the issues of this complex nation with admiration. We lost an opportunity in 1985 and we are glad his back in 2015 Let Babangida contest election and win as Buhari has just done.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Bishop
    Bishop May 23, 22:13

    A president fighting corruption while his presidential sponsore have questions to answer and his there as his minister and the senator have questions to answer at cct and even the panama papers.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Kolly
    Kolly June 04, 13:53

    We just have to live with the mistake. 2019 is around the corner.

    Reply to this comment
  27. i b yy
    i b yy July 29, 18:49

    Your comment..pmb is always d best man to rule this country, he can build our collapse economy,insecurity and fight for cruption it’s only buhari that
    can touch does dat perceived to be untouchable

    Reply to this comment
  28. Ojemba
    Ojemba August 28, 14:53

    You’re on point. Whereas the Buhari/Idiagbon had Nigeria on a disciplined and prosperous course, IBB & co reversed that course and set Nigeria on the steep decline we see even today. With that speech, Nigeria was doomed

    Reply to this comment
  29. ChocoNate
    ChocoNate August 30, 07:26

    I tot Mr Integrity was going to be true to hiz words during election season,seems hiz jst another politician playing on the sentiment of Nigerians,we all wanted things to change.sadly I also fell for his antics.tot he meant well…starting to bliv dat he does not even knw wot hiz doing.for the sake of my country…I hope am wrong

    Reply to this comment
  30. onyeka Kevin m
    onyeka Kevin m October 04, 23:21

    He continued from where he stopped God bless Buhari, God bless my country Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
  31. meringo
    meringo May 04, 14:33

    All we need in the country called Nigeria now is restructuring. Anything short of that is preparing for final dissolution of Nigeria . Let the north accept the fact that it Will pay Nigeria for rapid development

    Reply to this comment
  32. Jason
    Jason February 07, 20:45

    This will happen again and God knows it will happen because what is happening to the country now is worse than what was then that culminated to a coup.

    Reply to this comment
  33. add
    add May 14, 07:45

    This officer Dogonyaro must be respected, I praise him at all times. His speech on Buhari is the eternal condemnation, Buhari’s name to Nigerians means internal bondage.

    Reply to this comment

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