October 12 In History


On this day, the rebel leader, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu offered to step down if the people wished it and a new leader appointed. According to the rebel radio monitored in Lagos on this day, Ojukwu told a meeting of the so-called consultative assembly in Umuahia – new base of the rebel – that since fighting started with the Federal troops, his soldiers had suffered many reverses. Ojukwu blamed that development on what he called “treachery and sabotage”. He declared, “Our soldiers kill themselves at the battle fronts, some were shot from the back.” He alleged that the officers gave wrong orders at the battle front thus causing the end of many of his soldiers. Ojukwu also accused his immediate lieutenants for his failure at the battle ground and even went outside his army to accuse important civilians who, he said, were abandoning the fight to seek his overthrow.

OCTOBER 12, 1967

On this day, the Russian Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. AlexandrI. Romanov, said that the aspiration of the Federal Military Government to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of the country was treated in the Soviet Union with complete understanding. Mr. Romanov made the remark when he paid courtesy call on the Federal Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Joseph Tarka, in his office.

He said, “We proceed from the fact that attempts to break down the Federal Republic of Nigeria contradicts the national interests of the people especially in the conditions of the growing activity of imperialistic forces in Africa. The policy of the Soviet Union regarding Nigeria is a policy of friendship mutual understanding and thorough cooperation based on principles of equality, mutual respect of sovereignty and non-interference.”

OCTOBER 12, 2001

The mutilated bodies of 19 abducted soldiers by militia on October 10, 2001, were found in Benue state. Militia of the Tiv ethnic group were believed to have been responsible for the abduction and murder of the 19 soldiers, whose mutilated bodies were found in the village of Zaki-Biam.

The soldiers, according to government authorities, were on a mission to restore peace in the area affected by the conflict between Tivs and Jukuns, when they were abducted by a Tiv armed group in Vaase, in Benue State, on October 10. Their mutilated bodies were found on this day, in the grounds of a primary school in the town of Zaki-Biam, in Benue.

Among Benue and neighboring Taraba states, in central Nigeria, there have been the scene of longstanding disputes between these two groups (Tivs and Jukuns), which erupted again in recent weeks.Following a fresh outbreak of violence in Taraba State between them early in the month, the federal government began to deploy troops around the borders between the two states to end the bloody feud. But on 10 October, a contingent of 19 soldiers was ambushed and captured at Vatse, near the border, by a Tiv militia. The exact circumstances of the attack on the soldiers and the motivation behind it remain unclear. The Nigerian government announced the names and ranks of the dead soldiers, which were published in the media.


































































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