Today In History: September 27th

September 27, 1961
On this day, the Nigerian Students’ Action Committee in London called on the Federal Military Government “to beware of peace plots” directed towards the stifling of “our national aspirations and the resolve to survive as a nation.” According to the committee, “Patriotic Nigerians had shed their blood, and are still doing so for these noble ideas.” They should not be sold on the altar of pacifism which will only postpone the doom’s day at greater cost to lives.”
These were contained in the petition addressed to the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief, Major-General Yakubu Gowon after a loyalty demonstration. The committee comprised, among others, the Lagos League, the Mid-West Emergency Committee, the Yoruba Council, the Northern States’ Students’ Association, and the South Eastern State Community. The committee noted, with deep satisfaction, the calmness and forbearance with which the Commander-in-Chief had handled issues relating to the present crisis then, with the sole aim of maintaining the country’s unity. The committee also called on the Federal Government to uphold irrevocably the principle of 12 states for Nigeria. It described the creation of states as the only way to achieve peace based on justice and fair play in the country. The committee condemned the advertisements by the rebels at the time encouraging and offering rewards for defection by Federal pilots. It also sent congratulatory messages and good wishes to the fighting troops and said that no peace must be made with the rebels unless they either surrendered or had been routed.
Also on September 27, 1961, the Lagos State Businessmen Committee called on what they described as “some big foreign concerns” in Lagos who had not contributed to the Federal troops Comfort Fund to do so immediately. In a statement in Lagos, the committee further said although it would not like to regard the silent concerns as “fence sitters”, yet it would urge them to pay gratitude to the country in which they had made their livelihood for several years.
Also on this day, a radio journalist, Malam Baba Chiroma of Radio-TV Kaduna died at the Enugu battle front. Aged 35, Baba Chiroma was formerly a reporter of the Daily Times, Lagos, Nigerian Citizen, Zaria and the Gaskiya Tafi Kwabo. At the time of his death, Malam Chiroma was the second journalist to be killed at the battle front. His burial ceremony was attended by a large number of people in Kaduna on this same day.

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