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News-: US Department Of States Releases Declassified Documents On Murtala Muhammed.


Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (Reinhardt) to Secretary of State Kissinger
Washington, August 18, 1975
Nigeria After the Coup of July 28
This memorandum is presented in response to your request of August 14. It is concerned with the nature of the new government, its prospects, and continuing American interests.
The New Leadership
The leader of the coup against General Yakubu Gowon is an erratic, vainglorious, impetuous, corrupt, vindictive, intelligent, articulate, daring Hausa. Brigadier Murtala Muhammed was a prime force in the Nigerian coup of July, 1966, which brought Gowon to power, and is one of the two principal plotters against Gowon for the past two years. He commanded a division during the Nigerian civil war, was involved in the only documented cases of genocide, won one important battle, and thereafter coasted for upwards of two years until Gowon finally removed him from command and placed him in charge of Army signals, a position which he held until last month, though he combined his military role with the civilian position of Commissioner (Minister) of Communications from July, 1973, until the coup.

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