The January 1966 coup in Nigeria has been called an ‘Igbo coup’ ‘perpetuated by Igbos to destroy the political leadership of other éthnic groups in Nigeria. But was it really an Igbo coup?
Appart from the fact that several officers that participated in the coup came from other ethnic groups (for instance Col Adeoyega), late Igbo leader Odumegwu Ojukwu who successfully fought against the coup -in the quote below- pointed to some facts that show that the coup was not an Igbo power grab. He said;
“It is said that the 1966 coup that failed was strictly an Igbo coup, but then the irony of history is that it was the late General Aguiyi Ironsi, an Igbo who single-handedly dismantled the coup in Lagos, while my humble self, another Igbo-man rendered it immobile in the north.”- Odimegwu Ojukwu, Igbo and Biafran leader.
I believe any appearance that the coup was an Igbo power grab -because of the high number of Igbo colonels that participated in it- is just a coincidence. Most officers in the Nigerian Army then were Igbo. So, it was highly probable that if a coup was planned in the Army, most of the officers would be from the ethnic group with the largest number of officers QED.