Contoversy has continued to trail the recently published memoirs of the former Army Chie Ishaya Bamayi. Col Gabriel Ajayi, one of the 1995 coupists that was roped by Bamayi has finally spoken, not surprisingly, he had nothing good to say about the Vindicated General.
Bamaiyi himself wasn’t been too kind to himself, in the book, he had related how he deceived the plotters into thinking he was with them, all the while he was spying on them for Abacha.
But its not the obvious insults to Bamayi that caught our eye with Col Ajayi’s remarks. its the not so obvious revelation about the cultural differences that divide Nigeria.
The Col tells about the brutish ways o soldiers who’d served in the south as oppesed to the civilised behaviour of those who serve in the North. Just take note that Southerners like Ajayi do serve in the North
In Nigeria, we have two armies: the army of the North and the army of the South. The army of the North was peaceful, friendly and was like a family and there were no intrigues or scheming. We had a great relationship with civilians unlike what obtained down South where soldiers will get into public transport without paying, harass the public and even brutalize them. It is only in Lagos that all the coup plotters are settled. There was such a wide difference between us (soldiers) who were serving in the North and soldiers serving in the South. I do not know if things have changed now. Ninety-five percent of my career was spent in the North. I can only remember a clash between civilians and soldiers in Kano; and the soldiers were punished by the military authorities for that – everybody in the brigade in Kano, including the commander.
This by itself, coming from a southerner who had once claimed that the coup was a conspiracy against the south, is simply a bombshell