Memorial park takes off at Ironsi, Fajuyi’s killing spot


Echoes of the heroic and gallantry lives of late former Head of State, General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi and the then Governor of Western region Major General Adekunle Fajuyi reverberated on Tuesday at Lalupon, a sleepy town in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The town is the site of a memorial park and garden by Oyo State Government in remembrance of the fallen heroes.

A scion of Ironsi family, Ambassador Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, then a 13 year-old boy, recalled how his father was assassinated alongside his host, Fajuyi.
He said “I was with my father that fateful day when he was forcefully taken away. I was a 13-year-old boy then. Today’s event was historic for so many reasons. But above all, the two of them were gallant heroes who laid down their lives for the unity of this nation”.

The two officers were assassinated by the revenge seeking counter-coupists led by Major T. Y. Danjuma on July 29, 1966 at Lalupon, Ibadan.
Ironsi had arrived in Ibadan on July 28, 1966 to address a conference in the region.
It will be recalled that a bloody overthrow of the civilian regime of Prime Minister Sir Tafawa Balewa’s government had taken place six months earlier, in which the Prime Minister and other top government functionaries, especially of northern Nigerian extraction were killed.

While speaking, Ironsi lauded Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the state and the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun for their ingenuity to site a tourist attraction site at the spot where the gallant soldiers were killed.
He promised the collaboration of the family to the initiative by inviting investors to support the project.
Oloye Lekan Alabi who stood in for the Fajuyi’s family, also recalled how the martyrs were murdered in cold blood.

He added that the development highlighted the essence of Fajuyi’s philosophy about life which he said signified love, trust, integrity, honour and loyalty. He described Fajuyi as a noble man with a rare quality of Yorubaman.
The Commissioner for Information, Arulogun wondered why no administration before Governor Ajimobi considered it worthy to build a memorial park in their honour.
He said the governor recognized their gallantry, trust and unusual hearts of keeping their fatherland as one indivisible entity.

Arulogun said the site which would be handed over to private developers would be a tourist attraction for the state and Nigeria as a whole, adding that, the history of Nigeria cannot complete without Lalupon where both men were assassinated.
He said the tourist centre would be a national park that will attract tourists from across the world.
Daily Trust
Memorial park takes off at Ironsi, Fajuyi’s killing spot Memorial park takes off at Ironsi, Fajuyi’s killing spot Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 Rating: 5

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