January 17, 1966
Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu becomes Military Governor of the Eastern region
After the coup on January 15, 1966, the new head of state Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi appointed Lieutenant Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu to be military governor of the Eastern region, which was mostly Igbo. Ojuwku, also an Igbo, studied history at Oxford University before returning to Nigeria and joining the army in hopes of influencing the country’s politics after its independence from Britain in 1960.
However, after the ascension of Ironsi, northern and western officers in the military feared a government dominated by Igbos, and later in 1966 there was a countercoup in which Lieutenant Colonel Yakubu Gowan was installed as the new head of state. Under his command, Ojukwu maintained his command of the eastern region.
The New York Times: “Odumegwu Ojukwu, Breakaway Biafra Leader, Dies at 78” by Robert D. McFadden, November 26, 2011
Time: “The Gentleman Rebel: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (1933-2011)” by Gillian Parker, December 2, 2011
Independent: “Emeka Ojukwu: Soldier who led his people into the war of Biafran independence” by Alex Duval Smith, December 13, 2011
Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/world/africa/odumegwu-ojukwu-leader-of-breakaway-republic-of-biafra-dies-at-78.html; http://biography.yourdictionary.com/chukwuemeka-odumegwu-ojukwu; https://www.britannica.com/biography/Odumegwu-Ojukwu