Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mohammed opposed the regime of Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi which took power after a coup d'etat on January 15, 1966, and he was a leader of the successful counter-coup of July 29, 1966. Mohammed led the crucial seizure of the airport at Ikeja, which was later renamed the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in his honor. He at first intended to use the coup as a step towards the secession of northern Nigeria, but later dropped this demand.
The coup led to the installation of Lieutenant-Colonel Yakubu Gowon in power. On July 29, 1975, the anniversary of the last coup, Mohammed led another and seized power for himself. He was, however, killed on February 13, 1976 in an abortive coup attempt when his car was ambushed in traffic in Lagos. It is widely believed that Britain was actively involved in this assassination. (One of the prime assailants took refuge in the British embassy there immediately after the assassination.) He was succeeded by his chief of staff, Olusegun Obasanjo, who completed the plan of an orderly transfer to civilian rule by handing power to Alhaji Shehu Shagari on October 1, 1979.
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