Major General Olufemi Olutoye (retd.), is now the traditional ruler of Ido-Ani in Ondo State, is one of the first graduates to join the Nigerian Army. He was compulsorily retired in 1977 by the General Olusegun Obasanjo regime.
Major-General Olufemi Olutoye had asked to see the head of state, General Olusegun Obasanjo. As he waited for the head of state to come in, he went over in his mind what he would say. Then the head of state came in.
As usual he was relaxed and keen as they shook hands.”You wanted to see me? Any problem? “Nothing really, said Olutoye, I just wondered if you do not think that you have made too many concessions to the North recently.”
“Really what do you mean specifically?’ Replied Obasanjo” “For instance you that both your photograph and the photograph of the former head of states(General Muritala Mohammed) should appear together throughout the country, but in many places in the North, only the picture of your predecessor can be found. Also in siting some projects, it would seem as if the rest of the country did not exist. At least if the North gets two, three things, should the other parts of the country not have at least one?” Olutoye stopped speaking.
“I see. Just wait for me.” Obasanjo said and left the room for some minutes. Olutoye wondered if Obasanjo was going to order his arrest. Then he dismissed the thought. Major General Shehu Yar’Adua came in first, followed by Obasanjo. Shehu Yar’Adua was the the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters and the next person to the head of state. “Sit down Shehu.” said Obasanjo.”Olufemi can you repeat what you have just told me in front of Shehu?’ Olutoye repeated what he had said and left Dodan Barracks. Few hours later, he heard on the radio that he had been relieved of his post and retired from the Nigerian Army.
*Source: “Just Before Dawn”, a book written by Professor Kole Omotoso in 1988. PAGES 32 & 33*
*Take:* OBJ went to court because of these pages and got an injunctions and the book was banned from Nigeria for so long. Fela Anikulapo Kuti went all way to Cotonou, Togo and Ghana and bought lorry loads of this book to his shrine and People started going there to buy copies but you could not buy more than a copy. This was to prevent OBJ sending someone to mass buy all. Fela said: “a dey wait for the court bailiff wey go come enter here.
Later, the book was unbanned but every reprint would be bought out next day. The best book on Nigeria History as far as I am concerned. Prof Omotoso would have likely won a Nobel because of it.
I read the real account of Gen Olutoye from the defunct Guard Magazine many years ago about the incident. Gen Olutoye was miffed with the way OBJ was retiring the southern officers without touching the northern officers. Olutoye went to Dodan barrack boldly and asked OBJ why was he doing that?. OBJ told Olutoye to sit down. He then picked a phone call to Shehu Yar’Adua and Theophilous Danjuma, who were the chief of staff, Supreme Headquaters and and chief of Army Staff respectively. It was Shehu who came first and later Theo. Then OBJ asked Gen Olutoye to repeat in the presence of both what he, Olutoye told him. According to the report, Gen Olutoye was totally shocked of OBJ’s action. Even though Gen Olutoye never in his imagination that OBJ could do that to him, as a General in the army he summoned courage and repeated what he told OBJ in their absence. After that the three musketeers told Olutoye to go. Olutoye went outside and opened the radio gadget of his car. As he was driving home the first news item of the programme was that Gen Olutoye had voluntarily retired from the Nigeria army. Olutoye was shocked but he took it with all equanimity.
Now! This is OBJ talking of Fulanization of Nigeria today. Let Obasanjo explain to us whether he was not Fulanized in 1979 when he worked for Alhaji Shehu Shagari and denied his Yoruba kinsmen of becoming a President, that apart from actively campaigning against Chief Awolowo as evident in his infamous statement that “the best man did not have to win the election,” he took many steps that effectively shut out the sage from winning.
Some of these steps include the removal of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Darnley Arthur Alexander before the hearing of the suit brought to challenge the results of 1979 elections by other political parties. Obasanjo was suspicious that Justice Alexander could not be manipulated to support Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Justice Alexander was replaced with Justice Atanda Fatai William.
Other steps taken by Obasanjo to ensure that Chief Awolowo never became the President include the spurious midnight single handed “amendment” of the 1979 Constitution by him without the Supreme Military Council (SMC). Obasanjo had removed the clause from the Constitution that allowed for ELECTORAL COLLEGE if there was not a clear win.