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Memoirs of 1995 coup: I saw hell in prison -Col. Ajayi

Colonel Ajayi, who was one of the principal suspects in the alleged coup, bared his mind to OoduaTrust recently. He said that the level of…

Colonel Ajayi, who was one of the principal suspects in the alleged coup, bared his mind to OoduaTrust recently. He said that the level of brutality and inhumanity he experienced during the period can better be imagined than experienced.

The Colonel maintained that he can never forget the trauma he passed through till the end of his life. In his own words: “Wounded souls do not vanish easily. I was punished for something I knew nothing about. I did not plan any coup, nobody told me he was planning one. It was all figment of the imagination of the schemers.”

Colonel Ajayi said he was condemned to death by firing squad by the Brigadier General Aziza Special Military Tribunal for an offence he knew nothing about. “My death sentence was commuted to 25 years due to pressure mounted by the international community and the vibrancy of the Nigerian press.”

He lamented the maltreatment of many innocent souls, who have been unrightfully executed by various military regimes. “I was sent to Minna prison under very strict and somehow inhuman terms which violated the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners to which Nigeria is a signatory .I spent four harrowing years in near solitary confinement battling with insects and reptiles that inhabited the dilapidated prison.

Colonel Ajayi who has just authored a book on his experience during the period titled, End of the Road: The Travail of An Infantry Officer, told our reporter that he wrote the book to show the entire world the magnitude of trauma he went through, maintaining categorically that despite the fact that the incident happened over 15 years ago, he finds it very difficult to outlive the deep wound inflicted upon his soul.

“Besides, I still carry the scars of the injuries sustained physically on my body. For me, life can never be the same again. I daily carry the pain, horror, nightmare and inhumanity I experienced in that prison.

Speaking point-blank, the Colonel said his psyche has been badly affected. He said, his mind runs a marathon race between anger, desperation and disgust.


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