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IFEAJUNA, Major Emmanuel
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Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna

Birth Date: 0, 0
Home Town: Onitsha
Location:
Country: Nigeria
Alumni: Old Student
Category: SPORTS
Period: 1948 - 1952
Profession: Military
Email:
Phone:
Submitted By: abi

Deceased
Emmanuel Ifeajuna placed Nigeria’s name on the world map in two distinct areas, setting two different records for Nigeria.
Before he joined the army, Emmanuel Ifeajuna, then a medical student at the University College Ibadan, earned for himself the honour of being the first black African to win a gold medal when he won the high jump in Canada at the Commonwealth Games in 1954. He also set a record. For this feat, a pencil sketch of Ifeajuna taking the jump over a tall bar was embossed on a popular exercise book.

But another kind of fame was the type which beckoned on Ifeajuna one day in August 1965, when he and two other army officers, Major Donatus Okafor and Captain O Oji, began the active planning of Nigeria's first coup. The coup was executed on January 15, 1966, but was foiled by major Aguyi Ironsi. Ifeajuna fled to Ghana, but was sent back to Nigeria when Nkruma was overthrown in February. He was jailed in the East but was later realeased by Lt. Col. Ojukwu in September.

On August 9, 1967, as a Biafran Lt. Col., Ifeajuna was the first Chief of Staff  of the 'Midwest Liberation Force' (101 Division) under Victor Banjo. However, he got involved in an alleged plot to overthrow Ojukwu, was tried under Ojukwu's Biafran Law and Order (maintenance) Decree of 1967, before being executed in Enugu on September 25, 1967 along with Banjo, Alale and Agbam.

The following event result is good enough to remember him:
1954 Commonwealth Games
Mens - High Jump Final
1. Emmanuel IFEAJUNA      (NGR)   2.03 m
2. Patrick ETOLU               (UGA)   1.99 m
3. Nafiu OSAGIE                (NGR)   1.99 m


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