Internationally acclaimed herbal practitioner, Mrs. Flora Ifenyichukwu Nkemakonam Ilonzo, has recalled how she ‘saved’ President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, from “a well planned coup” when he was military Head of State
Ilonzo said she was the savoiur of Buhari in 1984 in Enugu when a coup was planned to eliminate him.
She said she used her power to botch the plot.
Ilonzo is today the Director, Centre for Psychic and Healing Administration (CPHA), Awka.
“Buhari would have died in that planned coup in Enugu while in office as a military Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces,” she claimed.
Ilonzo has practiced her trade in both Enugu and Awka for over 30 years, especially on herbal research, health education and in resolving human problems.
She has published books, among them, ‘Questions and Answers on Phystomedicine’, ‘Herbs and Your Health’ and ‘Food and your Health’.
Now that Buhari has been democratically elected to govern the country once again, Ilonzo has also re-surfaced to warn him to beware in his actions and inactions.
She warned Buhari to “be vigilant as ever at all times as he presides the affairs of the country” and congratulated him for winning the 2015 Presidential election.
“I warmly felicitate with and congratulate your Excellency on your well deserved victory at the Presidential election.
I am thrilled by your emergence as the next civilian President of our dear country.
“Thirty-one years ago, when Your Excellency was the Military Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I foresaw and exposed a plot to assassinate you during an official visit to Anambra State.
“I immediately contacted the authorities for further action and for the postponement of your visit. At that time, General Y.Y. Kure was the General Officer Commanding the 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, while Emmanuel
Akojie was the Signal Brigade Commander.
When your visit commenced at the appropriate time, Your Excellency arrived Enugu Airport and demanded my presence to appreciate my gesture.
In your entourage were the former Chief Judge and Attorney General of the Federation, Justice Belgore, and the late Chike Ofordile, respectively.
“Today, as the President-elect, providence has given you yet another opportunity to complete the national assignment you started three decades ago.
Your mandate is by no means a gift to be squandered by anyone who is not committed to national rebirth and reconstruction.
I advise that you pick your team
for the best results irrespective of ethnic, religious and political cleavages.
“I pray that you replicate the legacy of the Late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew in Nigeria to make this nation a prosperous, proud and respectable entity in the comity of nations; I urge you to restore discipline, morality, excellence in quality of goods and services offered to our nation for the upliftment of our patriotic spirit and common good.
“My word of caution is that you remain as vigilant as ever to keep sycophants at a safe distance. Our unity, security and the reduction of ethno –religious tension should occupy a premier position in your new administration.
Thanks and God bless,’’ Ilonzo said. Ilonzo, an old Anambra State Artist, was known then as Mrs. I. Eze, according to Ogbuefi Charles Onyechi, Amalunweze of Awka, a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Awka who revealed the woman to newsmen in Onitsha.
Onyechi also agreed that the President-elect would have been killed in Enugu when he was military Head of State but was saved by Mrs. Ilonzo.
Onyechi showed a book yet to be publicly presented containing the story of how the Igbo woman saved Buhari with vivid account and details.
The book tagged, ‘Peace…the legacy of an Icon of our time,’ captures the roles of Ilonzo, Anyafulugo Enugu-Ukwu na Umunri, Ozouwandu Aguleri Kingdom.
Hear her: “I was in a dream and saw the shooting to death of several Igbo leaders as they lined up to welcome the Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari in 1984.
The visit was still nine days away, so something must be done, and fast too, to forestall the calamity.
As a civil servant, I could not approach the Governor directly, but I wrote a letter to the Governor through his Principal Secretary, Mrs. Ossai.
I copied the same letter to the Commissioner of Police, the GOC, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and Commander Signal Brigade in Enugu.
I undertook to deliver personally that of the Governor, and the GOC 82 Division.
In view of my vision, I urged them to defer the visit of the Head of state, emphasising that once I have such a revelation, it surely must take place.
“At the receipt of the Governor’s letter, the
Principal Secretary read it and instructed his staff to call
In my presence he told them of the content of the letter and called me names, insinuating that I was one of those women hanging around army barracks running after soldiers.
He tore the letter and warned his staff never to allow me inside his office again.
“By the time I got home, my staff who went to deliver copies of the letter had returned, followed by the GOC 82 Div Major General Y.Y Kure.
He confirmed the receipt of my letter, and wanted to know what to do. I maintained what I said in the letter — that the visit must be postponed till the bad boys have been fished out and dealt with.
Within thirty minutes, the Commissioner of
Police and Brigade Commander also arrived at my 22 Savage Crescent, GRA, Enugu residence, where they met the GOC.
“During my discussions with them, I asked to first of all take inventory of the armoury to determine what was stolen.
I also informed them that the blank bullets used for ceremonial occasions had been replaced with live bullets, to enable the plotters kill all those they wanted to kill.
I also confirmed to them the place the stolen ammunition was hidden.
“They left and first of all visited the armoury where it was found that some ammunition were actually missing.
They came back and sought my help to locate the missing ammunition. I agreed, but sent them back to collect some gunpowder and sand from the location of the armoury, while I went to collect leaves my grand father, Akunne Onyido, used to trace lost items.
I mixed the leaves and sand and used the gun powder to set it ablaze.
When it has been burnt, I collected the ashes and gave them two portions, one to sprinkle around the barracks, I told them that it would make those involved to confess,
which is better than my revealing their names.
Before then, they had arrested
the Armourer, Lt. Anyaka. But I told them he was innocent.
“The following day they sprinkled the powder on the parade ground before the arrival of the soldiers for the parade.
Immediately after, one of the soldiers residing at the Thinkers Corner confessed that he was to kill the Head of State.
He named some of his collaborators after which he shot himself. They called another parade to which I was invited.
I was there disguised as a groundnut seller. After the GOC’s address, one of the plotters stood up and pointed out his accomplices.
He took the GOC, the Signal Brigade Commander, Emmanuel Akoji, to the armoury to demonstrate how they entered the place.
He rubbed his back on the wall and the doors opened.
Immediately the powder was rubbed on him and he could not come out the same way. He was arrested.
I then took them to where the stolen ammunition were kept, there were all together nine bombs, two cartons of hand grenades, and 12 crates of ammunition, hidden in a bunker.