In Nigeria’s political history, the fate of two military officers – one dead, one still living – was decided by a specific date. The first officer was 41 years, 10 months when he became the Head of State. Six months later, he was removed in a bloodbath. His predecessor was 31 years, nine months when he succeeded the former as Commander-in-Chief (known then as Supreme Commander). Nine years later, he was removed in a bloodless coup. That is the story of the late Major-General Johnson Thomas Umunakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi, Nigeria’s first military ruler, and his successor, General Yakubu Gowon. In 1966, Aguiyi-Ironsi was killed. In 1975, Gowon was removed from office. But the events happened on the same date – July 29. Today, Nigerians will, once again, reflect on the drama that occurred decades ago, which led to fundamental changes in the country’s history, writes GABRIEL AKINADEWO.