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Revealed: How Dimka’s coup disrupted Pele’s visit to Nigeria

The Colonel Bukar Suka Dimka February 1976 coup which claimed life of General Murtala Muhammed, the then Nigeria’s Head of State, will continue to linger in the memory of the world soccer legend,  Edson Arantes do Nascimento popularly called Pele.

Penpushing reports that the football greatest player narrowly escaped being consumed during the coup-de dat, as he was in Nigeria and found himself holed up in a hotel in Lagos, as the coupists struck in the country

The popular Pele was in the country for his Pepsi-sponsored visit, which coincided with the first professional tennis tournament to be held in Nigeria, when Dimka and his boys launched a bloody coup

Penpushing further reports that on February 13, which was Pele’s promotional work, bubble burst as the rebel soldiers gunned down Murtala Muhammed in his car  while on his way to the country’s army headquarters.

The leader of the team, Dimka who  was the head of the Nigerian Army Physical Training Corps, moved  to the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation(NBC),to announce  on radio  that the government had been overthrown.

Penpushing reports that, as at the time of the shocking take over and broadcast, Pele was hold up at the Federal Palace Hotel, in Lagos, a development which became source of worry for him and the Brazilian embassy in the country.

The fear of hotel, likely to be a target of attack by the rebel soldiers, all guests were forced to move, hence, Pele went to the Brazilian embassy, and in the process lost a fair amount of money to different members of his entourage.

Penpushing also reports that, efforts by Pepsi’s local manager to secure flight for Pele to return to United States of America(USA), where he was resident then, met a brickwall, and had to wait for another  three days

The Brazilian Ambassador worried by the ugly development, resolved to take another safety measure, and agreed that Pele would have to disguise as a pilot in order to sneak through the city and joined undetected flight to escape from the troubled country.

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