I WAS PERSONALLY AFFECTED BY THE 1986 VATSA COUP

Nigerian actor, producer and director; Etim Effiong reveals that he was affected by the Vatsa coup. 

The actor whose father is Lt. Col. Moses Effiong celebrated his father’s presidential pardon in April, but revealed the details only recently. His father received a presidential pardon after 34 years of complicity in the Vatsa coup of 1986. His father was granted a presidential pardon by the Buhari led administration after 34 years, and all the charges were dropped by the Nigerian Government during the lockdown.

In April, the Nollywood actor took to his Instagram to celebrate, ”THE COLONEL IS BACK. In 1986, my father was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for concealment of treason in the Vasta coup against Gen.Ibrahim Babangida’s military government. Although he was released in 1993, it was not made official and his rank and entitlements were not restored. Today, 34 years on, he has officially received his presidential pardon” He wrote. 

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He said for a very long time, he has been an ardent student of history, especially Nigerian history, and some of his earliest short films were about historical events in Nigeria. The actor studied film in South Africa and this opened him up to the power of history, and the relationship it has with personal memory.

The fact that growing up, he didn’t have his father around, his mother was always going to visit his daddy in prison was very awful for him, mostly because he is the last born of the family. During one of his mother numerous visits to the prison, his mother was involved in an accident and did not survive it. ”It was a very down moment for us all when my mum passed. I was one when my dad was taken to prison, and I was five when my mummy died… lived with my grandparents then later my uncle… I am a product of family love in the face of tragedy, and that inspired my art as an artist”

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 He said when the government dropped all charges, it was a pivotal moment or him as an artist, as he was beginning to interpret books and history concerning the VATSA coup, and turning them into a movie. ”I felt very blessed and privileged to witness this moment” Etim Effiong said.

One of his current project, ”skin” by Beverly Nays, is showing on Netflix, Etim Effiong directed the documentary. He is also an advocate for the Girl-child.


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