Adekunle Among Most Celebrated Military Commanders Of His Generation – Jonathan

AdekunleNigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has extended commiserations to the family of late Brigadier-General Benjamin Adekunle, who passed away on Saturday.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the President joins the family and other Nigerians “in mourning the very courageous soldier who achieved national fame during the Nigerian civil war for his gallant leadership of the 3rd Marine Commandoes in the successful effort to defend the unity and territorial integrity of the country.

President Jonathan believes that General Adekunle’s civil war heroics, which made him easily one of the most celebrated military commanders of his generation, have ensured that he will always be honoured and remembered as a valiant soldier who served his fatherland exceptionally well at a very trying time in its history.

As the Black Scorpion’s soul returns to the Almighty Creator, President Jonathan enjoins his family, friends, former military colleagues and all who mourn his passing to also give thanks to God for blessing the nation with fearless soldiers and patriots of his calibre who stand ready to lay down their lives for the peace, unity and progress of their country.”

President Jonathan prayed that God Almighty would comfort the grieving family and associates of General Adekunle and grant his departed soul eternal rest.

Obasanjo, Amosun Mourn Benjamin Adekunle

ObasanjoFormer President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has has joined other prominent Nigerians describing the death of the late General Benjamin Adekunle as shocking.

In a statement in Abeokuta, Obasanjo said that the contribution of Adekunle during the country’s civil war was a no mean efforts, which would be remembered for so long a time.

According to the former president, “I received with shock the news of the death of my colleague, friend and course-mate, Gen. Benjamin Adekunle today. I can recall with fond memories what he was able to achieve as a course-mate at Teshi, Accra Ghana.”

He added that the late retired General, “made no mean contribution for the Nigerian civil war. His efforts would be forever remembered and May his soul rest in peace. I am very shocked about by this news today,” Obasanjo stated.

He expressed his condolence to the family of the late retired General, affirming that “his vacuum will be difficult to fill in the family, but, I pray for them to have the fortitude to bear this loss.”

The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, is also mourning the demise of one of the Nation’s gallant military officers, describing him as a civil war hero.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Wakama, Amosun said that he was greatly saddened by the news of the death of the war veteran.

He said that the incident happened at a time the wisdom and knowledge of the likes of General Adekunle is needed to curb the unfortunate acts of insurgents in the nation.

This is so sad. Black Scorpion, as he was fondly called, played a significant role in the unity and search for peace in our country as he fought gallantly in the Nigerian Civil War, principally to preserve its sanctity as a leader of the 3rd Marine Commando.

“History has recorded him well. His name cannot be easily forgotten in the history of modern day Nigeria,” the governor said.

Amosun commiserated with the family of the deceased, the Nigerian Army, as well as his friends and associates, praying that almighty God grants his soul eternal rest and give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

General Benjamin Adekunle: Black Scorpion Dies At 78

Black Scorpion
Pioneer GOC 3 Div, Colonel B.Adekunle (hand on howitzer) watches a gunner during the Nigerian Civil War

The Nigerian Civil War Army veteran, Retired General Benjamin Adekunle, popularly known as Black Scorpion has died.

Retired General Adekunle died Saturday morning in Lagos, Nigeria’s south-west region at the age of 78.

General Adekunle was born in Kaduna. His father was a native of Ogbomosho, while his mother was of the Bachama tribe.

He underwent secondary education at the Government College, Okene, in present day Kogi State.Black Scorpion

He enlisted in the Nigerian Army in 1958 shortly after completing his school certificate examinations. 

He passed the Army selection examinations and thereafter was despatched to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the UK, the British Army’s initial officer entry academy.

He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on December 15, 1960.

Boko Haram Menace Worse Than Biafran War – Soyinka

Wole Soyinka.Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has condemned the Boko Haram sect, describing it as a worse menace than the Biafran war, which led to the death of many Nigerians.

“There were atrocities which were committed,” he said, adding that “but you never had such a regular, getting to a near predictable level of carnage. I think this is what is terrifying.

“There’s no war zone. There’s no battle line. It’s everywhere. Not just in the North East for instance, it’s here, right here where we are sitting. It’s right down in Lagos, even though it has not manifested itself.”

In an interview with Reuters, Soyinka, who turns 80 in two weeks, said the terrorists are enemies of unity but are not likely to disintegrate the country.

Soyinka blamed successive governments for allowing religious fanaticism to undermine Nigeria’s broadly secular constitution, starting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo allowing some states to declare Sharia law in the early 2000s.

“When the spectre of Sharia first came up, for political reasons, this was allowed to hold, instead of the president defending the constitution,” he said.

Soyinka sees both Christianity and Islam as foreign impositions and argued that modern Africa has lost its shape.

“We cannot ignore the negative impact which both have had on African society,” he told Reuters adding that “they are imperialist forces: intervening, arrogant. Modern Africa has been distorted.”

He added that while the leadership of Boko Haram needed to be “decapitated completely”, little had been done to present an alternative ideological vision to their “deluded” followers, driven largely by economic destitution and despair.


Half Of A Yellow Sun: Censors Delay The Release Biafran War Film

half of a yellow sun

For fans waiting eagerly to watch the much-heralded Nigerian movie, Half Of A Yellow Sun, they may just have to put their hopes on hold, for now.

The Nigerian Film and Video Censors board has delayed the release of the film about the Biafran war, due for today.

A spokesperson for the regulatory body is quoted as citing what he described as regulatory issues for the film’s delay, even though it has not been officially banned

However, the movie’s producer, Biyi Bandele, told the BBC that he was not sure why the censorship board had delayed certification.

He denied allegations that the film was biased and capable of inciting violence.

In a recent interview, one of the lead actors Nigerian-born Chiwetel Ejiofor told Channels Television that he was quite optimistic about the success of the movie in the country

War Veteran Says Obasanjo’s Civil War Memoir Is Full Of Errors

A Nigerian war veteran, Brigadier General Godwin Alabi-Isama (Rtd), has said that former president Olusegun Obasnajo’s memoir of the civil war, My Command, is full of errors, adding that, the former military head of state only joined the war 30 days to its end.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Alabi-Isama debunked claims that his recently published civil war memoir titled Tragedy of Victory, is about General Olusegun Obasanjo but rather about his work at the war front.

“This book is not about Obasanjo”. “It is about his work” in the war front, he said.

“He was not there” and “he did not know enough,” he added.

He alleged that many of the older soldiers who fought in the war ‘made noise’ about their activities in the war in order to secure political positions.

“I didn’t know that if I made a lot of noise about what I did, I could have been made a governor or minister or a head of state but all these elder people knew what it would be if they made a lot of noise.”

“Every sentence there on strategy and tactics is not right.” Even “the captions on some pictures are not correct”

Alabi-Isama, who was once a Chief of Staff and then Sector Commander, said working with the former head of state was “very difficult”

He said although the book is not about him, it is impossible not to mention Obasanjo, who only came to the battlefield 30 days before the end of the war which lasted six months.

“When somebody was not there but claimed to be there, it can be very annoying”

The book, he said, records his own participation in the war, what people did to him and what he did to/for them.

The book, Tragedy of Victory, is a 670 page memoir containing his account of the Biafran war, 450 war pictures (some duplicated), 35 maps and 19 documents of the war.

The war veteran explained the title of the book which came about because the civil war was successful but has resulted in tragedy because lessons were not learnt from it.

“Where did we find the war in the first place? The first coup said there was corruption, there was nepotism, there was banality

Don’t we have that now?” he asked.

Retired soldiers

Alabi-Isama raised concerns about the welfare of men who fought in the war and are now retired with little or nothing to live by. He also mentioned Baba Akinkunmi, who designed the National flag but can “barely feed himself”.

“How much does it cost for this country to look after a person like that?”

One of the soldiers who he worked with, Major Salau (retired) is left to fend for himself with N2,600 as pension every month. “Civil war soldiers have become beggars all over the country.”

“This is quite a tragedy,” he said.

This trend, he said, would create an effect in the psyche of the younger generation who would be discouraged from doing ‘anything nice for the country’ because the country isn’t looking after anybody.

“The aim of the book is to address the youth, who will be leaders of tomorrow.”

Lesson from civil war

Asked if the country has learned lessons it should have learnt from the war, he said “we haven’t learnt anything and that’s why it’s a tragedy”

He said the war was to foster unity “We wanted unity in the country, But are we united?” he asked.

“We need competition. We need true federalism”.

Chinua Achebe’s Biafran memoir ‘There Was a Country’ goes on sale in the UK

Renowned Nigerian author Prof Chinua Achebe has published his long-awaited memoir, ‘There Was a Country’ in the United Kingdom today.

The much anticipated work is about the brutal three-year Biafran war, in which he acted as roving cultural ambassador for the Biafran Republic when the south-eastern area tried to split from Nigeria in 1967.

Prof Achebe has remained silent about his war experience for more than 40 years.

The memoir is published in the UK on Thursday and is due to be released in Nigeria shortly and in the US on 11 October.

As one of Africa’s best known authors, Mr Achebe’s debut 1958 novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ has sold more than 10 million copies and published in numerous languages all over the world.

Birth pangs’

The prize-winning 81-year-old author and academic has written more than 20 works – some fiercely critical of politicians and a failure of leadership in Nigeria.

But he has never addressed the atrocities of the Biafran war, in which he was caught up with his young family – except occasionally in his poetry.

More than one million people died during the conflict in fighting and from famine – photographs of starving children from Biafra became synonymous in the media with the conflict.

“There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid observation and considered research and reflection,” Mr Achebe’s UK publisher Allen Lane says.

“It relates Nigeria’s birth pangs in the context of Achebe’s own development as a man and a writer, and examines the role of the artist in times of war.”

Prof Achebe has lived in the US since he suffered a car accident in 1990, which left him paralysed and in a wheelchair.

The memoir is published in the UK on Thursday and is due to be released in Nigeria shortly and in the US on 11 October, AFP news agency reports.

Genevieve to starr in Chimamanda Adichie’s movie

Top Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji has been selected to feature in the big screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Half of a Yellow Sun”.

Genevieve will be joined by other stars such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper, Anika Noni Rose and Thandie Newton in the eagerly anticipated film.

According to her publicist, the actress cum singer will play the role of Ms Adebayo, a professor who develops a flirtatious relationship with her colleague Mr Odenigbo (Ejiofor).

Half of a Yellow Sun will be produced by  British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA, winning producer, Andrea Calderwood and directed by Biyi Bandele.

Chimamanda’s half of a yellow sun novel centers on the Nigerian civil war and was published in 2006.