OPINION: Idiagbon: His Life, His Times Till he died last week. By Ayodele Ojo

Date: 1999-03-29

As sympathisers left the 4, Aderemi Adeleye residence of General Tunde Idiagbon after his interment last Thursday, many of them were overheard wondering what killed the fiery soldier.

Could he have died from his reported "concern about the state of the nation? Did he die of frustration with the unparalleled corruption, desecration and perversion of the army he joined in 1962 or of the exposure to ridicule, and irreparable damage of the institution he served diligently? Above all, was he poisoned? All these, according to some Ilorin residents who claimed anonymity, will remain conjectures as no autopsy was performed on his remains to determine the cause of death. Born on 14 September 1943 in Ilorin to the late Alhaji Hassan Dogo and Alhaja Ayisatu Iyabeji Hassan Idiagbon he attended United School, Ilorin from 1950-1952 and later Okesuna Senior Primary School in the same town from 1953 to 1957.

He started his military career in 1958 when he enlisted at the Nigerian Military School, Zaria (1958-1962). From there he proceeded to the Pakistani Military Academy, Kakul (1962-65) and later attended a junior commander course at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna.

In 1966, he attended a young officers' course at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna and also a junior staff course in the Nigerian Army Brigade. He was at the Command and Staff College, Pakistan in 1976 and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru near Jos in 1981. In 1982, he attended an International Defence Management, Naval Post Graduate School, US (1982). He held a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Pakistani Military Academy. An associate member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Idiagbon is a holder of the Senior International Defence Management Diploma. In 1962, he enlisted as officer cadet and was commissioned as second lieutenant in April 1965.

He was promoted lieutenant in 1966 and captain in 1968. At the end of the civil war, Idiagbon became a major and Lt.-Colonel in 1974; Colonel in July 1978 and Brigadier in May 1980. In the course of a distinguished military career, he held various military posts.

He served as company commander, 4 Battalion, from August 1965 to February 1966; intelligence officer 4 Battalion and later GS0 3 Intelligence, 1 sector; commanding officer, 20 Battalion from October 1967 to February 1968 and 125 Battalion from 1968 to 1970. He was brigade major and deputy- commander, 33 Brigade from March 1970 to March 1971 and commander, 29 Brigade from March 1971 to December 1972.

Appointed general staff officer, grade 1 and later principal staff officer, supreme headquarters from January 1973 to August 1975, Idiagbon was the Brigade Commander, 31 and 15 Brigades respectively from August 1975 to August 1978. While he was serving as Commander, 15 Brigade, he was at the same time a member of the Governing Council of the University of Jos. General Idiagbon's political appointment began in August 1978 when he was made the military governor of Borno State.

He was in this capacity till 1 October 1979. Simultaneously, he was the Commander, 33 Brigade and member of the National Council of State. He served as director of manpower and planning, Army Headquarters from October 1979 to February 1981 and military secretary (army) 1981-1983 from where he was appointed chief of staff, supreme headquarters when the military overthrew the civilians on 31 December 1983. A lover of jazz music of Miles David and Herbie Hankock, Gen. Idiagbon was reportedly tender with his five children, products of Mrs. Biodun Idiagbon whom he married in August 1970. Because he loves his children, Ronke, an MBA student in Cardiff, Wales enjoyed a N1 million pocket money per annum.

Kunle, one of his sons is said to be a business man who's had juicy deals at the PTF. The author of a book titled 'Strategies for Liberating Southern Africa,' he was toppled together with his boss in a palace coup on 27 August 1985 while on a pilgrimage to Mecca with his 14-year-old son. Despite threats to his life, Idiagbon returned to the country a few days after the coup and was detained alongside Buhari for 40 months. After he was released, Idiagbon was a recluse throughout the Babangida years. And despite the disenchantment with his constituency, Idiagbon refused to undertake any risky venture during the Abacha years obviously for fear of arrest or extermination.

"Now he has died like a chicken, killed by a stomach upset," an analyst said. While in government, various programmes were introduced. Among them are the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) which he oversaw and the National Environmental Sanitation which is still in force. But the Buhari-Idiagbon war against drug trafficking, their war against the press and the repression of ousted politicians were the anti-climax of the regime.

The regime's incarceration of many politicians was condemned as barbaric. In fact, many of the jailed governors -Professor Ambrose Ali, Aper Aku, Tatari Ali, Zabo Barkin Zuwo and Alhaji Busari Adelakun died in detention.

Also, the death of Chief Bisi Onabanjo was not unconnected with his prison experience. To deal with politicians who fled Nigeria for Britain, Idiagbon ordered the abduction of one of Nigerian's most wanted fugitives then, Alhaji Umaru Dikko who fled to London and launched from his base plans to return Nigeria to democratic rule without delay. The failed attempt to fly Dikko home in a diplomatic crate sparked off a diplomatic row between London and Lagos. Idiagbon was quoted to have said that: "Normalisation of ties between Nigeria and Britain, if any, must come from Britain because Nigeria did not create the present situation." This was in obvious reference to the request of the British government that the Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain, Major- General Hananniya be recalled for consultation over the Dikko affair. A story in the Sunday Telegraph of 5 August 1984, written by Andrew Phillips entitled "Nigeria's Reign of Terror" ridiculed the regime in apparent reference to the botched kidnap attempt in London.

While the conservative British newspaper castigated the junta abroad, the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos, on Monday 13 August 1984, issued a communique after its meeting in Lagos expressing concern that decrees that were being churned out of then Supreme Military Council threatened the jurisdiction of courts. Idiagbon was dreaded throughout his sojourn in power. He was the only signatory to the Detention of Persons Decree Number 2 of 1984. But his death, last week, has closed a chapter in Nigeria's history.

Source

 


Cloud Tag: What's trending

Click on a word/phrase to read more about it.

Dagbalodo     KWASIEC     Chemiroy Nigeria Limited     Yaru     Shuaib Olarongbe     Jamiu Oyawoye     Kwara Restoration Project     Air Peace     IFK     Ayekale     KWASSIP     Oladipo Akanmu Tolani     PAACO-PCL Consortium     Yetunde Balogun     Alumni Association Of The Federal Polytechnic Offa     Press Release     Olukotun Of Ikotun     Stephen Fasakin     AbdulRauf Keji     Moses Afolayan     Wasiu Odewale     Salary     Idiagbon     Abdullahi Biffo     Ophthalmological Society Of Nigeria     Oloje     Sheikh Ridhwanullah     Bilikis Oladimeji     2017 Budget     IF-K     Isiaka Oniwa     Tafida     Ijakadi     Principal Private Secretary     Segun Abifarin     Oloye     Colleges Of Education Academic Staff Union     Yusuf Abdulkadir     Dumagi     CCT     Kwara State Internal Revenue Service     Umar Yakubu Jaja     Ilota     Olusola Saraki     Bayo Ajia     Share-Tsaragi     Gbemisola Saraki     Tafidan Kaiama     Hassan Abdulazeez Elewu     Kwabes     Abdulraufu Mustapha     Otoge     Idris Garuba     Kwara Metro Park     Alabe     Guber Aspirant     Olokoba Sulyman     Abdulquowiyu Olododo     Abdulazeez Uthman     ASMAU PLAZA     Ajidagba     Salihu Alhaji Musa     Quarry Royal Valley     Ramadhan     Haliru Dantoro     Ilorin Descendants Progressive Union     Police Commissioner     Simeon Ajibola     Arinola Lawal     Magaji Erubu     Olugbense     Ileloke     Zulkifli Ibraheem     Michael Ologundea     Share/Tsaragi     Bayer AG     Kwara State Fish Farmers Association    

Cloud Tag: What's trending

Click on a word/phrase to read more about it.

Abdullateef Abdussalam     Abdulfatai Baakini     Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilory     Paul Olawoore     Afolabi-Oshatimehin Adenike Harriet     Sarkin Malamai     Idris Garba     James Kolo     Gbugbu     Saadu Alanamu     Abdullahi Imam Abdullahi     Kayode Zubair     SDP     Folashade Omoniyi     Sulu Gambari     Awwal Jawondo     Alabi Lawal     Oladipo Akanmu Tolani     Halimah Perogi     Lateef Ademola Olatunji     Ayo Salami     Mutawali Of Ilorin     Ebola     Umar Bayo Abdulwahab     Federal Allocation     Suleiman Alege Kuranga     Ishak Mohammed Sabi     Gafaru Olayiwola Olorisade     Nupe     Oloye     Ope Saraki     Adamu Atta     Muslim Stakeholders Of Kwara State     Funmilayo Isiaka Oniwa     Dunmade     Ilesha-Baruba     Jimoh Olusola Imam     Kale Bayero     Babaita     Funmilayo Zubair     Gbenga Adebayo     Florence Saraki     Alanamu     Mopelola Abdulmaliq-Bashir     Air Peace     Ganiyu Abolarin     Valsolar Consortium     National Pilot     Kwara State Pension Board     ARMTI     Tinubu     Yusuf Lawal     Zulkifli Ibraheem     Nurudeen Mohammed     Funmi Salau     April 11     Sardauna Of Ilorin     Halidu Danbaba     Esinniobiwa Quareeb     Ado Ibrahim     Olabode George Towoju     Chemiroy Nigeria Limited     Riskat Opakunle     CBT     Balogun Ajikobi     Jare Olatundun     Olushola Saraki     Ahmed Bayero     Odo-Owa     Chief Imam Of Offa     Bola Magaji     Saba Jibril     Ishola Abdullahi     Monthly Sanitation Exercise     Olumide Daniel Ibitoye     Waheed Ibrahim     Saka Aleshinloye