Main-Standard Adewunmi Ajibade, who retired from the army as the Director of Navy Intelligence, was my pal. For the duration of his a long time in provider, he was a single of the most influential and principled navy officer who stood for bravery and integrity. He compensated dearly for it. But in the finish, his vocation projection confirmed that even in Nigeria, the ideal can endure and prosper. He hardly ever held any political workplace and rose to achieve the rank of major-standard. Apart from being the DMI, Ajibade was later appointed as the Deputy Nationwide Stability Adviser to the President. He was also the Deputy Main of Defence Intelligence at the Defence Intelligence Agency of Nigeria, DIA.
I satisfied Ajibade by our mutual buddy, Senator Ayo Come up, a meticulous person who would not waste his passion on frivolous and unstable persons. Come up had very high regard for Ajibade and I before long understood why. Ajibade was a male of ramrod integrity and sincerity. His biggest attribute was his humility. After his retirement, he moved to Lagos. He was in cost of stability at the Ikoyi Baptist Church and every Sunday, he would be in church directing targeted traffic. Some worshippers, pondering he was just an standard protection guy, would even be rude to him, but Ajibade would only smile and continue on with his assignment. He was not 1 to publicize his rank or his value.
It was not a shock that quite a few Nigerians from all walks of daily life trooped to Ikoyi Baptist Church to bid Ajibade farewell on September 10. Individuals who understood him have been mindful of his existence of sacrifice and his eventual triumph versus odds. His finest challenge was for the duration of the military services period when the DMI uncovered itself drawn into areas of stability that experienced practically nothing to do with the armed service. Numerous civilians were arrested and detained at the DMI Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos. Some of people provided the late Otunba Olabiyi Durojaiye, a retired Director of the Mint who was afterwards to provide with difference as a Senator symbolizing Ogun Point out. Yet another was Professor Akinjide Osuntokun, Nigerian previous Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.
At that interval, Ajibade’s colleague, Colonel Frank Omenka, was set in charge of DMI Security Team. Omenka and his staff had been all set to do nearly anything to be sure to the powers that be. They believe that that the DMI and its sources should really be place at the service of General Sani Abacha, the late Nigerian dictator, who needed to perpetuate himself in electrical power. It was a complicated period for officers like Ajibade who stoutly considered that the DMI, and without a doubt, the armed forces as an establishment really should not be dragged into politics.
It was great that Ajibade survived the Abacha era. In retirement, he attempted to dabble into politics, pondering that he could operate for the Senate from his indigenous Kogi Point out, only to realise to his chagrin that it was a contest centered on funds. He tried using to impress it on the governments of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and afterwards President Muhammadu Buhari that kidnapping ought to be taken seriously or else “it would come to be an epidemic.” Ajibade was a guy of handful of words and phrases, but his phrases had been weighty.
One human being who understood the worth of Ajibade’s phrases was his spouse, Moradeke. After his retirement in 2005, he relocated fully to Lagos to devote additional time to his family and his private business enterprise. Then number of several years back, he fell unwell. It was a tough time period for Moradeke and the small children. Three yrs back, I experienced invited him to a Breakfast Fellowship at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja. He was recuperating and he showed up entire of enthusiasm. We feel the worst was around. Not so evidently.
In the navy, the soldier’s spouse is regarded as acquiring a larger rank than her husband, simply because she requirements to take demand of the home entrance. With Ajibade’s disease, it was time for Moradeke to get demand. She did so uncomplainingly and with tireless devotion and competence. The youngsters rallied spherical and it was amidst the assistance of his loving spouse and children that Ajibade spent his previous days as he breathed his previous on July 2, 2021. Till the very end, Moradeke fulfilled the responsibility of the officer’s spouse.
In getting the Officer’s wife, Moradeke’s terrific predecessor in that workplace was Lady Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi, mom of Louisa, my distinguished colleague at Tell and Newswatch. Dame Victoria’s spouse, Major-Common J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi, was the first Nigerian officer to command the military, an institution created by the British colonial rulers. Next the coup of January 15, 1966, Ironsi became Nigerian very first armed service ruler. His reign was turbulent until eventually he was killed in the counter-coup of July 29, 1966. When Ironsi’s wife died on August 23, she had been a widow for 55 a long time.
Her everyday living experienced taken a spectacular turn in 1966, the year she turned First Woman and then widow. Just after the assassination of her partner, no person explained to Woman Victoria the real truth. She was only educated that he and his host in Ibadan, Lt. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, had been kidnapped. She was remaining at the Point out Property, Marina, the colonial developing the moment the official home of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who last held the business of ceremonial President during the Very first Republic. Thomas, her son had adopted his father to the unwell-fated excursion to Ibadan. He escaped and arrived to Lagos through the railway. Woman Victoria drove to Ebute-Metta to provide property her son from the railway station. It was several months later on that Lt. Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu verified to her the terrible news, that in fact Normal Ironsi had been killed by the mutineers of July 29, 1966.
Mama was a terrific survivor. She weathered the turbulence that came in the wake of her husband’s assassination and then the harrowing knowledge of the Nigerian Civil War. She was a lady developed for the battle, bringing up her eight children with matronly commitment and aplomb. Thomas, her 14-yr-aged son who was the final member of the family to be with his spouse and children, grew up to develop into the patriarch of his loved ones, climbing the nationwide stage as the Minister of Defence. Her young children and grand kids have been keeping the flag higher in a lot of fields of human endeavour and virtually all the continents of the environment. God had given her extended everyday living so that she could get to the Guarantee Land on behalf of her illustrious husband.
When I initially achieved Dame Victoria, she was a stately girl handed her prime. She carried the stress of her decades with grace and dignity. Louisa, her daughter, was my colleague in Newswatch and we collaborated in performing many include tales, which include the story of the assassination of Dele Giwa, our initial Editor-in-Main. We ended up definitely thrilled when she agreed to join our workforce at Explain to for Louisa is a journalist of omnivorous competence. Then the Abacha tyranny dawned on us like the creeping malevolence of an inclement climate. We fled the office environment as Abacha’s goons gun for major editors of Convey to. Louisa provided us with her property as our sanctuary.
We achieved mama and a number of of Louisa’s siblings in that home. Mama by no means discouraged her daughter from using on what was certainly a dangerous assignment, internet hosting strangers who ended up on the needed record of the Abacha dictatorship. She embraced us with motherly passion and indulgence. We satisfied in that house for various years. Not the moment did she or any member of Louisa’s house betray us. Who could have assumed that a female who experienced handed via the valley of demise and tribulations would even now be willing to give much more for the goodness and greatness of Nigeria?
I congratulate Louisa and her siblings for acquiring such a great mom. Mama’s existence has confirmed to us that there is existence after catastrophe.