President Jonathan, Uduaghan, Ajimobi Mourn Civil War Hero, Benjamin Adekunle aka Black Scorpion
BEVERLY HILLS, September 13, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan, Delta Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and Oyo Governor Abiola Ajimobi have described the death of retired Brigadier-General Benjamin Adekunle, one of the main figures in the Nigerian civil war, as a loss to Nigeria.
Adekunle, popularly called Black Scorpion during his days in the Nigerian Army died on Saturday morning in Lagos at 76.
A statement from the Nigerian Presidency said, 'President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan extends sincere commiserations to the family of late Brigadier-General Benjamin Adekunle who passed away earlier today.
'The President joins them 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 prays that God Almighty will comfort the grieving family and associates of General Adekunle and grant his departed soul eternal rest.'
Adekunle, Unforgettable Civil War Hero – Uduaghan
â€ŽUduaghan who described Adekunle as an unforgettable civil war hero extolled the courage and brilliant initiative of the late general, which according to him, helped to fast track the end of the Nigeria civil war.
“â€ŽGeneral Adekunle was a maverick. His courage and brilliant initiative helped to speed up the process that led to the quick end of the unfortunate Nigerian civil war. That's why history and Nigerians will continue to celebrate his exploits,” he noted.
Uduaghan also remarked that it was the sacrifices by the likes of the Black Scorpion and other veterans of the civil war that further underscored the importance of the unity and indissolubility of theâ€Ž country, adding that they set themselves apart as great patriots of the country.
“In their sacrifice and willingness to lay down their lives they confirmed that the unity of Nigeria â€Žcannot be compromised. Their patriotic zeal remains a reference point and reminds us that what binds us together is greater than any sectional or parochial cleavages”, he enthused.
The governor commiserated with the wife of the deceased, Folake, his children as well as others directly affected by the death and asked God to grant them fortitude to bear the loss.
Benjamin Adekunle's death, monumental loss to Nigeria - Ajimobi
Ajimobi in a statement issued in Ibadan on Saturday by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo said that he was extremely saddened by the news of the death of Gen. Adekunle.
'Although Gen. Adekunle had for some time now been facing some health challenges, his death at this material time when the country is passing through difficult times, in terms of security and national cohesion, is tragic and shocking,” he said.
The governor described the late general as a fine officer-gentleman, a nationalist and patriotic Nigerian who exploited his military expertise to rescue Nigeria from the brink of precipice and ensured that the country remained one indivisible entity.
'Gen. Adekunle served the Nigerian Army with all his might and he was equally celebrated but never compromised on the need to end the agonizing civil war and bring peace back to the country.
'Since death is an inevitable end for all mortals, the late Gen. Adekunle should, therefore, be celebrated for his nationalistic posturing rather than being mourned. That Nigeria still remains one today is a pointer to the fact that Black Scorpion lived a fulfilled life,” he said.
Governor Ajimobi prayed the Almighty God to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest and the family to bear the irreparable loss.