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Nigerians mourn Benjamin Adekunle

Published by Tribune on Mon, 15 Sep 2014

He was a patriotic Nigerian 'Alao-Akala, SounFormer governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewunmi, described the late General Benjamin Adekunle as the loss of another patriotic Nigerian.The duo stated this in their reaction to the death of General Adekunle, popularly known as Black Scorpion, who died on Saturday morning in Lagos.Alao-Akala said the late Adekunle left behind a legacy of patriotism that would be very difficult to forget in the history of Nigeria.He maintained that the contributions of the late army general to the successful end of the civil war in 1970 could not be erased in the country's march towards one indivisible entity.'I am worried that the gains made in the past through the efforts of the likes of the deceased were being eroded on the altar of religious and ethnic bigotry.'Reflecting on the current security challenges in the country vis-a-vis the death of the war veteran,' he said.In his reaction, Oba Oyewunmi recalled that the late Adekunle was his Ashipa, a traditional title, describing his death as very shocking and devastating.Oyewunmi insisted that the contributions of the late army general towards the unity of Nigeria would be difficult to forget.He called on the Federal Government to find a way of immortalizing him as well as other Nigerians, who had made such contributions to the growth and development of the country.He was a hero, nationalist 'IkuforijiThe late General Benjamin Adekunle has been described as a hero and a committed nationalist by the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Adeyemi Ikuforiji.In a press release signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Rotimi Adebayo, the Lagos State Number Three citizen said 'The news of the sudden demise of the Nigerian war hero, Major General Benjamin Adekunle, popularly called Black Scorpion, is a very sorrowful one, coming at this critical time in our nation's history, when we are faced with insurgency crisis.''The heroic gallantry of the late General Adekunle during the unfortunate Nigerian civil war remains a testimony to his uncommon bravery and nationalistic instincts.. But for the likes of great souls like that of the late infantry officer, our great nation would have long become history today,' Ikuforiji asserted.'This is why it is very sad and painful for us as a nation and people to lose such a great soul at this critical period in our nation's history. There is, however, no doubt whatsoever that our younger officers, who are today in active service in our military will continue to draw lots of inspiration from great personalities like the late General Adekunle,' Ikuforiji stated further.The Lagos Speaker then submitted: 'Much as the loss of General Adekunle pains one to the marrow, we should, however, be thankful to the Almighty God who enabled him to live to up to a matured age of 78.''On this sad occasion therefore. We here at the Lagos State House of Assembly, on behalf of the entire management and staff , and indeed members of our families, commiserate with members of his family .May the Most High God grant his great soul eternal rest, and also grant his family members the fortitude to bear his irreparable loss,' Ikuforiji prayed.His death, a painful loss 'AdeyeyeThe Minister of State for Works, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye, described the death of civil war hero, General Benjamin Adesanya Maja Adekunle (retd), popularly known as 'Black Scorpion,' as a painful loss to the Yoruba nation in particular and Nigeria, saying; 'we can only pray to God for the repose of the soul of this patriotic Nigerian, who was among those who put their lives on the line to sustain our country.'Adeyeye, in his reaction to General Adekunle's death, said he was extremely saddened and pained by the news of his death, adding that, 'it can't but be painful to have lost such a patriot and courageous soldier at this time when the country is contending with the Boko Haram insurgents.'The minister said; 'I join other Nigerians in mourning this great patriot, whose gallantry during the civil war as the leader of the third Marine Commandoes, contributed immensely to the sustenance of the unity and existence of Nigeria as an indivisible entity.'The heroic roles he played in the third Marine Commando, some of which have entered the myths of history, made him one of the finest soldiers not only in Nigeria, but the entire continent of Africa.'No doubt, the footprints of courage and patriotism, which General Adekunle left behind will remain indelible on the sands of time.'I, therefore, commiserate with the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, the entire people of the Yoruba nation, and Nigerians in general for the demise of this great patriot, who gave his all for Nigeria to remain a country.'It is my prayer that the good Lord will console Mama Folake and her children, as well as the entire Adekunle family, and grant his departed soul eternal rest.'He was a civil war hero 'AmosunOgun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, mourned the demise of one of the nation's gallant military officers, Brigadier General Benjamin Adekunle, describing him as a civil war hero.In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media, Mrs Olufunmilayo Wakama, Amosun said he was greatly saddened by the news of the death of the war veteran.He said the incident happened at a time the wisdom and knowledge of the likes of General Adekunle was 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 the third 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.His legacies live on 'FayemiEkiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, expressed a deep condolence over the death of civil war hero, Brigadier-General Benjamin Adekunle.In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, Fayemi described Adekunle as a dedicated officer who sacrificed a lot for the unity of the country.He also described Adekunle as a legend in the Nigerian military folklore whose place was assured on the positive side of history.Fayemi noted that the story of the Nigerian civil war would never be complete without a deserved mention of Adekunle.He stressed that the late Adekunle's commitment to the indivisibility of Nigeria was never in doubt with his heroic deeds on the war front.The governor urged contemporary military officers to emulate the virtues of the late general as they battle in the North Eastern part and other troubled spots of the country.Fayemi urged the family of the deceased to be consoled by the good life he lived and the lives he touched.The governor prayed for the peaceful repose of Adekunle's soul and the fortitude for his family to bear the huge loss.Fani Kayode mourns him'General Benjamin Adekunle was the greatest, the most courageous, the most disciplined and the most effective general in the history of the Nigerian Army. He was the single reason why the Nigerian Armed Forces prevailed over Biafra during the civil war. He was a great son of the Yoruba and of Nigeria.'He led the gallant men of the third Marine Commando into battle personally and he took no prisoners. He was a man of immense courage that Nigeria refused to honour in life and treated very badly after the war and over the years.'It is my sincere hope and prayer that now that he has gone, he will be given his proper due and honoured by his country. I loved that man. I loved his courage under fire and I loved the role he played not just during the civil war but also during the June 12 struggle when the Yoruba were being killed, incarcerated, persecuted and tormented by the military government of that day. He stood up to tyranny then and his entire life was dedicated for a noble and just cause,' Mr Fani Kayode said in a condolence message.He fought for Nigeria. We shall never forget him and those of us that know and appreciate the role he played during the civil war and in the struggle for Yoruba emancipation. May his great soul rest in peace,' Mr Fani Kayode said in a condolence message.He'll be remembered for his heroism 'OlunloyoA former governor of Oyo State, Dr Omololu Olunloyo, has lamented the death of Civil War hero, Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle, saying he would be remembered for his heroism.Olunloyo, who described the deceased veteran, a graduate of Sandhurst Military School in the United Kingdom (UK), said his (Adekunle) death was one loss too many.'I am in shock. I just heard while coming from the Oranyan Festival in Oyo. It is a tragedy. The man suffered, yet no one came to his rescue. It's a pity he belongs to this country. He would have been celebrated in other climes,' Olunloyo said.He said it was worrisome that Nigeria had not learnt to celebrate its heroes while alive, adding that he was amused by tributes and accolades that trailed the death of the Nigerian Army war veteran.He prayed God to console the family left behind by the deceased.
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