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Nigeria’s Unsung heroes (1): Babatunde Idiagbon

Posted by By Paul Mamza on 2005/10/06 | Views: 1070 |

Nigeria’s Unsung heroes (1): Babatunde Idiagbon

As a country infested by maladies of unbridled inaptitude of helmsman-ship, Nigeria still parades statesmen that are hardly immortalized because of contempt for old-order revolt and forceful sweeps at an entrenched bone- cracking stampede of umpire- collaborators’ response to habitation of acquisitionist mindset rooted in agentist retrogression.

   As a country infested by maladies of unbridled inaptitude of helmsman-ship, Nigeria still parades statesmen that are hardly immortalized because of contempt for old-order revolt and forceful sweeps at an entrenched bone- cracking stampede of umpire- collaborators’ response to habitation of acquisitionist mindset rooted in agentist retrogression.  The mercy of this discourse is to nourish sorting from the trappings of fancies that laid claims of fake – conversionist fillip.  This serial will capture what may be regarded as Nigeria’s unsung heroes.

Major General Babatunde Idiagbon:
Former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters.  His trademark was taciturn approach to a turbulent and rowdy cloaking of execrable leadership. He was the second-in-command to Major General Muhammadu Buhari after the politicians during the era of the Second Republic under Alhaji Shehu Shagari had exhausted themselves of diligence in government. The Military stroke, this time with a clear mission that indiscipline and corruption that was prevalent then must stop and phenomenally too.  The army abandoned the barracks at that period with a genuine concern to the save the nation from imminent collapse. ‘Tunde Idiagbon as he was widely known became the dirigible dragon of the regime sending a chill up the spine of defaulters of anti – indiscipline war, the war christened War Against Indiscipline (WAI) was a compulsion to moral reformation and ethical conduct.

  His unsmiling posture was an open disdain to cataclysm of a country’s established laws and order thereby exerting a cascading signal to the irreverent and habitual law - breakers. Every special human must have a striking feature and Idiagbon exercised a lack of contentment of a nation in the spanning years of his leadership, after and even at last day of his life.  What made special humans more special is a measure of exploring veto of consistent respectability. Those of us that had watch late Chief Tai Solarin metamorphosis from short knickers of sympathy for the oppressed to the long trouser of travelatorial affluence during IBB’s experimentation on elitist – challenge were baffled with the unwritten remarkability.  Idiagbon’s gusto throughout his appearance at the national scene was an unmistaken certitude.

 Born on September 14, 1943 in Ilorin, Kwara State.  General ‘Tunde Idiagbon had his education at United school, Ilorin, 1950 – 52, Okesuma Senior Primary School, Ilorin, 1953 – 57 Nigeria Military School, Zaria, 1958 – 62, Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul – Pakistan, 1962 – 65, Nigeria Military Training College, Kaduna, 1965 – 1966, Command & Staff College, Quetta, Pakistan 1976, National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies, Kuru near Jos, 1981.  He also attended International Defense Management course, Naval Postgraduate School, United states, 1982. Enlisted as officer cadet, Nigerian Army, 1962, Captain., 1968, promoted Major, 1970, Lieutenant Colonel, 1974, Colonel, 1978 and Brigadier, 1980.  He was also Company Commander, 4th Battalion, 1965 – 66, Intelligence Officer, 4th Battalion and later GSO 3 Intelligence 1 sector Commanding Officer, 20 Battalion, 1967 – 68, Commanding Officer, 125 Battalion, 1968 – 70, Brigade Major and Deputy Commander, 33 Brigade 1970 – 71, Commander. 29 Brigade 1971 – 72, General Staff Officer Grade 1 and later Principal Staff Officer, Supreme Headquarters, 1973 – 75, Brigade Commander, 13 & 15 Brigades, 1975 – 78, member, Governing Council, University of Jos. ‘Tunde Idiagbon was Military Administrator, Borno State 1978 – 79, Commander, 33 Brigade and member, National Council of States, appointed Director of Manning, Army Headquarters, Lagos, 1979 – 81 appointed Military Secretary (Army) Army Headquarters, Lagos, 1981 – 83, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters and member, defunct Supreme Military Council (SMC) 1984 – 1985. 

He was promoted Major General, 1985. ‘Tunde Idiagbon was ousted from power along with his boss, General Muhammadu Buhari in a bloodless coup d’etat, August 27, 1985 and was in political detention for 40 months August 27, 1985 – December 14, 1988, he was released from detention, December, 15, 1988. Apart from occasional appearance at some functions and General Obasanjo’s Invitation to Otta- farm during IBB’s years – a forum that groaned with grudges of the state of the nation- he had maintained a quiet and silence of apostolic resolve at the show of power of effective knock – outs with ratification of helplessness succumbing to a lexicon that “ out – of- power is out – of- influence”.  ‘Tunde, no doubt, meant well for Nigeria but conquered by the fate of the inevitable and supremacy of the new order                                                  

Exactly six years after his death, the man has been accorded by the nation he served well with stoic capacity in a logic force with the contradictions of silence. There is hardly any remembrance moment and national edifice conscripted to show that General Idiagbon ever sojourned in the Nigerian world. This shows that either the Nation in its grotto interpretations felt insecure with the ailing native tinkering of the likes of ‘Tunde Idiagbon or that the General was mistakenly sent with grotesque deal of misunderstanding minds contrived and conjured as a nation to channel a new course in a time begging for radical changes. I am tempted to believe that the former had been responsible for Idiagbon’s lack of immortalization. Astonishingly, persons at low leadership position that assisted in the wreck of the nation’s resources and posterity are remembered yearly on Newspaper pages or with monumental edifices but not General ‘Tunde Idiagbon of the worthy legacy that exhibited loyalty to the cause of his fatherland and portrayed a zeal to positive changes at the nation’s horizon.

A man that had an option to stay back in Saudi Arabia when General Muhammadu Buhari – led regime was overthrown in which he was the Second-in-command but to show loyalty to his erstwhile Commander-in-Chief by volunteering for surrender along with General Buhari. General ‘Tunde Idiagbon was a role model not highly appreciated in a parochialist-nation like Nigeria. This is Major-General Babatunde Idiagbon of blessed memory

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Comments (9)

Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

I heard this in a song and had no idea what it meant. Googled it and this came up. Very Cool. ????????????????

Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

I want to know more meaning and significant of this name obidike in igboland

Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...