By Jonathan Ugbal
Former Cross River Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke joined family, friends and well wishers at the 10 years remembrance event of the late Brigadier General Solomon Giwa-Amu on Saturday.
Mr. Imoke was among high profile guests at the event organized by a foundation founded after General Giwa-Amu’s death in 2008.
The former Governor whom political watchers say places value on family relationships and close associates is said to have been very close to General Giwa-Amu when he was a Colonel in the Nigerian Army and Aide de camp to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Imoke is said to have had respect for the late General who also exuded an aura of gentility despite being at the receiving air of military politics several times.
He chaired the occasion and in his remarks described the late General Giwa-Amu as compassionate, generous, disciplined and down to heart, saying the late ADC gave his best to his fatherland.
The event was one of the activities marking the 10 years of existence of the foundation and the memory of the late soldier and Mr. Imoke, Chairman of the Solomon Giwa Amu Foundation, Major General Cecil Esekhaigbe, representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Nuhu Angbazo among others extolled the officer’s resolve to making the nation a better place and empowerment of the youths educationally and morally.
Also, the former General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Major General Kamaldeen Role while speaking on the topic: “Competence, Commitment and Character as Virtues of Youth Development,” disclosed that the late General Giwa-Amu is credited to have developed the ‘Barracks Children Development Programme’ which aimed at disabusing the minds of the citizenry and masses that children from military barracks are “no do wells.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Segun Adeniyi who was the spokesperson to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in a presentation titled: “Transforming Self, State and Society,” said late General Giwa-Amu waa content and made the most of the resources available to him anywhere he found himself.
Mr. Adeniyi, a journalist with Thisday Newspapers represented a banker, Mr. Fola Adeola and gave excerpts of the life of the late General Giwa-Amu according to reports from SECURITYKINGNG.
“To my knowledge, Solomon did not abuse the system, but he did take advantage of it. Let me give one example here and it was something I observed: a senior officer was redeployed into a lower position and a junior officer promoted into a position that gave him seniority over the former, based on the Nigerian factor, as we call it. The moment Solomon heard about it, he used his influence to redress the injustice.
“Whether in military matters, issues pertaining to the office of the President, and even in matters of Federal policy, Solo pursued justice and fairness.
“While his loyalty to his boss, as a military man, was unquestionable, there were also moments of sharp disagreement such that with time, he earned the respect of the President and everyone else.
“I can recall several interactions with Solo while he was alive, that had to do with reflections on the alternative. We would ponder on the question, ‘What if we had gone this way instead of that’. Some may consider this as nothing but fruitless musings but the whole point of history is to learn from it, so we can do better in the future,” Mr. Adeniyi said.
The foundation had on Wednesday donated books covering the science of war, Nigerian History, Economics imperatives of globalization among others to the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) where the Co-founder, Dr. Judith Solomon Giwa-Amu said it was in support and realization of her late husband’s dream to ensure that he exposed other colleagues to what he learnt from books he acquired from the United States of America War college.
The Commandant AWCN, Major General EJ Enenche who received the books said the occasion is premised on the reflection of the vision and dream of a great colleague whom he said was passionate about military education and general education for all especially the less privileged.
He promised to create a section at the Library to ensure that the donated books stand the test of time and affect generations to come.
The late General Solomon Giwa-Amu was born on November 2,1959 and passed away on February 18, 2008 in a ghastly motor accident along the Abuja – Kaduna federal highway with bad roads blamed as the cause.
Until his death, the late General Giwa-Amu who was at several times ADC to former President Obasanjo, Defence Attache to the United Nations Mission, New York, was the Director of Army Public Relations.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Judith Giwa-Amu, and four children; Efe, Ohio, Otito, and Zizi.
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