By David Onmeje
The promotion of Lamidi Adeosun to the enviable rank of Lieutenant General by President Muhammadu Buhari recently has got the country talking. In some quarters it was stated that he was by this promotion appointed the Chief of Army Staff. And of course, the Nigerian Army was quick to clarify that the elevation of Lamidi Adeosun was in reward for “extraordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East part of the country.”
The accolades mentioned above were showered on Lamidi Adeosun not on the strength of his religion or ethnicity, but for the fact that he has indeed distinguished himself as an infantry soldier of repute with his exploits in the counterinsurgency operations in North East Nigeria.
According to reliable sources within the Nigerian Army, Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun has been around leading some of the deadliest battles in counterinsurgency operations. His penchant for excellence earned him the nickname “star boy” by officers and soldiers because of his approach to work.
It has been stated that while he was the General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, his exploits were commendable. He led his men to confront the Boko Haram insurgents in some of the deadliest battles in the history of the insurgency in North East Nigeria. It was also stated that Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun is not the type of commander that would give orders from behind. That he was always ahead with his troops and lead by example.
According to information gathered from impeccable army sources, it was stated that it didn’t come as a surprise to officers and men of the Nigerian Army that President Muhammadu Buhari indeed recognized the numerous sacrifices of Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun that culminated in his special promotion.
In some quarters, it was stated that is boyish looks always gives a wrong impression about his personality, but upon close contact with him, the giant in him is revealed. He is easy going but firm. He abhors indiscipline and other acts that bring the institution of the Nigerian Army into disrepute.
This much was identified by the Chief of Army Staff, which resulted in his posting to head the prestigious Infantry Corp of the Nigerian Army in 2017. While leading the Infantry Corps of the Nigerian Army, it was stated that Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun introduced radical reforms that repositioned the corps into taking its pride of place in the structure of the Nigerian Army.
In my opinion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai must be commended for how he has been able to utilize the potentials of Lamidi Adeosun which was evident in his postings to strategic commands in the Nigerian Army including his present position of Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Army Headquarters.
This is indeed an example of the quality leadership the Chief of Army Staff has introduced in the operations of the Nigerian Army since he assumed command in 2015. I say this because as a commander, one must be able to identify talents and deploy them to where their services are needed in the overall interest of the country. It is instructive also to note that Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun was once commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram terrorist in the Lake Chad region. And his records are replete with phenomenal exploits.
How he does some of the things, he does remain a mystery to those that have worked under his commander in times past. Some say he is such a workaholic and one that was always thinking about the next step. He continually engages his lieutenants on policies and as well as the implementation of these policies.
And that today he is so celebrated is not a coincidence. The statement from the Nigerian Army on his special promotion indeed says it all about Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun. His detribalized nature has also earned him praises from the unlikely of places while he was GOC of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army and as well as while he was Director of Administration at the Defence Headquarters.
Special praises also go to President Muhammadu Buhari who through his action has again proven to all and sundry that there is a reward for hard work and that the Nigerian dream is beyond religious or ethnic sentiments. But that of a strong commitment in service to fatherland.
It must also be noted that the likes of Lt Gen Lamidi Adeosun and many others have strived to give in their best to Nigeria. This story should encourage others towards giving their best in service to fatherland. We must strive and not be discouraged in the task of nation-building. Just like the citizens have a role to play, the government also has a role to play.
This demonstration by President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed a testament of his belief in a strong and united Nigeria that would be prosperous for all. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai under whose leadership of the Nigeria Army, the likes of Lamidi Adeosun flourished tells of the attribute of a great leader that he is.
This is indeed a welcome development, and it is hoped that Lt Gen Lamidi Adeosun would continue to render his invaluable service to Nigeria in whatever capacity he finds himself.
Onmeje wrote from the United Kingdom.