General Adeyinka Adebayo, Defunct Western Region Governor Dies At 89-General Adeyinka Adebayo, the first Military Governor of the defunct Nigeria’s Western Region, foremost Military Generals and one of the most legendary elder statesman in the country has died. He was aged 89.
The Ekiti-born elder statesman died in his sleep in the early hours of Wednesday, according to a family source.
The retired general played an important part in the reorganisation of Nigeria after the civil war and was appointed by the post-war head of Nigeria government, former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon as the chairman of the committee on the reconciliation and integration of the Ibos (Biafrans) as they surrendered to the Nigerian authority and was ready to continue as Nigerian citizens.
Robert Adeyinka Adebayo was born in Iyin–Ekiti in 9 March 1928 and was made governor of the Western State of Nigeria in 1966 after the post civil war governor, Francis Adekunle Fajuyi was killed in the notorious 1966 coup d’état and held up to the position until 1971.
Adebayo commanded influence among his co-mates as an advocate of peace, advising against the use of force in resolving all issues relating to the Biafran crisis. In one of the most prescient and articulate quotations of the war, he declared: ”I need not tell you what horror, what devastation and what extreme human suffering will attend the use of force. When it is all over and the smoke and dust have lifted, and the dead are buried, we shall find, as other people have found, that it has all been futile, entirely futile, in solving the problems we set out to solve.
At the onset of war, Colonel Adebayo, then governor of the then Western State ordered all bridges into the West be demolished to prevent the Biafran rebels from reaching Lagos the capital of Nigeria via his state. The rebels went as far as Ore in present-day Ondo State about 100 kilometers (62 mi) from Lagos.
The Octogenarian would also be remembered as a formidable leader of his race, the Yoruba race and leading the Yoruba Council of Elders (Igbimo Egbe Omo Yoruba) as its President at various times. He championed the leadership, leading the organization to the Presidential Villa to dialogue with ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan on issues affecting the Yoruba race.
Map Showing Nigeria’s post civil war old regions
In 2016, Adebayo had written a treatise which was addressed to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor and national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress on the state of affairs of the Yoruba nation.
He described the Yoruba in the article as a nation in a “state of arrested development’’, gasping for breath and crying for help and imploring Tinubu, who he assumed could be stepping into the shoes of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo to rise up to the occasion of leading Yorubas from its state of developmental imprisonment.
“I know there are no quick fixes, but I also know that if there is anyone who has the capacity to do something about our current situation, that person is you. This should be the legacy you should think of. Your legacy is our future.’’
Adeyinka Adebayo was born in 1928, the son of a Public Works employee from Iyin Ekiti, near Ado Ekiti, (present day Ekiti State), Nigeria. He was educated at All Saints School, Iyin-Ekiti, and later attended Eko Boys High School and Christ’s School Ado Ekiti. He joined the West African Frontier Force in 1948 as a regiment signaler and later completed the Officer Cadet Training Course in Teshie, Ghana from 1950 to 1952.
After passing the War Office Examination for Commonwealth cadets in 1952 as well as the West African qualifying examination in 1953, he was commissioned as an officer in the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) as the 23rd West African military officer with number WA23 and 7th Nigerian military officer with number N7 after completing the War Office Cadet Training in Eaton Hall, England. He later attended the Staff College course in Camberley (Surrey) in 1960 and the prestigious Imperial Defence College, London in late 1965 where he was the only African officer.