On this day in 1936, a former Nigerian Soldier, who was a Nigerian Army Brigadier-General and Civil War commander, Benjamin Adekunle, was born in Kaduna, Northwestern Nigeria.
His father was a native of Ogbomosho, while his mother was a member of the Bachama tribe.
He underwent secondary education at the government college, Okene, now known as Abdul Aziz Atta Memorial College, Okene, in present-day Kogi State.
He enlisted in the Nigerian Army in 1958 shortly after completing his school certificate examinations.
He passed the army selection examinations and thereafter was despatched to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK, the British Army's initial officer entry academy.
He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on December 15, 1960. As a platoon commander, he served in Kasai Province of Congo with the 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Nigeria Regiment during his first ONUC UN peace keeping tour of duty.
Adekunle rose through the ranks in the Nigerian Army and later became a cult figure during the Nigeria Civil War and is credited for forming the dreaded 3rd Marine Commando who played a role in ending the War in 1970.
Popularly known as the "Black Scorpion" , Benjamin Adekunle was promoted to Brigadier-General in 1972.
After the war Adekunle was put in charge of decongesting the Lagos port that was having a chronic problem of clearing imported goods.
He held this position until being compulsorily retired on August 20, 1974.
He attributed his problems during and after the war to his rivals in the army.
In various interviews, he said there was always a rumor of coup linked to him until the army authority felt the concern to do something about it.
He had large followings in both the army and public at large and was the most popular military commander during the war, apart from Obasanjo, who succeeded him and brought the war to an end with the same 3MC.
Adekunle led the Third Marine Commando Division with such great panache and determination that the foreign media, in looking for a human angle on the Biafran war, found him a ready source of news.
He died on 13 September 2014 and was buried in the Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Source:THIS DAY IN HISTORY IS A PRODUCTION OF Jay101.9fm