Former military governor of the defunct Western State Vice Admiral Akintunde Aduwo has reflected on his military career, saying that he was removed from office by former Head of State Gen. Murtala Muhammed because he refused to announce the take-over of the University of Ife by the Federal Government.
He recalled that he could not carry out the order, following objections by stakeholders in the region who objected to the transfer of the regional asset to the Federal Government.
Aduwo, who later retired as the Chief of Naval Staff, said that he did not regret his action, adding that can walk freely today in the five states of Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, and Ekiti because he did not worked against their interest.
The retired naval chief spoke on his career, the civil war and the plight of the military establishment, which he lamented, has not been insulated from partisan politics, during the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) live programme tagged: Reflections.
Aduwo, who spent barely 30 days in office as governor, said that his appointment was dramatic as his name was not spelled correctly by the Head of State, who announced his posting to the State House, Ibadan.
He said during the briefing by Gen. Muhammed, he was called Tunde Oduwa, instead of Akintunde Aduwo. He recalled that, after the briefing, he raised up his hand and asked for clarification before the Commander-In-Chief pointed confirmed that he has been appointed governor.
Aduwo, who succeeded Brig-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi, said the Head of State directed him to issue a statement transferring the university (now Obafemi Awolowo Univerisity (OAU) to the Federal Government, adding that he it was difficult for him to carry out the directive.
He recalled: “I was appointed as military governor when Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was appointed as the military governor of the Northeast. My colleague, Adekunle Lawa was also appointed as the military governor of Lagos State. When I was appointed as the military governor, the Head of State directed me to issue a statement on the third day of my resumption that the University of Ife has been transferred to the Federal Government. On the third day, I couldn’t do it. I did not know much about the university, except that it was owned by the Western State, which comprised of Oyo, Ondo, and Ogun states.
“I had to consult many people in the region, including Chief Bola Ige, who warned me against the decision. I was removed 30 days after my appointment. But, I thank God that I can move freely in any part of the region today.”
Aduwo recalled that, although he had options to work at the ministries of education and agriculture, and the Western State Broadcasting Service (WSBC), he opted for the naval training at Apapa Port as one of the pioneer naval cadets.
He lamented the needless civil war, where he played a vital role on the federal side, saying that it was avoidable.
Aduwo also lamented the politicisation of the military saying that it is counter-productive.
By Emmanuel Oladesu, NATION