Major General Martin Adamu (rtd)

October 16, 2004 Indications are that Major General Martin Adamu (rtd), N/142, one time acting Chief of Staff (Army) (July 1975) and later GOC of the 2nd Division (August 1975 to June 1978) has joined his ancestors.  He joined the Army on April 1st 1960 and was commissioned 2/Lt on March 3rd, 1961 after officer training at the Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, England.  He retired voluntarily, effective August 1st, 1979 .    As a Captain, based in Lagos at the 2nd Battalion and at AHQ, Martin Adamu was one of the three inner circle officers (the others being then t/Major TY Danjuma and then T/Lt. Col. Murtala Mohammed) who organized and coordinated the “Northern Counter-Coup” of July 29, 1966.  Following the uprising, he was deployed to take command of the mutinous 2nd Battalion which was moved from Ikeja to Kaduna at about the same time the mutinous 4th Battalion was being redeployed away from Ibadan (under Major TY Danjuma).    On July 6, 1967, when the Nigerian civil war began, the opening offensive, launched from Vandekya in present day Benue State, on the Ogoja front, was led by then Major Martin Adamu. Martin was Acting Chief of Staff (Army) in July 1975 when the substantive holder of the position, Major General David Ejoor, was away on leave.  Adamu (who was not part of the conspiracy) was approached by then Lt. Col. SM Yar’Adua (RIP) and Colonel Anthony Ochefu (RIP) to make the radio broadcast announcing the overthrow of the Gowon government.  He bluntly refused. Then Col, later Major General JN Garba (RIP) was nominated in his place to make the announcement.    In 1976, as a member of the Supreme Military Council, following the failed coup attempt by Lt. Col. BS Dimka and the assassination of General Murtala Mohammed, Martin is on record as having been among those who insisted on Lt. Gen. Obasanjo succeeding the late Mohammed.  At that first post-coup meeting at Dodan Barracks, with tensions running high, he said words to the effect that there would be no credible explanation to offer the public if Mohammed were not succeeded by his surviving deputy.    On a personal note, in 1978, I was invited by fellow student leader Wulma Damlong of the Plateau Students Community at the University of Ibadan to attend Major General Martin Adamu’s send-off party at the 2DIV Officers Mess, Agodi, Ibadan.  I vividly recall then COAS, Lt. Gen TY Danjuma, announcing at the party that Martin was leaving the Army “on his own, completely unstampeded.” I have also had the opportunity to meet the late General several times, in Nigeria and once in the UK (at Victoria Station). He was a very pleasant, dignified and reserved officer and gentleman. May his soul rest in peace.

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