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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Happy Birthday, Gen. and Mrs. Madiebo!

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By Chudi Okoye

Double birthday celebrations are being held for Major General (Rtd.) Alexander A. Madiebo who turned 88 on April 29, 2020, and his wife, Mrs. Regina Ifeyinwa Madiebo, who turned 90 today, April 30, 2020.

General Madiebo had had a promising career in the Nigerian Army, and also later a distinguished leadership role in the Biafran Army.

He had been an outstanding student at the storied Government College Umuahia, which was breeding ground for many of Nigeria’s future leaders. Later, deciding on a military career, Madiebo went for his first military training at the Regular Officers’ Special Training School in Teshie, Ghana. Subsequently he attended the renowned Eaton Hall Officer Cadet School in Chester, England, along with General Yakubu Gowon, with whom he also trained at the legendary Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England.

Alex Madiebo was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1956 as a 2nd Lieutenant. He rose quickly, soon promoted to become the first Regimental Commander of the Nigeria Army Artillery. At Nigeria’s independence in 1960, he became ADC to the first Nigerian Governor-General, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

After the Nigerian Civil War broke out in July 1967, Madiebo, who had narrowly escaped the pogrom in the North, became the Commander of the 51 Brigade. Soon, however, in the wake of several early battlefront setbacks on the secessionist side, then Biafran Head of State, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, promoted Madiebo to become the General Officer Commanding of the entire Biafran Army. He held that role until the cessation of conflicts.

The civil war ended in a defeat for Biafra, but all sides in the war acknowledged Major General Madiebo’s brilliance as a military tactician who fought gallantly against heavy odds, outmatched in men and munitions but never in personal bravery.

He would later tell the story of the civil war in a critically acclaimed book, The Nigerian Revolution And The Biafran War, published in 1980 by Fourth Dimension Publishers.

The Biafran icon lives in well-deserved retirement these days, and at this time is enjoying birthday celebrations with his beautiful wife and joint celebrant, surrounded by family and friends.

Awka Times salutes General and Mrs. Madiebo, wishing the sprightly couple many more years ahead.

Happy birthday!!!

Biafran military high command inspecting a parade in 1969. Maj. Gen. Madiebo (3rd from right) and Gen Ojukwu (4th from right) among others.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Happy Birthday General Madiebo…a great man of greatness…a very good friend to my Great Uncle…..Col Anthony Eze……keep living.

  2. Happy birthday to our gorgeous father inlaw and mother inlaw.
    God will continue to uplift you both as you age gracefully.
    You are blessed

  3. Happy birthday to people’s General and his beautiful wife .You have attained this age of 88 and90 not by dint of hard labour but by the Grace of God. May the good Lord enlarge your scope and miraculously grant you many more years of good health to age gracefully.
    Ozo Ona,,(Your Co-inlaw)

  4. Happy Birthday to Sir, and Ma. I don’t know you, but reading about what you mean to our country made me send my wishes. May God protect you and family.
    Gladys
    USA

  5. Many happy returns to Gen. Alexander Madiebo, 88, and his lovely wife, Mrs Regina Ify Madiebo, at 90 years.

    2. We rejoice for the righteous man, General Madiebo, because he could have died at 38, some 50 years ago, following the massive murder of Igbo army officers in the Nigerian Army between 1965/66. Or at the various war fronts of the Biafran Army from 1967 to 1970.

    3. In my life’s career, I have encountered this nice man twice. One was as an undercover operative of the Directorate of Military Intelligence, Biafra Army, posted to his 51 or 52 Brigade, to monitor army ops in the fronts.

    3. The scenario was that when Nigerian Army front line soldiers got weary, or were routed by gallant Biafran forces, they would surreptitiously hobnob with BA front line fighters, by sharing cigarettes, etc., to lower their guards. Then their officers would plan a sudden attack to the set target, or town. This couldn’t happen in my “zone”. Result was that for over 14 months, Nigerian troops had war fronts at Umuaku Isuochi towns in Okigwe Division, and Awlaw towns in Oji River Division, yet they couldn’t enter to overrun the next town, Owerre- Ezukala, just 10 miles away, or any other town in Orumba Division. Thanks to powerful Intel from “Enemy two legs!’

    5. Second time I met with Gen. Madiebo was in 1979-83, during Gen. Madiebo’s visits to my Boss and Principal, late Engr. Chief Roy Umenyi, Deputy Governor of old Anambra State.

    6. Engr. Umenyi, a first class engineering student from Battersea University, England, was the famed first African Engineer in Shell- BP, Port Harcourt in the 70s. He was recruited by our Aguata LGA people to be Deputy Governor to Chief Jim Nwobodo.

    7. That was after a proud and brilliant period working in the design and fabrication of Biafra’s war merchandise, including the fearful “Ogbunigwe”, and shore-battery bombs. But for being mostly Catholics, Biafran scientists were capable of producing napalm and biochem bombs to win the war for Ndigbo.

    6. On occasions, the following Biafran Scientists would visit Engr. Roy Umenyi, to discuss the war efforts and how Nigeria could gain by commissioning the great Biafran Scientists to develop even our nuclear capabilities…Prof. Godian Ezekwem of Proda. Gen Madiebo. Major Onyefuru (remember the “multum in parvo”) Engr. Ogbugo, Prof Uzoigwe, etc. Plus Engr. Anyanya, who designed and produced the first solar powered Traffic Control Panels in the East, if not Nigeria.

    7. Their discussions were never bawdy or lost in cognac. Engr. Roy would just be doing his usual Erinmore -on -pipe. Sometimes a Mexican elgrecko cheroot.

    8. Finally I say to Gen. Madiebo and his wife to just relax, rejoice and be happy. We, and the Angels and gods of Ndigbo remember and pray for you. Always.

    Dr Chuka Nwosu
    Port Harcourt.

    • This is real account of one’s exploits in a bullet point. If there is time and space more detailed account of the General’s and His excellency Engr Umenyi’s achievement would have be given justice. Just a tip of iceberg. Well written.

  6. Our own General! May God bless your new age, renew you with strength and wisdom and crown you with the bounties of life that would make you happier as you age gracefully to His glory!! I wish you God’s blessings in abundance now and always Amen!! Igbo wu Igbo di proud of you onye oma!!

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