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General Abisoye dies at 81

FORMER General Officer commanding 3 infantry division of the Nigerian Army, General Emmanuel Abisoye (rtd) is dead.

A statement signed by Deaconess Shola Abisoye, stated that the Kogi-born Abisoye died on March 17, 2017, at 81 years.

Abisoye headed 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, located in Jos, Plateau State, from July 1975 to August 1978.

He was commissioned into the Queen’s own Nigerian regiment in March 1961, and voluntarily retired from the Nigerian Army in October 1979.

According to the statement, Abisoye was conferred with the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic in 2011, and survived by his wife Ruth, children and grandchildren.

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“He was at one time, the General Officer Commanding the 3rd Infantry Division and also the 2nd Infantry Division. He served as the Federal Commissioner for Health and was a member of the Supreme Military Council. He voluntarily retired from the Nigerian Army in October 1979.

“He was at various times the President-General, Keffi Old Boys Association, Pioneer President, Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Association of Nigeria; Pioneer Chairman, Kogi State Foundation; Pioneer Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Abuja,” the statement read.

It would be recalled that Abisoye headed the 2009 panel of inquiry set up to resolve the conflict involving Hausa/Fulani indigenes of Plateau State.

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The panel had examined the involvement of federal agencies in the Plateau crisis, as well as the alleged use of government weapons mercenaries to perpetrate the conflict.

Major General Emmanuel Abisoye also chaired the military investigation panel into the 1976 abortive coup.

One of the army officers who was tried and compulsorily retired in the wake of the coup, Major Jolly Ibrahim Binlam, said the Abisoye panel did not pass sentences on anyone.

Ben Gbulie, a key character in the January 1966 coup stated that Abisoye wanted genuine reconciliation from day one, and believed that true reconciliation would not come by blaming any person for the tragedy of the war but in reconciling everybody.

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Gbulie said that it did not come to him as a surprise that Abisoye succeeded in getting this pardon and return of ranks because he knew that he had worked hard for long to have Biafran officers truly returned to the fold.

Binlam noted that the Abisoye panel, which had Mallam Adamu Suleiman, Navy Capt. Olufemi Olumide, Lt Col Mamman Vatsa, Lt Col Mukhtar Mohammed and Lt Col Joshua Dogonyaro as members, was purely investigative without powers to sentence.

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