A former military governor of Oyo State and military administrator of Ekiti State, Brig. Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd) died yesterday at the age of 78.
He was reported to have died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Lagos of an undisclosed illness.
Olurin, who was an indigene of Ilaro, Ogun State was born on Dec. 3, 1944.
A former commander, ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), Olurin had his primary education at Christ Church School, Ilaro from 1951 to 1954; St. Paul’s School, Odo-Ona, Ibadan, 1955 to 1957 and Local Government Authority Modern School, 1958.
Olurin also attended Egbado College, Ilaro, 1959-64, Technical College (now The Polytechnic), Ibadan in 1966.
He thereafter attended the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, 1967 to 1970; School of Infantry, Quetta, Pakistan, 1973; Army Command and Staff College, Jaji, 1977 to 1978.
He was a governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State in 2011. He got married to his wife, Kehinde Oyeleye, in 1975 and they had two sons.
He was also a chancellor of Nigeria’s first University of Education – Tai Solarin University of Education, TASUED, Ijebu Ode.
General Olurin, who was the Commander, 1st Mechanized Brigade, Minna, GOC, 3rd Armoured Division, Jos, also lectured on peacekeeping at the International Peace Academy, the National War College, and United Nations seminars in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the government and people of Ogun, Ekiti and Oyo states over the death.
The president in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, joined the family, friends and professional colleagues in mourning the military officer who served the country meritoriously in his career, extending support when he was called upon as military governor in Oyo State, and later as Administrator in Ekiti State. He also was outstanding as ECOMOG Commander in Liberia.
Buhari noted Gen. Olurin’s efforts in community development, particularly in his state, Ogun, willingly putting his experience and knowledge at the service of various governments. He prayed that the Almighty God grants him eternal rest and comfort his family.
Olurin An Astute Administrator—Abiodun
Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun in a statement by his chief press secretary, Kunle Somorin, yesterday described the late Gen. Olurin as a gallant military officer and astute administrator.
According to the governor, the death occurred at a time the country and Ogun State needed his security expertise in tackling various security challenges confronting the nation.
He added that the late General was an illustrious son of Ogun State who put the state and Nigeria on the global map with his exploits when he served as the ECOMOG Commander in Liberia.
“General Olurin of the popular Olurin family in Ilaro, Yewa South local government area of the state served Nigeria and ECOWAS in many capacities.
“As a recipient of many honours including the United Nations Peace Medal and the Knight Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption (KCHOAR), Liberia’s highest national honour award, as well as an honorary Paramount Chief of the Republic of Liberia, he had made Ogun stand out, not only the country, but at the global level.
“On behalf of my family and the people of Ogun State, I commiserate with the entire Olurin family of Ilaro. The demise of one of Nigeria’s finest military officers is a painful loss to our state and the country.
“We shall continue to remember the late General for his meritorious service to his fatherland as well as statesmanship. He shall be sorely missed not only by his family and kinsmen in Ilaro, but the entire people of Ogun, and by extension Nigeria.
“I pray the almighty God rest his soul, forgive his shortcomings and grant his family members fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss”. Abiodun said in the statement.
Olurin’s Death Painful—Makinde
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde yesterday described the death of the late former MILAD as painful.
He condoled with the people of Oyo State over the demise of “one of the past administrators who shaped our great state.”
The governor’s chief press secretary, Taiwo Adisa, in a statement said Makinde equally commiserated with the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the people of the state and the Olurin family.
He said: “It is sunset for another great man and one of the first set of leaders that providence gave to Oyo State at its earliest stage.
“Through the efforts and contributions of Gen. Olurin and other leaders, the foundation for the shaping of the Pacesetter State, which has become a first among equals, was successfully laid.
“General Olurin’s death at this time when his wealth of experience in leadership can be of immense help to the current crop of leaders is painful.
“But since the Holy Bible reckons that man has been given 70 years and he lived beyond the granted three scores and ten, we can only celebrate the good life General Olurin lived and the great contributions he made to our dear State.
“I commiserate with the entire Olurin family of Ilaro and the government and people of Ogun State and pray to God to grant them the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a condolence message signed by his chief press secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, described the late Olurin as a committed officer and elder statesman who served his country passionately.
The governor also praised Olurin’s contributions to governance in Oyo and Ekiti states during his tenure as military governor and administrator in the two states respectively.
He also commiserated with Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the entire people of Ogun State, especially the indigenes of Ilaro on the demise of their illustrious son.