By Our Correspondent
former Chief of Staff of the Biafran Army during the Nigerian Civil War, General Alexander A. Madiebo (retired), is dead.
He died a little over one month after celebrating his 90th birthday.
In a terse statement, his family said: “We are sad to announce the passing of General Alexander Madiebo, Chief of Staff of the Biafran Army and the last of the 3 titans. He was 90.”
Born in Awka, Madiebo was educated at Govetnment College, Umuahia.
He received his military training at the Regular Officers’ Special Training School in Teshie, Gold Coast, now Ghana. From there he proceeded to England where he studied at the Eaton Hall Officer Cadet School in Chester, and was in December 1956 commissioned into the Nigerian Army Artillery with the rank of a Second Lieutenant.
He rose quickly through the ranks and was promoted as 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.
When the Nigerian Civil War broke out in July 1967, Madiebo had a narrow and dramatic escape from Kaduna to Enugu by foot and by train, arriving after 18 days.
He was appointed Commander of the 51 Brigade of the secessionist enclave.
Following several setbacks by Biafra in the war, the Biafran Head of State, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, promoted Madiebo to become the General Officer Commanding of the entire Biafran Army, a position he held until the end of the conflict in 1970.
Madiebo’s book, ‘The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War’, published by Fourth Dimension Publishers, Enugu, in 1980, has been described as a “dispassionate” account of the January 1966 coup d’etat and the subsequent civil war.
The late Biafran icon, who turned 90 on April 29, 2022, is survived by his wife, Mrs Regina Ifeyinwa Madiebo, who turned 92 on April 30, 2022, and their children.