Solape Ademulegun Agbi, daughter of the late Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun, has called on President Bola Tinubu to extend the recently approved N18 billion Assurance Policy to the families of fallen heroes who lost their lives during the first and second coups in Nigeria.
The Assurance Policy, which aims to provide financial support and security for the families of fallen servicemen and women, has been widely praised. However, Ademulegun emphasizes that it should not be limited to recent conflicts like the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
However, she asked that those who made the ultimate sacrifice decades ago be remembered too.
Brigadier Ademulegun, then Commander of the 1 Brigade in Kaduna, was killed alongside his wife, Latifat when they were both shot by coupists in January 1966.
Ademulegun’s plea extends beyond her own family. She highlighted other fallen heroes from both the first and second coups, including Brigadier Zakari Maimalari, Colonels Kuru Mohammed and Raph Shodeinde, Lt. Cols Yakubu Pam and Arthur Unegbe, and Lt. Col Adekunle Fajuyi.
She said, “I commend President Bola Tinubu for approving the sum of N18 billion as Assurance Policy for the families of our fallen Heroes. It is quite reassuring that they have a place in the hearts of compatriots.
“Many of this category of Nigerians, especially children, have gone through harrowing experiences. It is my belief that this policy will look beyond the nascent North – East (Boko Haram) fallen Heroes.
I urge those responsible for the management of this policy to remember Heroes past who died in active service, decades ago.
“Children and dependants of Heroes of the 1966 coup and counter coup, should not be forgotten, as they were denied full parental care from very tender ages.
“The Ademuleguns, for instance, lost their parents in the January 15, 1966 coup. The last two children, were just 4 and 6 years old, at the time.
“Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun (N3), was Commander 1 Brigade, Kaduna. He served Nigeria with passion and in 1964, led troops to Tanzania to quell a mutiny. That was after duty with United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in the Congo.
“His wife, Mrs Latifat Ademulegun, a nurse, died with him, both shot by the coupists. This tragedy did not deter their first son from joining the Nigerian Air Force. Late Frank Ademulegun (NAF 294), retired as a Group Captain.
“Mention must be made of Brig. Zakari Maimalari, Colonels Kuru Mohammed, Raph Shodeinde, Lt. Cols Yakubu Pam, Arthur Unegbe, Abogo Largema who lost their lives in the first coup and many others including Lt. Col Adekunle Fajuyi who died in the second coup of 1966.
“The horrors of those events, left deep cuts in the hearts of these families. The Ademuleguns were orphaned so early.”