MY 34 YEARS OF MERITORIOUS SERVICE IN THE NIGERIAN ARMY WAS MORE PROVIDENTIAL THAN PLANNED.
– BY journalist Emeka Ogwu .08160455006.
Major sunmonu Adesunmibola Salako (r.t.d) is one of the Nigerian Army who fought the Nigeria civil war that lasted for 30 months; from 1967 to January 15th 1970. In his chat with journalist Emeka Ogwu,the retired army shares his story on how God was far too kind to him during his providential recruitment into the Nigerian army and his 34 years of meritorious service.Except;
APPARENTLY, EVERY ONE REFERS TO YOU AS MAJOR SALAKO, KINDLY TELL ME YOUR FULL NAME AND ALSO GIVE AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR BACKGROUND.
My names are sunmonu Adesumibola Salako, I was born and bred in the defunct Western region, now Osun state, Ife north local government Modakeke. I was born on may 30th 1945, the year world warII ended moreso, I started my educational career from Olufi memorial school Gbongon, Osun State.
WAS IT YOUR PARENTS DECISION THAT LED YOU INTO THE NIGERIAN ARMY OR YOUR PERSONAL DESIRE?
Amazingly,my journey into the Nigerian Army and my 34 years of meritorious service was far beyond my decision nor that of my parents,because it was far more providential than planned. I remember vividly in 1965, a friend of mine whose name is Sule Oribunmi, asked me to accompany him to Ibadan for recruitment into the Nigerian Army, mean while in 1958 a group of army officers were going through the Western region looking for interested boys to be recruited into the Nigeria military school Zaria. They came to my school,then i was well Know as King of boys amongst my friends due to my involvement and how passionate I was in my school’s boyscout,so it was easy for them to suggest that I should notify them which I did but one thing made me stayed back . I asked them that having joined the Nigerian military school Zaria, will i be allowed to return home during Eleya festival so I could celebrate with my family and friends as usual ? But I was bluntly told that once I go, I would remain there until am done with my training which would last five years. The moment I heard that, I declined my intention. So in 1965 a friend of mine whose name i mentioned earlier as Sule Oribunmi , asked me to accompany him to Ibadan for recruitment into the Nigeria army,when we got there , I decided to sit and wait under a mango tree, suddenly I saw a British captain walked towards me, he asked me why I was seated outside when other’s were busy writing the recruitment examination? I told him I only accompanied my friend but he insisted that I got inside and wrote with others. Though I wasnt prepared,yet I did the exam and few hours latter the results was announced. After which we went for interview and the next was medical test.Fortunately for me I was amongst the 45 boys recruited and that was the genesis of my journey into the Nigeria Army. It was obviously divine and I never ceased to appreciate God almighty for his unmerited grace upon my life.
WHAT YEAR DID YOU RETIRE FROM THE NIGERIAN ARMY AND HOW WHERE YOU ABLE TO RAISE A FAMILY BEING IN SERVICE ?
Well, I retired in 1999, but I must confess that it was indeed tasking and discomforting joggling between raising a family and being in the Army, but thank God for my Wonderful wife. She is indeed a rare gem.
UNLIKE OTHER SECTORS, I LEARNT YOU DON’T GO ON ANNUAL LEAVE, DO YOU?
There is a simple hypothesis on Nigeria army and how they go on annual leave.It’s actually based on the current state at which the country is,if peaceful, then one could go ahead to spend his entitled annual leave which lasts for a month but if there’s war in either the country,the ECOWAS countries,or United Nations then reverse is the case.
YOU RETIRED AS A MAJOR GENERAL SINCE 1999 YET YOU STILL LOOK HALE AND HEARTY AT AGE 75, WHAT’S THE SECRET?
Point of correction, I didn’t retire as a major general,but as a major. And as regards my sound health,I must confess that God Almighty is the secret. However in the Nigeria Army,there are eighteen grades and they are:
7.Master warrant officer/Master sergeant
18.Army field marshal/General of the Army.
TRUST YOU CAN NOW SEE THE DIFFERENCE AND SPACE BETWEEN A MAJOR GENERAL AND A MAJOR?
Yes sir,i do
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE NIGERIAN MUSICIANS
My favorites are Evangelist Ebenezer obey and King Sunny Ade
DO YOU PLAY GAMES?
Offcourse, I play football, table tennis and ludo.
WHAT ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE WHO INTENDS TO JOIN THE NIGERIAN ARMY AND THOSE STILL ACTIVELY SERVING THE COUNTRY.
My candid advice is for them to serve the country with all their might and be loyal to the authorities