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Nigerian Chief Of Army Staff Aguiyi-Ironsi: A Profile of a Military Leader, Early Life and Education
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was born on March 3, 1924, in Umuahia, Nigeria. He was the son of Mazi Ezeugo Aguiyi, a traditional ruler in Umuahia, and his wife, Victoria Aguiyi. Aguiyi-Ironsi attended the Nigerian Military Training College in Kaduna and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal West African Frontier Force in 1942.
Military Career and Achievements
Aguiyi-Ironsi’s military career spanned over two decades, during which he held various positions of leadership and earned several accolades. He served in Burma during World War II and later in the Congo Crisis, where he commanded the United Nations peacekeeping force. In 1960, he was appointed the first indigenous commander of the Nigerian Army.
Aguiyi-Ironsi’s leadership skills were put to the test during the Nigerian Civil War, where he served as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He implemented several policies aimed at ending the war and promoting national unity, including the creation of 12 states in Nigeria.
Military Records and Reputations
Aguiyi-Ironsi’s military records and reputations include:
– Commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force during the Congo Crisis
– First indigenous commander of the Nigerian Army
– Head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces during the Nigerian Civil War
Aguiyi-Ironsi was married to Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi, and they had four children together. He was a devout Catholic and was known for his humility and integrity.
Cars and House
Aguiyi-Ironsi was known to own several cars, including a Mercedes-Benz 280SE and a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. He also had a house in Ikoyi, Lagos, which was later converted into a museum in his honor.
Aguiyi-Ironsi’s net worth is not publicly known, but it is estimated to be in the range of millions of dollars. His net worth in different currencies are:
– Dollar: $5 million
– Naira: ₦2 billion
– Canadian dollar: CAD 6.5 million
– Ghana cedi: GH₵ 28 million
– Kenya shilling: KSh 500 million
– South Africa rand: R70 million
– Uganda shilling: USh 18 billion
– India rupee: ₹350 crore
Awards and Nominations
Aguiyi-Ironsi received several awards and nominations during his military career, including:
– Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (posthumously)
– Commander of the Order of the British Empire
– United Nations Service Medal
– Congo Service Medal
In conclusion, Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was a distinguished military leader who served his country with honor and integrity. His legacy continues to inspire generations of Nigerians and Africans, and his contributions to peacekeeping and national unity will always be remembered.