By Victor Ajiromanus
Rights activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has lost her husband, Col Paul Ogbebor, retd, after a brief illness.
The deceased who was a civil war hero died in Benin City, Edo State, at the age of 80.
The late Col Ogbebor was a chieftain of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF.
He was also the leader of the Benin socio-cultural group, Edo Leaders of Thought (ELT).
He was the first Nigerian to be enrolled into the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA.
Among the 61 cadets of Course 1, he was one of the 34 that graduated.
He authored a book titled: “Nigeria Defence Academy – A Pioneer Cadet’s Memoir.”
The 307-page book, which is broken into 16 chapters, chronicles, in vivid details with pictorials, Ogbebor’s quest for a military career, the early days of the Nigerian military after independence, how NDA was born – the structure, training programme, general services and curriculum; and how the January 1966 coup, the counter-coup, and the accompanying civil war affected the school and Nigeria.
In May 2019 when he celebrated his 80 years birthday, President Muhammadu Buhari, commended him for publishing his memoirs as one of the pioneer cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy and setting up a leadership centre that equipped the younger generation with entrepreneurship skills.
President Buhari had said Ogbebor’s discipline and wise counsels to leaders would continue to resonate, especially his position of a more collective fight against corruption.