SHOWCASING 23 IGEDE PERSONALITIES EN ROUTE TO 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS – First Edition
MAJOR GENERAL EDE GABRIEL ODE (RTD)
This week, in continuation of my series on the 23 Igede personalities as we are en route to 2023 general elections, my searchlight is beamed on another worthy son of Agba – MAJOR GENERAL EDE GABRIEL ODE (RTD). Incidentally, Gen. Ode (Rtd) is marking his 58th birthday today. This article is therefore, to celebrate this iconic and cerebral son of Agba as well as to line him up among the Igede elite and elders in the renewed conversation about the power sharing in Benue State and Benue South Senatorial District (Zone C) for fair and equitable political representation for Igede socio-political cum economic development.
Showcasing Maj. Gen. Ede Ode En Route to 2023 Election
Gen. Ede Gabriel Ode (Rtd) was born on 15 September 1963 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Ode Ede of Ameka-Owo, Oju Local Government Area, Benue State. He attended Wesley Transferred Primary School, Ameka-Owo from 1969 to 1977. Upon completion of his primary education, he proceeded to Wesley High School Otukpo, from 1978-81 for his secondary school education and on completion, gained admission to the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1983 as member of Regular Course 34. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 4th July 1986 and posted to the Nigerian Army Engineers Corps.
In the course of his military service, Gen. Ode (Rtd) attended various development courses, to wit: Infantry Young Officers Course; Engineer Young Officers Course; Anti-Tank Platoon Commanders Course; Engineer Officers’ Equipment Course; Engineer Officers’ Squadron Commanders Course; Construction Management Course; Junior Division Course GAFC, Teshie, Ghana; Senior Staff Course AFCSC; Higher Defence Management Course; National Defence College, Nigeria, Strategic Disaster Management Course, CMC, Lagos, among others.
Furthermore, beside the courses he attended while in the military and his high-flying military career, Gen. Ode (Rtd) also has Masters of Science (MSc) in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan; MSc in Strategic Management and Policy Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy in 2020. He is also an alumni of Harvard Kennedy Business School. Recently, he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree by EXEDEL University.
While in service, Gen. Ode (Rtd) held several appointments, including Platoon Commander, Military Assistant to Commander Corps of Engineers and Customs Administrator during the Abacha years, Company Commander, Regiment Commander, Engineer Brigade Commander, Directing Staff Senior Staff Course AFCSC, Jaji, Public Relations Officer and College Spokesman AFCSC, Chief Instructor Combat Engineering Wing Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, Makurdi, Chief Instructor Junior Division AFCSC, Jaji, Directing Staff National Defence College Nigeria. Others include Deputy Commandant Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, Makurdi, Director Nigerian Army Transformation Army Headquarters, Abuja, Director Engineering Services Defence Headquarters, Abuja. The Last 3 appointments held before retirement include Deputy Commandant/Director of Studies National Defence College Nigeria, Rector Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies /Coordinator Nigerian Army University, Biu and Office of the COAS as Coordinator Nigerian Army Special Projects.
Gen Ode (Rtd) has the following decorations -General Service Star; Field Command Medal; General Service Medal; Pass Staff Course (+); Fellow Defence College Medal (c +); Chief of Army Staff Commendation Award 1991; First in Order of Merit in a class of 210 participants; Captain to Major Practical Promotion Examination; Chief of Army Staff Commendation Award 1993; Best Foreign Student and Second in Order of Merit, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College Chief of Army Staff Medal 2017; Invention of Ode Rechargeable Blasting Device used in Reserved Demolition/detonation of explosives; Nigerian Army Research Medal of Honor 2018; and Invention of Ode Rechargeable Blasting Device. The Device was named after him as the lead researcher in the innovation.
Ode Rechargeable Blasting Device (ORDB) is used in the Nigerian Army in place of the British Dynamo Condenser Exploder for demolition activities. It is currently deployed in the Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East, Nigeria. The Device is made of locally sourced materials. So far, a total of 210 pieces have been fabricated at a cost of N24,000,000.00. If imported, the 210 pieces are estimated to cost the Nigerian Army the sum of N252,000,000.00 at N1,200,000.00 apiece. The innovation has saved the country substantial amount of foreign exchange and improved operational efficiency in counter terrorism operations. The device has both civil and military applications.
Gen. Ode (Rtd) is a Visiting Lecturer, Army War College, Nigeria; Visiting Lecturer and External Examiner, National Defence College; Consultant, Nigerian Army Resource Center; Associate Member, Harvard Business School; Fellow, National Defence College; Fellow, Nigerian Army Resource Center, Member, National Institute of Management.
For my reading audience who are familiar with the antecedents and contributions of Gen. Ode (Rtd) to the development of Igede nation and humanity in general, I may not need to write long essay to eulogize or showcase this great son of Agba to them, as there are avalanche of records at their beck and call about this featured personality. However, to satisfy the curiosity of some of my reading audience who may not know much about him, permit me to just highlight some of the contributions that Gen. Ode (Rtd) has made for the development of Igede nation and human society in general, to wit:
a. Granting of non-interest loan to 270 market women and widows in Oju Local Government Area, Benue State to boost their small scale business and petty trading;
b. Sinking of boreholes in many communities in Igede, including Ameka-Owo, Ukpute-Ainu, Opirikwu, Onyike/Ihiejwo Market, Imoho, Ibilla, among others;
c. Commissioning and recruitment of some Igede indigenes into the Armed Forces of Nigeria as well as facilitating employment into FIRS and Defence Intelligence Agency;
d. Conducting a seminar to address the challenges of substance abuse on youths with representation from 14 secondary schools in Oju and Obi Local Government Areas costing;
e. Construction of a state-of-the-art hotel at Oju Local Government Area for hospitality and good accommodation for tourists and other visitors to Igede nation;
f. Contribution to Igede Health Insurance Scheme to address critical health issues in Oju and Obi Local Government Areas;
g. Contribution of funds and palliatives to IDPs in Igede as a result of communal clashes;
h. Contribution of funds for the rehabilitation and rebuilding of damaged houses in Ukpute-Ainu;
i. Contribution to the construction of Omi Ny’ Igede Headquarters in Makurdi, Benue State;
j. Contribution of funds for the rehabilitation of Alaide-Itogo-Obarike Road being handled by Igede in 2023 Movement to ease the sufferings of Igede people and other road users due to the closure of the Awajir-Oju Roads by the Government of Benue State as a result of Bonta-Ukpute Boundary Dispute;
k. Facilitation of goodwill donation of a whooping sum of N1,500,000.00 by the League of Idoma Retired Generals for the rehabilitation of Alaide-Itogo-Obarike Road that is being handled by Igede in 2023 Movement;
l. Collaboration efforts at addressing security issues in Benue State in general and Igede in particular. Undoubtedly, Gen. Ode (Rtd) is a stakeholder in security and military intelligence and his contributions to peace-building are timelessly needed, notwithstanding his retirement from active service.
m. Bringing the League of Idoma Retired Generals and some political heavyweights to Igede nation to celebrate Igede New Yam Festival, popularly known as Igede Agba. The event was organized by Gen. Ode (Rtd) to showcase Igede rich culture and tradition to his friends and colleagues from other tribes to attract tourism to Igede land and to also draw their attention to some of the challenges facing his people-Igede nation.
In recognition of Gen. Ode (Rtd)’s contributions to community development and quality representation in Igede nation, he was conferred with chieftaincy titles, including AKWUMADA 1 IYECHE (1st Shied of Iyeche) and OMAGA I AINU (Ainu 1st Warrior), among other recognitions.
From the foregoing, it is needless to say that Gen. Ode (Rtd) is a trailblazer, a pathfinder, a generational military ace and a cerebral Igede personality as evident in his matchless contributions to the Nigerian military and development of Igede nation. He is not only a gift to Igede nation but also to entire country.
With his tall credentials, competence, track records and rare personality of class and distinction, I can categorically say that Gen. Ode (Rtd) is a man of 3c – character, courage and charisma.
I don’t know, if Gen. Ode (Rtd), after his retirement from the military, has picked a card of any political party or has any political ambition at the moment, even though there are several calls by different persons, political actors and interest groups for him to join circular politics; neither do I know if Gen. Ode (Rtd) would be interested in contesting any election or accepting any political appointment into any of the positions that I had earlier highlighted in my first publication on the grounds of personal principles and values. However, given the above spiraling resume of this great son Agba and the huge respect his colleagues and contemporaries from other tribes have for him as an exceptional Retired General with all the ambience and trappings of a good leader, I believe, Gen Ode (Rtd) has the capacity, the charisma and all the necessary negotiation skills of a good leader to present/represent Igede’s position/interest before other ethnic nationalities, for fair and equitable distribution of political positions in Benue State, come 2023 and beyond. His experience, capacity, connections, resources, track records and excellent character are, in my view, crucial for Igede nation at this moment of our political and developmental life.
To this end, I propose that Igede nation should deliberately and unreservedly as a matter of necessity, line him up among the other political elite and Igede illustrious sons and daughters to present the position of Igede nation to other ethnic nationalities for power sharing as we are en route to 2023 general elections.
In conclusion, as Gen. Ode (Rtd) celebrates his 58th birth anniversary today, I wish him good health, long life and greater achievements in his life endeavours, even as I pray for God’s enabling grace for greater service to Igede nation in particular and humanity in general.
LOOK FORWARD TO THE 6TH IGEDE BOLD PERSONALITY….
James Udor Ebe, Esq.
The views expressed in this write up are strictly those of the author, based on his personal convictions, research and information sourced from relevant materials about the individual(s). It is not a sponsored or paid advert for any personal, clannish or political interest. The author takes personal responsibility for any information about any personality that is inaccurately stated and/or typographical or grammatical errors contained therein.