Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has expressed sadness over the demise of retired Maj. Gen. David Ejoor, former Chief of Army Staff between 1971 and 1975. He was 87 years old.
Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, on Sunday in Asaba, condoled with the family, the Urhobo nation and the people of Ovwor-Olomu in Ughelli South Local Government Area over the death of the former Military Governor of the defunct Midwest Region.
Okowa said he was devastated by the news of Ejoor’s death, especially as the nation is going into another round of elections, adding however that he was consoled by the fact that the departed former army chief would remain immortal and never to be forgotten.
According to the governor, “as Deltans, we are extremely proud of the outstanding contributions of Gen. Ejoor to the Nigerian Army where he first served as governor of Mid-West Region from January 1966 to August 1967, first Nigerian Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) from January 1969 to January 1971 and later as Chief of Army Staff from January 1971 to July 1975.
“Gen. Ejoor had an illustrious military career and served the nation with all his heart with full dedication and commitment to duty. His contributions to the end of the Nigeria Civil War remain indelible in the minds of Nigerians.
“On behalf of my family, the government and the people of our dear state, I extend my deepest condolences to the Ejoor’s family, the Urhobo nation and the people of Ovwor-Olomu where he hails from.”
Born on January 10, 1934, Ejoor who hailed from Ovwor community in Olomu Kingdom, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, reportedly died on Sunday in a Lagos hospital.
He attended Government College, Ughelli between 1948 and 1952 before enlisting in the Nigeria army on November 13, 1953 after going through special military training at the Regular Officers Training School, Ghana from November 1953 to May 1954. On June 10, 1954, he left for United Kingdom to attend the Officers Cadet Training School, Chester.
This was followed by another course at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was commissioned on July 27, 1956 and did some course on the use of weapons before leaving Britain for Nigeria.
In 1958, Ejoor started regimental duties at the 4th Battalion, Nigeria Army. He underwent another course on signals in the United Kingdom and on his return, was appointed signals officer.
Later, he took part in the Cameroon operations of 1959-1960, served in the Congo as a Major in command of a company and returned to Nigeria in 1961. He again left for the United Kingdom in 1963 for the Staff College course after working briefly at the army Headquarters.
On his return in 1964, he was appointed General Staff Officer Grade I. Subsequently, he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and posted to take command of I Battalion in Enugu on December 31, 1965.
He was appointed Military Governor for the Mid-Western Group of Provinces (January1966-August1967) and arrived Benin City to assume duties on January 21, 1966. He was promoted to the rank of a Brigadier with effect from June 1, 1966.
He then served as Chief of Army Staff from January 1971 to July 1975. He retired as a Major-General.