The remains of Brigadier-general Benjamin Adesanya Adekunle, who died on Saturday, September 13, at age 78, will be buried in Lagos this Friday.
According to a statement released by his family, the burial ceremonies of the man nicknamed “Black Scorpion” during the Nigeria-Biafra war start tomorrow with lying-in-state at Abatti Barracks, Yaba, from 11am. A service of songs follows at 5pm at the same barracks.
Gen. Adekunle’s body will be buried on Friday at Ikoyi Vault. But the burial will be preceded in the morning hours by another lying-in-state and burial services at Tafawa Balewa Square, Race Course, Lagos.
Both in life and in death, Gen. Adekunle was hated by some Nigerians but loved by others. He was praised as “Black Scorpion” by those who fought on the Nigerian side during the civil war but regarded as a scoundrel or war criminal by mainly people from the south-east and south-south that were once Biafrans. The divide is so sharp that some members of the House of Representatives from the south-east and south-south refused to observe a minute’s silence in his honour on the floor of the House.
His family members and some opinion writers have described him as a warrior who was not rewarded by his country. He died in relative poverty, when compared with his colleagues in the army such as generals TY Danjuma, Olusegun Obasanjo, Yakubu Gowon and Ibrahim Babangida.
Gen. Adekunle lived as long as Biafran leader Emeka Ojukwu, Obafemi Awolowo and Umaru Dikko.