President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated former Chief of General Staff, Oladipo Diya, on his 75th birthday on April 3, highlighting his many years of service to the nation.
The president’s message was in a statement by his Special Adviser 0n Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday.
Mr Adesina said that Mr Buhari felicitated with family members, friends, professional colleagues and associates of the former Ogun State governor.
He said that Mr Diya’s military career saw him successfully handling sensitive and strategic leadership positions as General Officer Commanding,
82 Division, Commandant, National War College (1991–1993) and Chief of Defence Staff.
The president affirmed that Mr Diya’s gallantry, rich intellectual background and penchant for research contributed to the structure and operations of the Nigerian Army, especially in tackling security challenges within the country and the West Coast region.
Mr Buhari added that he believed the nation had benefitted from Mr Diya’s wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience and urged him to stay relevant by counselling military formations and officers.
He prayed that the almighty God would grant Mr Diya longer life, good health and continue to bless his family.
The former chief of general staff served as deputy to the late dictator, Sani Abacha.
Born on April 3, 1944 in Odogbolu in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State, Mr Diya attended Yaba Methodist School, Lagos from 1950 – 1956 and thereafter proceeded to Odogbolu as a pioneer student from 1957 – 1962.
He joined the Nigerian Army through direct entry, having been exempted from qualifying examination on account of his West African Senior School Certificate result and after three and half years of military training at the Academy, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in March 1967.
Mr Diya, a regular combatant soldier served in various positions in the Nigerian Army since his commission as 2nd Lieutenant in 1967.
He was a Platoon Commander of the 6th Battalion, Ikeja, a post he held until 1968 when he became the Commanding Officer of the 101 Battalion of the Nigerian Army.
He was also the Deputy Adjutant-General of the Nigerian Army and Director of Personnel Services between 1973 – 1976, among others.
Mr Diya commanded the Nigerian contingent in the Peace Keeping Operations of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon in 1980 and was the Chief Military Personnel Officer for the entire UN Interim Force in Lebanon within the same period. (NAN)