Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The remains of late General Samuel Victor Leo Malu, a former Chief of Army Staff were committed to mother earth at about 12:23p.m on Saturday in his country home, Tongov, Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue.
The late general, former Army Chief between 1999 and 2001, died on Oct. 9 in Cairo, Egypt, after a protracted illness.
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said he would consult with the State House of Assembly on how best to immortalise the late former Chief of Army Staff.
The governor described Malu as a professional soldier and a great man, who had done much to impact the lives of the Tiv people and the state in general; and as a great son of the state who added value and brought outstanding professionalism to bear on military service in the country and made the people proud.
â€œThe late Malu had contributed much into the lives of the Tivs and Nigerians. We are proud of him, we appreciate him.â€
Governor Ortom said even in death General Malu has attracted the electrification of several communities and his village, adding that more of such would be brought to the area.
He solicited support from the Army and other security agencies in the implementation of the Anti-open Grazing Law with effect from November 1. Governor Ortom stated that with the support of the agencies the state was confident of containing and overcoming the threats from some herdsmen to subvert the law.
In a citation, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai described him as an articulate, dedicated, forthright gentleman, professional officer, who was firm, but calm.
Buratai said his death was a great loss to his family, army, the nation and West Africa sub-region, and added that the Army had lost one of its most valiant officers who served his country with distinction.
In separate orations, spokesmen for Katsina-Ala old boys association, Mr. Emmanuel Atini, Vice President of the Association, and General Chris Garuba for Course III of the Nigeria Defence Academy, all extolled the leadership qualities of the deceased, saying he served his country meritoriously.
Tor Tiv IV, Prof. James Ayatse, represented by Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, urged the federal government and the Army to compensate communities as well as the Adoor family destroyed during the 2001 invasion.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Jeremiah Useni, in tribute, described the late Malu as a great, efficient, brave and frank officer.
In his sermon, Rev. Terseer Shagba of the NKST Church stressed the need for those in positions of authority to render selfless service to the people.
Quoting from Esther 10, Shagba further urged leaders to be faithful and discharge their duties in whatever they were entrusted with like Mordecai in the book of Esther. He said that was the only way they could endear themselves to the people, thereby guarantee their own security.
Late Malu got enlisted into the Nigerian Defence Academy â€“ NDA as member of the Regular Course 3 in 1967 and commissioned in 1970 as 2nd Lieutenant.
He had held many appointments in the army, including General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division, Enugu, Contingent Commander and Chief of Operations of Nigerians Contingent to Liberia, in 1992, and Force Commander, ECOMOG, Liberia, 1996. Late Malu is survived by wife, Esther and four children, a female and three males, among who is Lt.-Col. Tarlumun Malu.