Photograph of Alexander Madiebo as a Brigadier of the Biafran Army. He was a Major General at the time of Biafra's capitulation. Photo Credit: Alexander Madiebo (via BBC News - Igbo).
Alexander Attah Madiebo was a Lt. Colonel in the Nigerian Army at the time of the troubles which led to the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). In 1966, he escaped the purges of soldiers of Eastern Region origin in the Northern Region hidden in the water tank of a goods train and when the region seceded, he became a high-ranking figure in the secessionist army, rising to become Chief of Staff of the Biafran Army after the ouster of Brigadier Hillary Njoku from that post.
A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (December 1956), Madiebo served as part of the Nigerian peacekeeping mission to the Congo (1960) and became the Commander of the Artillery Regiment of the Nigerian Army in 1964.
He was among the party of Biafran officials including Emeka Ojukwu, the former Biafran Head of State who boarded a plane at Uli Airport en route to the Ivory Coast just before the collapse of the breakaway republic in January 1970.
He wrote a memoir titled The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War. A revised and updated edition of his memoir was launched in April 2022. It is retitled The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War: The Aftermath.
Alexander Madiebo died on Friday, June 3rd, 2022, at the age of 90.
© Adeyinka Makinde (2022).
Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.