Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari 1/11/17
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and
Commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces
Dear President Muhammadu Buhari,
A NIGERIAN HERO BETRAYED
Growing up, I was told that Lieutenant Victor Ugboma was referred to my father V.C Ikeotuonye by Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe. I know for a fact that after Lt. Ugboma left the Nigerian Regiment, he became the Physical Education instructor at my father’s school Zixton Grammar School, Ozubulu. He held that position for well over two decades during which many of his children were born. He was popularly called Master-We and greatly admired for his stupendous energy, formidability and fun loving nature. The pictures of the first Nigerian military dictator, Major. General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi and a couple of other army officers hanging on his sitting room wall remain in my memory.
Famous Nigerians such as Onyeka Onwenu, Johnny Egbuonu, Stella Oduah and so many others benefitted from a dosage of physical training in one sport or the other from Lt. Ugboma. He was a legend, a pioneer of the Nigerian Army. It was rumoured in Zixton Grammar School. The pictures in his sitting room proved it to the students but in 1992 the Nigerian Army Educational Corps and School (NAECS) published a book titled ‘History of the Nigerian Army 1863 – 1992’ (ISBN 978-2145-00-9 Paper edition, ISBN 978-2145-12-2 Cased edition). The foreword was written by the Chief of Army Staff at the time Lt. Gen. Salihu Ibrahim; the preface written by the commandant NAECS Brig. E.A Akpan and a page for acknowledgements done by the chairman, Nigerian Army History Committee Col. E.B.A Okodaso.
It is therefore shocking that twenty five years later, under the current COAS Lt. General T.Y Burutai, the Nigerian Army names Lt. W.U Bassey as the first Nigerian commissioned army officer. This act of ommission by the Nigerian Army represents several decades of injustice and ingratitude to Lt. Victor Ugboma and the family he left behind. I don’t want to ascribe motives for this. I just want to bring it to your notice sir.
LT. UGBOMA’S ID CARD FROM NIGERIAN REGIMENT