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  Adeyinka Adebayo was born on 9th March 1928. He was the son of a Public Works employee from Iyin Ekiti, near Ado Ekiti, (present-day Ekiti State), Nigeria. He was educated at All Saints School, Iyin-Ekiti, and later attended Eko Boys’ High School and Christ’s School Ado Ekiti.
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He joined the West African Frontier Force in 1948 as a regiment signaler and later completed the Officer Cadet Training Course in Teshie, Ghana from 1950 to 1952. After passing the War Office Examination for Commonwealth cadets in 1952 as well as the West African qualifying examination in 1953, he was commissioned as an officer in the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) as the 23rd West African military officer with number WA23 and 7th Nigerian military officer with number N7 after completing the War Office Cadet Training in Eaton Hall, England. He later attended the Staff College course in Camberley, Surrey in 1960 and the prestigious Imperial Defence College, London in late 1965 where he was the only African officer.


Adeyinka Adebayo became an officer in 1953. His key career milestones are listed below:
  • Platoon Commander, 1954–1955
  • Regimental signal officer, 1955–1957
  • Between 1957 and 1958, he was an aide-de-camp to a British governor-general (the last British governor-general of Nigeria- Sir James Robertson-1957
  • Company and Detachment Commander, Ikoyi, 1958 to 1960
  • First Nigerian general staff officer, Grade 2 (Intelligence) at the United Nations Headquarters in 1961
  • First national general staff officer, Grade 2 Nigerian Army Headquarters, 1961–1962
  • First Nigerian to be appointed general staff officer Grade 1, 1962–1963
  • Commander, Nigerian contingent in the Congo, 1963
  • He served as a staff officer in the United Nations peacekeeping force during the Congo crisis, 1961–1963
  • Chief of staff, Nigerian Army Headquarters, February 1964 – November 1965 (He was the first indigenous chief of staff of the Nigerian Army)
  • Chairman, Organization of African Unity (OAU) Defence Planning Committee, 1963–1965
  • Head of the Nigerian delegation to the OAU Summit in Ethiopia, November 1966
  • Military governor, Western Nigeria, 1966–1971
  • Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy, 1971–1972
  • Ceremonial military duties, 1972–1975
  • Retired from the Nigerian Army with the rank of major-general, July 1975
  • One of the founders of and vice chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), 1979–1983

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Governor Of Western State Of Nigeria

As governor of the Western region, he promoted agricultural extension services in particular the establishment of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Moor Plantation, Ibadan.

Farmers Revolt

Major General Adebayo was the governor during the infamous farmers’ “Agbekoya” revolt over taxation which was eventually resolved peacefully and harmoniously. Robert Adeyinka Adebayo retired from the Nigeria Army as a major general in 1975.

Later Life

As of 2011, Adebayo is the chairman of the Yoruba Council of Elders. His eldest son Otunba Niyi Adebayo was a governor of Ekiti State in Nigeria from 1999 to 2003. Another son, Adesola Adebayo was the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Ekiti State under Dr Kayode Fayemi led Administration from 2010 to 2014. Another son, Adedayo Adebayo, played rugby for Bath and for the England National team winning six international caps between 1996 and 1999. Another of his children, Leke Adebayo is an actor, writer and producer in London and has appeared in and scripted various productions.


Adebayo died on 8 March 2017 in his Lagos residence. Prior to his 89th birthday. Source: Wikipedia Featured Image Source: Punch Newspapers
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This article was first published on 11th October 2021


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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