I didn’t have the faintest idea that my good friend, brother, associate, professional colleague and confidant, General Joshua Dogonyaro would take the last breathe here on earth early in the week. As mortals, we all have a date with God, the creator of heaven and earth, but no matter how old or young, when death occurs, it leaves a scar in our heart of hearts.
That of Joshua was shocking and I am yet to reconcile his demise with reality.
JD, as I fondly called him, was an extra-ordinary, fine, gentleman officer, who gave his all in service of his fatherland. He was not just a patriotic Nigerian who was thoroughbred, he was also a believer in the national values that bind us together as a country sitting on a delicate balance.
From his younger days as a young cadet, he was positively troublesome and had his presence felt everywhere he served. He was brutally frank even as a young cadet, outspoken and unpretentious. He loved the finest tradition of a gentleman military officer that he was and lived it throughout his life. He was a very reliable friend, brother and compatriot, with whom I shared many experiences.
He was fearless, bold and courageous. He was exceptional when it comes to delivering on tasks and assignments. He aspired for the superlative in any assignment he was given. He had an eye for the minutest details, and as he often joked, he would say, “military officers must not be caught napping. We must be clinical in our engagements and classical in our interventions”. He lived through those doctrines and became one of my trusted hands throughout our interventions in the affairs of the nation. His death, no doubt, will be sorely missed both as a gentleman officer, consumate family man and a patriot.
I have been left in a state of utter shock since the news got to me, but I am easily consoled by the fact that it is a journey of no return that we all have to undertake at some point in life. Joshua could have lived more but we cannot question the Almighty Allah, the ultimate seer, who created this incarnation. I can only pray that God should forgive his sins and shortcomings, and accept him among the faithful departed in the hereafter.
I pray for the repose of his soul. I pray God to grant his family the fortitude to bear with this painful loss. May his soul find a perfect and eternal rest. Adieu, to the ultimate General, my friend, brother, professional colleague and uncommon Nigerian, Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro. Rest in peace.
GEN. I. B. BABANGIDA, GCFR.
FORMER MILITARY PRESIDENT.
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