Tunji Olurin

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Tunji Olurin
Administrator of Ekiti State
In office
19 October 2006 – 27 April 2007
Preceded byAyo Fayose
Succeeded byTope Ademiluyi
Commander, ECOMOG Peacekeeping Force, Liberia
In office
December 1992 – October 1993
Preceded byMaj-Gen. I. Bakut
Succeeded byMaj-Gen. J. Shagaya
Military Governor of Oyo State
In office
September 1985 – July 1988
Preceded byLt. Col. Oladayo Popoola
Succeeded byCol. Sasaenia Oresanya
Personal details
Born(1944-12-03)3 December 1944
Ilaro, Southern Region, British Nigeria (now in Ogun State, Nigeria)
Died20 August 2021(2021-08-20) (aged 76)
Political partyPeoples Democratic Party
  • Politician
  • military officer
AwardsHumane Order of African Redemption (Liberia) - ribbon bar.gif Knight Commander HOAR
Military service
Branch/serviceFlag of the Nigerian Army Headquarters.svg Nigerian Army
Years of service1967–1993
RankNigeria-Army-OF-6.svg Brigadier General
  • Commander, 1st Mechanized Brigade, Minna
  • GOC, 3rd Armoured Division, Jos
CommandsECOMOG Peacekeeping Force
Battles/warsFirst Liberian Civil War

Adetunji Idowu Ishola Olurin mni (Yoruba: Adétúnjí Ìdòwú Ìṣọ̀lá Olúrìn; 3 December 1944 – 20 August 2021)[1][2] was a Nigerian[3] general who served as the military Governor of Oyo State from 1985 to 1988[4] and Field Commander of ECOMOG Peacekeeping Force in Liberia from 1992 to 1993 during the First Liberian Civil War. Olurin retired from service in 1993, and was a member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was administrator of Ekiti State from 8 October 2006 until 27 April 2007.

Birth and education[edit]

Tunji Olurin was born at Ilaro to the Chief M. A. O. Olurin, the Agoro of Ilaro, and Madam Abigail Fola Olurin. He was educated at Egbado College (now Yewa College), and attended the Technical College, Ibadan (now Ibadan Polytechnic) in 1966. He became a trainee at the Times Press in Apapa, Lagos. In 1967, he entered the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, where he obtained his NDA Certificate of Education. He attended many professional courses during his army career. He was a graduate of the School of Infantry, Quetta, Pakistan, the Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.[5]

Military career[edit]

Olurin enrolled into the Nigerian Army in 1967 as an officer cadet of the 3rd Regular Course where he obtained his NDACE (Nigerian Defence Academic of Education) and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army in March 1970. He became the Brigade Battalion commander[clarification needed] in Kainji in 1973, and was the Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.

He was Deputy Defence Adviser to the Nigerian High Commission in India (1975–1978) with the rank of major. After attending Staff College in 1978, he was deployed to the United Nations Peace Keeping Operation in Lebanon, where he commanded the Nigerian troops in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). His battalion was deployed between the Palestinian and Israeli forces. In 1981, as General Staff Officer Operations at Army Headquarters, he mobilized the OAU peacekeeping force in Chad. This force included troops from Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Zaire. Also in 1981, he conducted operations in Kano to suppress rebels led by religious fundamentalist.[5]

At the time of the August 1985 coup, when Major General Muhammadu Buhari was deposed and replaced by Major General Ibrahim Babangida, Lt. Col. Tunji Olurin was Commander of the 1st Mechanized Brigade, Minna. He was "aware" but not "active" in the coup.[6] After the coup, he was appointed the Military Governor of Oyo State (1985–1988). During his tenure as governor, he was a member of the National Council of States.[5] In 1987, he set up a committee that in 1988 recommended the establishment of what became the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.[7]

In 1990, Olurin became the General officer commanding the 3rd Armoured Division in Jos and a member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council.[5] He served as a Field Commander in the ECOMOG Peacekeeping Force in Liberia from December 1992 to September 1993, when he was relieved by Brigadier General John Nanzip Shagaya.[8] He used his trusted relationship with the Nigerian head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, to obtain more troops for the mission, and by January 1993 had 16,000 troops under his command of whom 12,000 were Nigerian. Olurin was determined to force Charles Taylor onto the defensive. His aggressive tactics were militarily successful, forcing the NPFL to open negotiations by July 1993, although he was accused of showing favoritism to certain Liberian political groups.[9]

Later career[edit]

On 9 March 2002, Tunji Olurin was elected as the President of the Yewa Group (YG), formed to develop Yewaland in Ogun State.[10]

On 26 September 2006, the Ekiti State House of Assembly impeached the governor, Ayodele Fayose and his deputy Abiodun Christine Olujimi, alleging gross misconduct. On 19 October 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a State of Emergency in Ekiti State and suspended the governor, deputy governor and House of Assembly of the state. He appointed Tunji Olurin, as "Sole Administrator" on Ekiti State. The State of Emergency was ratified by the National Assembly on 26 October.[11][12] Soon after being appointed, Olurin dissolved the local government councils, who were under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly misappropriating about 7.3 billion naira.[13]

In March 2007, Tunji Olurin ordered the Ekiti State radio and television stations not to broadcast programs of the Action Congress (AC) candidate for the state governorship, Kayode Fayemi, while allowing broadcasts by the PDP.[14] Olurin remained in charge until he was replaced by Tope Ademiluyi on 27 April 2007.[15] He has since remained in political oblivion following his loss at the Ogun State Governorship Election in 2011.

Awards and honours[edit]

Olurin has lectured on peacekeeping at the International Peace Academy, the National War College, and United Nations seminars in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. In 2006, he was appointed the Chancellor of the First University of Education in Nigeria, TASUED by Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.[16]

Olurin has been the recipient of many honours including the United Nations Peace Medal and the Knight Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption (KCHOAR), Liberia’s highest national honour award. He was an honorary paramount chief of the Republic of Liberia.[17]


  1. ^ "NewsWatchngr – Explore news that is trending now". NewsWatchngr. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Ex- MIlitary Governor Olurin dies at 76". The Nation. 21 August 2021. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  3. ^ "OWNERS OF NIGERIA". Nigeriaworld website. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Nigerian states". rulers.org. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "PROFILE OF BRIGADIER-GENERAL ADETUNJI IDOWU OLURIN (RTD)". Yewa Awori People's Website. 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 26 April 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  6. ^ Nowa Omoigui. "NIGERIA: THE PALACE COUP OF AUGUST 27, 1985". Urhobo Historical Society. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Overview of LAUTECH". Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. Archived from the original on 27 November 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  8. ^ Tony Iyare (4 August 2009). "Jos Rayfield, The General's Fortress". The Gleaner News. Retrieved 12 December 2009.[dead link]
  9. ^ Adekeye Adebajo (2002). Liberia's civil war: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and regional security in West Africa. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 119ff. ISBN 1-58826-052-6.
  10. ^ Sony Neme (29 March 2002). "Olurin Advocates Self Sustenance". ThisDay. Archived from the original on 17 May 2005. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  11. ^ Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD (27 October 2006). "Do Fayose And Olujimi Still Have Immunity?". Dawodu. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  12. ^ Senan Murray (19 October 2006). "Fears over Nigeria emergency rule". BBC News. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  13. ^ Tunji Ola (25 February 2007). "What Ekiti Elders Want". NewsWatch. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  14. ^ "AC blasts Ekiti administrator for partisanship". Daily Triumph. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  15. ^ "CONSTITUENCIES – EKITI STATE". Office of the Speaker, Nigeria House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2009.