Itunu Hotonu

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Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu (born 18 January 1959) is a Nigerian naval officer[1][2] and architect.[3][4] One of the first women officers[5] and amongst the first architects in the Nigerian Navy, she has served as a staff college instructor and abroad in Liberia. In December 2012 she became the first female admiral in Africa.


Itunu Hotonu was born (as Itunu Tomori) on 18 January 1959.[6] By the age of 13 she decided that she wanted to become an architect.[citation needed] Hotonu studied architecture at the University of Nigeria, where she was often the only woman in her classes.[7][6] After graduating she worked in an architect's office for two years whilst she took her professional examinations.[6]

Hotonu applied to join the Engineering Corps of the Nigerian Army but was told there were no positions for women in that field.[8] She then applied to the Navy, which did not have gender restrictions.[6] She was accepted as an officer candidate at the National Defence Academy, Abuja, in 1985.[6][9] She was the first woman to attend the academy and graduated as best overall student in her class of 73.[9] She won the Commander-in-Chief's Prize and also the Commandant's Prize for best research project.[6] Hotonu became one of the first architects to join the Nigerian Navy.[6]

Hotonu was the first female officer to serve as an instructor at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji.[10][6][11] In 2012 she spent time in Liberia mentoring women in that country's armed forces.[9] She was promoted to the rank of rear admiral in December 2012, becoming the first female admiral in Africa.[9][12][13]

Personal life[edit]

Hotonu is married to architect Abayomi Hotonu with whom she has three children.[6]


  1. ^ "Ambode's wife, others laud 50 years of women's contributions to Lagos". Daily Times Nigeria. 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  2. ^ Editor, Online. "Lagos @ 50: Making heroine of the girl-child New Telegraph Online New Telegraph". New Telegraph. Retrieved 2020-05-03. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ "NIA advised to train, mentor aspiring female architects". Punch Newspapers. 18 March 2018. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  4. ^ Nkasiobi, Oluikpe. "Female Architects Seek Role In Decision-Making Process, Leadership". Independent News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "THE ROLE OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN PEACE INITIATIVES IN NIGERIA" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "FIRST WOMEN: First Nigerian Woman To Become A Rear Admiral In the Nigerian Navy". Woman Nigeria. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Women who want to break boundaries must be ethical —Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu » Features » Tribune Online". Tribune Online. 2016-12-25. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  8. ^ editor (2019-09-13). "Aisha Buhari Calls for Eradication of Gender Bias in Military". THISDAYLIVE. Retrieved 2020-05-03. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ a b c d "'If I die, I DIE!'". The Nation Nigeria. 6 May 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  10. ^ "How to achieve gender balance — Hotonu - P.M. News". Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  11. ^ "Hotonu advises women on leadership". Punch Newspapers. 27 December 2016. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  12. ^ "Most Senior Female Military Officer Speaks On Gender Issues In Military". Channels Television. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  13. ^ "Adenike Osofisan Deserves National Honour – UI VC -". The NEWS. 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2020-05-03.