Zamani Lekwot

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Zamani Lekwot
Nigeria  Military Governor of Rivers State
In office
July 1975 – July 1978
Preceded by Alfred Papapeye Diete-Spiff
Succeeded by Suleiman Saidu
Personal details
Born 1944

Major General Zamani Lekwot (born 1944) was the Military Governor of Rivers State, Nigeria from July 1975 until July 1978 during the military administrations of Generals Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo.[1] Lekwot is a Kataf, born in Kaduna State in 1944.[2]

Military career[edit]

Lekwot attended the prestigious Nigerian Military School before he entered the army on July 11, 1962, and attended the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna and the Indian Military Academy, gaining his commission on 14 July 1966.[3] He was a company commander in the 6th Battalion when it took part in the battle that caused the fall of Bonny on 26/27 July 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War.[4] He was the Commander, 33 Infantry Brigade, Maiduguri in 1975 before he assumed the Military Governorship of Rivers State.[3] During his military career, Lekwot also served as Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, General Officer Commanding 82 Composite Division, Nigerian Army and Ambassador/High Commissioner to the Republics of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and the Gambia.[5]

The 2 Brigade Nigerian Army Barracks in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was named the Zamani Lekwot cantonment in his honor. In August 2003 it was renamed the Port Harcourt Barracks.[6] Lekwot fell out with General Ibrahim Babangida, and was forced to retire in 1985 after Banbangida became Chief of Staff following the military coup of 31 December 1983 that brought General Muhammadu Buhari to power.[7]

Later career[edit]

On 15 May 1992 violence erupted between the mainly Moslem Hausa and mainly Christian Kataf communities of the Zangon-Kataf Local Government Area in Kaduna State, with many deaths. A tribunal set up by the Babangida government sentenced Lekwot and 16 others to death for alleged complicity in the killings, sentences eventually reduced to a short gaol sentence.[2] It was said that his sentence was due to his feud with Babangida.[8] He was assisted in his prolonged battle to avoid execution by Yohanna Madaki.[9] By December 1995, Lekwot had received a state pardon.[10]

In June 2003 he was Chairman of Giza Ventures Nigeria and a Director of Prudent bank.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nigeria States". WorldStatesmen. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  2. ^ a b Agaju Madugba (2001-09-09). "Zangon-Kataf: For Peace to Endure". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  3. ^ a b Nowa Omoigui. "Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975: The Coup Against Gowon - Epilogue". Dawodu. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  4. ^ Nowa Omoigui. "Barracks: The History Behind Those Names - Part 5". Dawodu. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  5. ^ a b "Those Behind Prudentbank". ThisDay. 2003-06-18. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  6. ^ Okon Bassey (2003-08-24). "Zamani Lekwot Cantonment Renamed". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  7. ^ Seyi Oduyela (August 22, 2004). "OWNERS OF NIGERIA (II)". NigeriaWorld. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  8. ^ Yusuf Yariyok (February 4, 2003). "FIGHTING MUHAMMAD'S WAR: REVISITING SANI YERIMA'S FATWA". NigeriaWorld. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  9. ^ Sani Babadoko (May 22, 2006). "Col Yohanna Madaki is dead". BNW News. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  10. ^ Toyin Falola (1998). Violence in Nigeria: the crisis of religious politics and secular ideologies. University Rochester Press. p. 221. ISBN 1-58046-018-6.