Remembering Maj. Gen. Abdulkarim Adisa
“Pulling-out” remains a cherished ceremony for a distinguished general on meritorious retirement. Major General Abdulkarim Adisa (rtd) enjoyed the preferment. That was on his retirement day. Since that time, he lived in grace and nobility for years.
He attended another “pull out” ceremony; the “Final One” completely alone. He took the bow and crossed the “Great Divide”. That was on February 25, 2005. Adisa’s professionalism would remain a benchmark for the ideal soldier for decades to come. He had enviable paternal and maternal background and built on them. He was born to the family of Alhaji Bakare Adisa and Alhaja Belawu Akanke Aro at Aloba compound, Ojo Iya area, Kwara State on August 22, 1948.
His early strides were between the home of his maternal grandfather and the passionate care of his paternal grandmother. The combination gave him a background of strong Muslim commitment and value. These attributes molded the fine Army Officer that the society subsequently inherited.
He attended Quranic School Ilorin from 1951 to 1953 and Catholic Primary School Ibuso Gboro Ibadan from 1953 to 1958. He also attended Nigerian Army Senior Primary School, Wawa, Borgu Local Government Area (LGA) now in Niger State in 1961. He later went to Nigerian Military School, Zaria (962-1965) and the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna (1967-1970). The reward for his success at the institution was promotion to the officer rank of Adjutant, 3 Artillery Regiment, Port Harcourt in 1970 and Battery Commandant, PAPABTY, 3rd Artillery Headquarters, Port Harcourt. He later served as Adjutant, Field Artillery School, Kaduna.
He proceeded to the United States School of Artillery Forte Seal Oklahoma, for further studies (1971-1972) and the School of Artillery, Black Health, United Kingdom (1974-1975). On his return to Nigeria, he held the position of Instructor, Artillery School, Kaduna, in 1975 and later General Staff Officer I, Army Headquarters (SD/PALNS). He was promoted Commander 3, Artillery Brigade, Nigeria Army Abeokuta and Commander 32, Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army Owerri in 1985; and later Commander 33, Artillery Brigade. He was Acting Military Governor of Imo State and Chairman, Imo State university (now Abia State University) appeal fund. He was promoted to Founding Commander 36 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army Kaduna in 1988.
Due to his brilliant performance, he was promoted chairman, Presidential Monitoring Committee on State Creation. He was Military Governor Oyo State (present Oyo and Osun States) (1990-1992). He became Commander, Lagos Garrison Command and Corps Commander, Nigerian Army Artillery Corp, Kotangora, and Director of Training Defence Headquarters. He was promoted to the rank of Major General in October 1994 and also served as Honourable Minister of Works and Housing (1995-1997).
Due to his meritorious and dedicated services in all his appointments, he was decorated and honoured as Pass Staff College (PSC), Forces Services Star (FSS), Military Services Star (MSS), Member National Institute (MNI), and Doctor of Law (Honouris Causa) Federal University of Technology Owerri.
Major General Adisa was a philanthropist per excellence right from his days as a youth. He was noted to be giving what he would eat to his more needy colleagues. He continued with the practice until his death.
Perhaps, it was this disposition that made the Almighty Allah to bless him. He used the blessing of Allah to serve mankind. He was known to have given assistance to various people of diverse background not only in Kwarra State. He helped the old, the young and the needy; both indigenes and non-indigenes alike. He was also into religious philanthropies. He assisted in the building of several mosques and churches and donated generously to missionary activities. He established the Abdulkarim Adisa Foundation with three main departments, namely; medical, welfare and religious to further his financial assistance in those fields.
He also established the Adisa Bakare Education Endowment Fund (ABEEF) in 1997 through which he gave financial assistance to students in both secondary and tertiary institutions. The beneficiaries, who cut across all the LGAs in Kwara State, are now over 9,000.
Adisa was a hardworking, skillful and dedicated Army Officer. Married to his wife, Alhaja Adisa and they were blessed with three children. He was a prayerful, devoted and disciplined father, who had a good heart and love for all his children.
According to his children, “we had a father who instilled in us, a legacy of hard work, discipline and good education. He was a pillar of strength to many and instilled in us strong positive values. He was a man of integrity; stubborn to a fault but stickler for principles and values.”
Adisa was an elder and strong member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State. He was conferred with traditional chieftaincy titles in Kwara, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Imo, Abia, Enugu and Anambra States.
Until his death, Adisa was the Chairman /Chief Executive of DISKABOL GROUP, a conglomerate with several subsidiaries that provide employment for numerous Nigerians, and which stood him out as one of the foremost industrialists in Kwara State.
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