A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on Wednesday described former defence minister, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, as an accomplished man who had achieved a lot in the service of the nation.
Anyaoku gave the description in Lagos while speaking at the colloquium organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership to celebrate the former minister at 80.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the colloquium was “Strategic Philanthropy and Tripartite Approach to Growth and Development”.
Danjuma turned 80 on Dec. 9, 2017.
Anyaoku, in his tribute, said Danjuma was a disciplined man who had done a lot to impact on humanity.
He said the former minister not only made strides in the country, but also achieved a lot for the country abroad.
Anyaoku said with discipline, dedication and focus, Danjuma once helped to resolve a coup crisis in the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago.
“Let me tell a story about TY Danjuma, which I don’t think I have even told him before.
“In 1970, there was an attempted coup de tat in Trinidad and Tobago and the coup had split the country’s military right in the middle.
“I happened to be there from the Commonwealth secretariat to discuss with the country ‘s Prime Minister and the Attorney-General on the way to resolve the crisis.
“The Prime Minister and I agreed that there was a need to a court martial on the issue, but it was clear that the court martial could not be constituted within Trinidad.
“So we agreed on a Commonwealth court martial and that membership should be drawn from Canada, Guyana, Nigeria, Jamaica and Singapore.
“I was given the task to nominate the president of that court martial and I called the Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations to please recommend to the commonwealth secretariat, a Nigerian soldier not below the rank of a Colonel, who was disciplined, bright and a bit of an introvert.
“So, the ambassador asked me to give him two days, after which he called me and mentioned the name of TY Danjuma, and that was it,” he said.
Anyaoku said Danjuma served well as the president of the court martial to resolve the crisis.
He said that the country’s Prime Minister called the Commonwealth secretariat to appreciate the impeccable performance by Danjuma.
Anyaoku congratulated the former minister on the attainment of 80years and urged him to continue to dedicate his life to the service of the people.
A frontline businessman and politician, Prof. Pat Utomi, who convened the colloquium, described Danjuma as a great Nigerian.
He said the former minister had acquitted himself remarkably well in national service and philanthropy.
Danjuma, in a brief remark, said he was overwhelmed by the colloquium to celebrate him.
He thanked the organiser and those present for the honour.
“I am positively overwhelmed by this colloquium, especially as I am still being celebrated three months after my birthday.
“I feel honoured and I thank everybody here present to celebrate with me,” he said.
Danjuma specially thanked Utomi, who heads CVL, for putting the initiative together.
Prominent personalities in politics, foreign affairs and business, including the former minister’s wife, Daisy, were at the colloquium. (NAN)