General Oluleye
Major General James Oluleye. Photo: The Guardian NG

James Johnson Oluleye; General in the Nigerian army, who served During the Nigerian civil war, he was general staff officer 1, Nigerian Army Headquarters, from 1967-1970 and previously with the United Nations troops in the Belgian Congo, 1961-62. Oluleye was General Officer Commanding, GOC. 2 Infantry Division, Nigerian Army 1970-75; federal commissioner for establishment, 1975- 77; and federal commissioner for finance 1977-79. As a retired major-general, he took part in the Constituent Assembly 1988-89, as a member[i].  Oluleye was a former military governor of the old Kwara State, Western and Mid-Western Regions and member of the Supreme Military Council, SMC, which was the highest decision-making body in the administration of the Murtala Mohammed regime[ii]. He was a contemporary of General Ademulegun who was killed in the January 1966 coup. He was honored a year before his demise by the traditional authority of his home place where he had been condemned for being cheeky five decades before, for writing the British royal for help[iii].

Oluleye was bom in Efon Alaaye, in Ekiti State on October 14, 1937 and died at the age of 71 on Thursday, July 2, 2009. Oluleye had his elementary education at St David’s School, Akure, between 1939 and 1940, St Paul’s School, Efon, 1941-1944 and Christ Church School, Ijero, 1945-46. Desiring to be an elite, he attended the Diocesan Teachers Training College, Ibadan, between 1950 and 51 and later the famous St. Luke’s College, Ibadan, 1954-55. In spite of his teaching career, the young Oluleye was yet to be fulfilled. He had an admiration for the Nigerian Army, which he joined, saying that “I cherished army life because of the disciplined life, physical exercises which are necessary and congenial to healthy souls..” He was enrolled at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India.

[i] Tell October 20, 2003

[ii] Newswatch July 20, 2009

[iii] The Guardian July 6, 2019

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer