The first cadet to enroll at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) retired Col. Paul Ogbebor (Retd) has died at the age of 81 after a brief illness in Benin City, Edo State.
Late Ogbebor, a chieftain of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), was also the leader of Benin socio-cultural group, Edo Leaders of Thought (ELT).
He was reputed as the first Nigerian to be enrolled into the NDA along with 60 other cadets of Course 1 and was among the 34 that graduated.
The late Col Ogbebor had in May last year documented his professional life through a book, “Nigerian Defence Academy: A Pioneer Cadet’s Memoir” to mark his 80th birthday.
Commenting on his death, President Muhammadu Buhari said Ogbebor’s death is “the end of a life well spent, with footprints indelibly printed in the sands of time.”
Buhari said Col Ogbebor pursued an illustrious military career, during which he emerged a hero of the Nigerian Civil War.
When he published his memoirs, President Buhari described the book as “one of the vital resource materials on the pioneer military training institution in the country.”
The president commiserated with the family, friends and professional colleagues of the departed, urging them to take solace in the fact that Col Ogbebor lived a distinguished life, signposted by many achievements.