Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Brigadier-General Festus Okechukwu Okonkwo, the Commander of the Economic Community Mission in Liberia (ECOMIL)
Dr. Nowa Omoigui
He was born on May
30th, 1951 at Agbani in present day Enugu State (actually he is by
ethnicity/ancestry from Enugwu-Agidi in Anambra State). He is married to
Selinah Ifeoma Okonkwo and blessed with three children.
He is a regular
combatant, having been commissioned with Course 13 of the Nigerian Defence
Academy. Deployed to the Recce (later Armoured) Corps, he underwent the Young
Officers Armour Course at the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps School, then located
at Ibadan. He has since undergone a variety of other training courses in
Infantry and Armoured warfare as well as High Command, Staff work, and Defence
Policy. These include the Jungle Warfare and Combat Survival Course at the
School of Infantry, Jaji, T-55 Tank Company Commanders Course, USSR, Junior and
Senior Division Staff Courses, Command and Staff College Jaji, Tank Technology
Course, Institute of Armament Technology, Poona, India, Armour Officers Advanced
Course, USA and the National War College (NWC), Abuja, Nigeria. Following his
stint at the NWC, he completed an M.A. in Strategic Studies at the University of
Over the years, he
has held numerous appointments, spanning staff, command, teaching and diplomatic
arenas in what has clearly been a very balanced professional career.
He has held
operational command at the Platoon, Company, Battalion, and Brigade-plus
equivalent levels, including prior command of the ECOMOG Ground Task Force,
Liberia from 1994-96. In that capacity, he led three (3) Nigerian Army
battalions, one (1) battalion fron Sierra Leone, two (2) Infantry Companies from
Ghana Army and one (1)Platoon from the Guinea Army. His task in that tour of
duty was the protection of Monrovia.
Okonkwo has also
served as the Deputy Commandant at the Armoured Corps Centre and School in
He was a Senior
Instructor at the Armoured Corps Center and School, Bauchi and Directing Staff
at the Command and Staff College, Jaji.
has held a number of sensitive Staff Appointments. These include Colonel
(Operations), Army Headquarters, Acting Director of Operations, Army
Headquarters, Acting Director of Training, Army Headquarters, Director Army
Support Training Centre Headquarters at TRADOC and Principal Staff Officer
(Coordination), Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji.
He served as the
Nigerian Defence Adviser at the Embassy of Nigeria, Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia.
His list of service
awards include Forces Service Staff (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS),
Passed Staff College (PSC +), Fellow of War College (FWC). He won the Chief of
Defence Staff Award at National War College Course 10 for writing a paper
titled, "OAU/AU Mechanism for Conflict Management and Evaluation."
This column wishes him well in his latest assignment back in Liberia.
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.