Sunday, March 7, 2021
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 ‘’The major challenge, I must be very honest with you, is the fact that you know you meet a lot of men who wonder what you are doing in their territory and you have to spend every day of your life proving that you should be here. For me there is nothing in this constitution that says I am not a full fledged citizen of this country. I don’t see it anywhere, but you see, there are still people who still have issues with that, and such people vent their frustration on you. But you have to be resilient enough and claim your place because nobody is going to give it to you’’ – Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu retd. One of Nigeria’s hidden resources (Women as described in a United Kingdom sponsored Report -2012) is retd Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu. She was actually not the first woman to attain that height in the Nigerian military. That credit goes to Major-Gen. Aderonke Kale, the first woman to attain the height of a two-star General and commanded the Nigerian Army Medical Corp. It is usually the ambition of an officer in the military to command his or her corps. Retired Kale, a psychiatrist joined the Nigerian Army as medical practitioner and retired in 1996. Today that Nigeria is remembering her fallen heroes, we yield this space to Itunu Hotonu who performed the seemingly incredible by enrolling as the first female regular combatant Officer in Africa, and in her active service years in the Nigerian Navy distinguished herself on account of her high buoyancy, courage, and ability to ride on storms alongside her male counterparts in the military. Itunu enlisted at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna in 1985. She was the first woman to attend the academy and graduated as best overall student in her class of 73 cadets. Hotonu is an architect like her husband – Yomi who has never been intimidated by her wife’s successes and fame.  Her success story as a highly resilient and dedicated professional and her impressive credentials is worth reading.  In 2012, she was advanced to the position of Rear Admiral, and emerged the first woman in West Africa to attain this position. A brilliant mind, Hotonu attended the National Defence College, Abuja, where she emerged the best overall graduating student and won the Commander-in-Chief’s prize; as well as the Commandant’s prize for the best research. Hotunu…

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