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Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral - Politics - Nairaland

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Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Abiyamo: 5:53am On May 19, 2013
ITUNU HOTONU, Nigeria's First Female Rear Admiral

She is smart, well-dressed and very articulate. And yes, she is so neat that you do not have to wonder why many fall in love with the navy because of their spotlessly clean uniforms. Enter REAR ADMIRAL ITUNU HOTONU, the first female to attain the rank of a Rear Admiral in the Nigerian Navy, one of Africa's most sophisticated navies. That makes her the highest-ranking female officer in the Nigerian Armed Forces as her rank is equivalent to a two-star-general in the Nigerian Army. Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu is the second female two-star general produced in the Nigerian Armed Forces. The first was Major-General Aderonke Kale who retired in 1997.

ALL STORY FROM: http://abiyamo.com/itunu-hotonu-nigerias-first-female-rear-admiral/

While Kale was with the medical corps of the Nigerian Army and rose through the ranks, Hotonu, a trained architect, became an expert in naval logistics. Her expertise and skills cover a wide area: military, strategic planning and communications, crisis management and communications, command and international relations.

The name Hotonu is of the Fon tribe and Fon people are also found in Benin Republic where they founded the Kingdom of Dahomey around 1600. The kingdom was famous for the Dahomey Amazons, an all-female military regiment of the kingdom.

BIRTH AND EARLY DAYS

Born 54 years ago in Badagry, Lagos State (18th January, 1959), she is the first child in a family of four girls. She stated that her father raised her as a boy, and even at a tender age, she was already doing all the 'manly' chores in the house, such as repairing sockets and driving vehicles. She also talked of a superb childhood where everyone encouraged her to aim for the highest goals and achievements.

EDUCATION AND NAVAL TRAINING

In 1985, she graduated from the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, Enugu State where she read architecture, after which she worked for two years as an architect after which she went for her professional exams. After that, she made attempts to join the army but she was rejected as they told her there was no place for ladies in its engineering corps. Disappointed and feeling dejected, it was until someone hinted her to try the Navy, where recruitment take place irregardless of the gender. Then she tried, got enlisted in 1985 and today, she is a Rear Admiral. She said in an interview with the Sun of the tough training:

t was tough training in the Navy
Training was tough and the best way I can describe it to you is to multiply what they put you through during National Youth Service Corps by 20 times and then you get an idea of what the training was like. I enjoyed it but wao, it was tough. But the good thing was that at the end of it all you come out fitter than you have ever been in your life.

You come out more disciplined and you come out with a commitment to keep fit.

So in all, life was very interesting while I was undergoing my training as a naval officer. First of all, you know I had done NYSC so I had the creamy taste of military training. But the real Navy basic training was much more than that, and the thing is that at the end of it all you know it taught me a lot of discipline and it gave me strength that I didn't know I had, physical strength; so it was very good. Even though the training was not easy, the truth is that after surviving the first few days when you are acheing all over, you actually get used to it. I mean the human body is very resilient and at the same time interesting and you can actually train yourself to get used to it.

If somebody offends in a squadron they will punish the whole squadron, I couldn't understand it. I was like if somebody offends and the person owns up why should you punish all of us? But one of the instructors told me that look, if you are in a hostile situation may be in a war situation you have to look out for everybody and that the mistake of one person can cause everybody's life because your survival depends on you as a group.

MILITARY POSITIONS
-Director of Projects, Naval Headquarters
-Commander, Lagos Logistics Depot
-Command Logistics Officer, Headquarters, Eastern Naval Command, Calabar
-Managing Director, Nigerian Navy Post Service Housing Scheme (NNPSHS), Karshi, Nassarawa State where she was able to build and complete over 1,000 houses, with the first 460 completed within a year. Under her administration, water reserve capacity of the estate was increased from 60,000 litres to a whopping 600,000 litres.

BECOMING NIGERIA'S FIRST FEMALE REAR ADMIRAL

In December 2012, she was decorated by President Goodluck Jonathan and Mrs. Josephine Anenih as the very first female Rear Admiral in the history of the Nigerian Navy. She was one of the eleven Navy Commodores promoted to the rank of a Rear Admiral. She is the very first female Rear Admiral not only in Nigeria but in the entire West African sub-region. She was promoted alongside 22 other officers from the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force to the ranks of Rear Admirals and Air Vice Marshals respectively. The venue was the Nigerian Army Headquarters Officers' Mess in Abuja.

A delighted President Jonathan would later comment about the females making waves in the Nigerian Armed Forces. He said: “So, when will I see Nigerian women flying jets? We will want to start training women at the NDA to become regular combatant officers, those who are strong enough to face the rigours, in some years to come, maybe the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) can be a woman.”

Actually, I think it will be very cool if a woman commandeers the President's Air Fleet. As in!

She says: Well, I am happy about my promotion to the rank of a rear admiral in the Nigerian Navy and the fact that it is during my life time that females are now been recruited into the Nigerian Defence Academy to train as Regular Combatant Officers. And it is very good for women, young girls coming after me came out of my promotion to the rank of a Rear Admiral, I can only say I thank God. I feel humbled. I never for once in my life thought my name would be linked to the first set of female regular combatant cadets. I am just so thankful, I'm just so overwhelmed and I'm so humbled.

ACHIEVEMENTS
It will interest you to know that her becoming a female Rear Admiral is actually one of many firsts. Right from primary school, she was always leading her class and when she joined the military, she continued to shine and recorded the following achievements:

-First female military officer to attend the National Defence College (formerly National War College). Owing to her outstanding performance, she became the first female officer to be recommended as a Directing Staff (Instructor) at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, Kaduna. She was also the very first female architect in all the arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

-When the Nigerian Navy was celebrating its 54th anniversary, Rear Admiral Hotonu won the Most Outstanding Performance Award as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Navy Post Service Housing Scheme (NNPSHS).

-Best Overall Graduating Student in a class of 73 students at the National Defence College, Abuja (2003-2004) as a member of Course 12. She received the Commander-in-Chief’s Prize and the Commandant’s Prize for the Best Research. Great things happen when women have focus!

She also completed the NOWA Educational Centre complete with a creche, nursery, primary and junior secondary school (with boarding facilities).

OTHER APPOINTMENTS AND HONOURS

-In May 2011, she was appointed as a Member of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into election violence in Akwa Ibom State and the civil unrest in some Northern states.

-In 2011, she was invited by the Liberian Government as a Special Guest to mentor females in the Liberian Armed Forces.

-In January 2012, she was honoured at the 17th THISDAY Annual Awards for Excellence.

Affectionately called Mama in the office, she is happily married.

HER WORDS
While delivering her speech at the Sixth Bowen University Convocation Lecture, she complained about the dilapidated state of infrastructure in Nigeria:

“My journey from United Kingdom to Lagos, took only 6:20hours. The journey was 3000 kilometers to Nigeria. It is a pity that my trip to Iwo from Lagos, a journey of 200 kilometers took six hours”. This was the condition of our infrastructure in Nigeria.
“We need to pray for the development of Nigeria. Cursing and criticizing the country would not help matter. It would only worsen it. Criticism will only bring the country down. Nigerians should not look down on the country. We are the changes and we are part of the changes we want in Nigeria”.

-"Women who want to be up there must work for it.  It is not a joke, you must show that you can do it. -At the 100 Years of the Nigerian Woman -Achieving 50/50 by 2020, Lagos, April 2013.

-I had a dream to get to the top of my career and nothing was going to let me go off that dream. Sometimes it looked like a distant dream, sometime it would even fade to a dot in the horizon, sometime I would want to give up but the good thing was that I had a lot of supportive people who believed in me, people who, when the going got really rough, said to me, no, you cannot give up.

-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 everyday 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.

OH, HER HAIR?
Yes na, you kuku trust ladies na. Here is what she has to say about her hair:

As a matter of fact I don't have anything against making my hair. It's just that I had very long hair and I will just cut it when I want to and grow it back when I want to. Then one of the times when I cut it, my husband to be then said ha, I like this hair and he never let me grow it back and I got use to it and apparently it's different and people tell me they like it so I kept it that way and it has automatically become my trademark.

CONCLUSION
Appointed the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Navy Holdings Limited, which included all the commercial ventures of the Navy, such as the Post Service Housing Scheme, hotels, suites, marine services, microcredit finance scheme and so on (January 2011-January 2013) and without any iota of doubt, her achievements will surely spur on many young Nigerians who also have lofty dreams in the face of countless obstacles. For the young and ambitious females, she has this to tell you: They must have faith in themselves and they must have self-discipline. They must have strength of character. They must never allow themselves to be intimidated by anybody because believe me people will try but it depends on how they handle it. They must never, ever compromise themselves. That is the advice I have for them.


“Your parents have invested well in you. How wisely you protect that investment is up to you. You must be humble to believe that others know what you do not know. Avoid short cuts and slothfulness. Focus on what you want to do and pursue it. Never abandon your dream no matter how tough.  Learn to rise up each time you fall because falling is real. Hard work is the key you need to unlock success....stand your ground and never let go your dream. ”

7 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 5:58am On May 19, 2013
Interesting read...and I'm also a big fan of your threads.

Btw, what does "Abiyamo" mean, ma'am?

4 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 6:00am On May 19, 2013
The name Hotonu is of the Fon tribe and Fon people are also found in Benin Republic where they founded the Kingdom of Dahomey around 1600. The kingdom was famous for the Dahomey Amazons, an all-female military regiment of the kingdom.

She definitely got it from her ancestors, The Amazon Warriors of Dahomey. grin

It's in their genes. grin

3 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Abiyamo: 6:00am On May 19, 2013
Thank you so much Sir, Abiyamo means 'Mother' in Yoruba language. Thanks for your support, Sir.
shymexx: Interesting read...and I'm also a big fan of your threads.

Btw, what does "Abiyamo" mean, ma'am?
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by YorubaNegro: 6:10am On May 19, 2013
Abiyamọ: Thank you so much Sir, Abiyamo means 'Mother' in Yoruba language. Thanks for your support, Sir.

Abiyamo - Motherhood

Iya/Yeye - Mother


Abiyamo, are you the artist formerly known as Iyaniwura? wink Regardless, thanks for your educative threads.

3 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Abiyamo: 6:13am On May 19, 2013
Thank you very much Sir, Abiyamo in my own context is simply 'mother', as in 'Abiyamo tooto, Abiyamo rere tabi Abiyamo gidi'. Yours is also correct. Yes, Iyaniwura was my former name but artist ke? LOL! Thanks for your support Sir! smiley
YorubaNegro:

Abiyamo - Motherhood

Iya/Yeye - Mother


Abiyamo, are you the artist formerly known as Iyaniwura? wink Regardless, thanks for your educative threads.

7 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Abiyamo: 6:14am On May 19, 2013
Same thoughts here...lol!
shymexx:

She definitely got it from her ancestors, The Amazon Warriors of Dahomey. grin

It's in their genes. grin
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Tolexander: 6:19am On May 19, 2013
Nice article!

Very good seeing woman like this in high places to be a role model to they young ones!

3 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 7:08am On May 19, 2013
Abiyamo.....thanks for your educative...informative and entertainment posts on NL....am sure the people that run things here are noticing your effort.

Becoming a two-star General in Nigeria armed forces no be moinmoin oooo...

2 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by YorubaNegro: 7:37am On May 19, 2013
Abiyamọ: Thank you very much Sir, Abiyamo in my own context is simply 'mother', as in 'Abiyamo tooto, Abiyamo rere tabi Abiyamo gidi'. Yours is also correct. Yes, Iyaniwura was my former name but artist ke? LOL! Thanks for your support Sir! smiley

I am one of your fans and your symbol of Iyaniwura was a very beautiful piece, in form and concept. You are also very creative and insightful; leading me to call you an artist. All artists have a sense of balance, yours is evident to see. cheesy

I like your stance on culture and history. On culture, we must be precise....there must not be room for individually defined meanings. So I always stay ground until my position can no longer stand on its own merit, then I yield. On the meaning of Abiyamo, culturally, all married women in Yorubaland are mothers to their communities but not all these women are "abiyamo". Abiyamo is an attribute to the birthing of a child. Child birthing is the differentiator between mother and motherhood, in substantive term. Example, Mrs Awolowo is revered as the mother of Yorubas. She followed in lines of Moremi, Efunsetan, Tinubu, Kuti and so on. None of them can be called "abiyamo" unless they have been through motherhood and given birth.

Thinking of mothers, it would be nice to learn from you about Great Women of West Africa. Perhaps after your series on the Great Women of Nigeria.

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Afam4eva(m): 8:16am On May 19, 2013
I was expecting to see a picture of the 60s or something until i saw JOnathan's face. Do you mean to tell me that there hasn't been any female rear admirals before now? Congrats to her.

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Abiyamo: 5:16pm On May 19, 2013
Now I love you calling me an artist! smiley As for my translation, don't mind me, I'm just being casual about it, I get your point perfectly! wink Thank you very much and keep supporting Abiyamo because it means a lot! Eshe pupo.
YorubaNegro:

I am one of your fans and your symbol of Iyaniwura was a very beautiful piece, in form and concept. You are also very creative and insightful; leading me to call you an artist. All artists have a sense of balance, yours is evident to see. cheesy

I like your stance on culture and history. On culture, we must be precise....there must not be room for individually defined meanings. So I always stay ground until my position can no longer stand on its own merit, then I yield. On the meaning of Abiyamo, culturally, all married women in Yorubaland are mothers to their communities but not all these women are "abiyamo". Abiyamo is an attribute to the birthing of a child. Child birthing is the differentiator between mother and motherhood, in substantive term. Example, Mrs Awolowo is revered as the mother of Yorubas. She followed in lines of Moremi, Efunsetan, Tinubu, Kuti and so on. None of them can be called "abiyamo" unless they have been through motherhood and given birth.

Thinking of mothers, it would be nice to learn from you about Great Women of West Africa. Perhaps after your series on the Great Women of Nigeria.

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Abiyamo: 5:16pm On May 19, 2013
None, Boss! grin None!
Afam4eva: I was expecting to see a picture of the 60s or something until i saw JOnathan's face. Do you mean to tell me that there hasn't been any female rear admirals before now? Congrats to her.
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 5:57pm On May 19, 2013
Nice thread Abiyamo! May God continue to bless you for your efforts to educate us on some Nigerian heroes we never heard about.

3 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Abiyamo: 8:25pm On May 19, 2013
Amen! And you too Ma, may God bless you for supporting Abiyamo~! smiley
LADY OF RAGE:

Nice thread Abiyamo! May God continue to bless you for your efforts to educate us on some Nigerian heroes we never heard about.
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by jisky(m): 8:56am On May 20, 2013
In my own context Abiyamo can be father or mother that goes extral mile for survival,sucessful n securing good life for their children.IYANIWURA i am your no1 fan of ur thread i can't afford to miss 1,u inspire me a lot keep it up.u a true Abiyamo Brother.

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by jisky(m): 8:57am On May 20, 2013
In my own context Abiyamo can be father or mother that goes extral mile for survival,sucessful n securing good life for their children.IYANIWURA i am your no1 fan of ur thread i can't afford to miss 1,u inspire me a lot keep it up.u re a true Abiyamo Brother.

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 9:38am On May 20, 2013
shymexx: Interesting read...and I'm also a big fan of your threads.

Btw, what does "Abiyamo" mean, ma'am?
it means a parent or parents.someone who has kids

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by femi4: 9:39am On May 20, 2013
jisky: In my own context Abiyamo can be father or mother that goes extral mile for survival,sucessful n securing good life for their children.IYANIWURA i am your no1 fan of ur thread i can't afford to miss 1,u inspire me a lot keep it up.u re a true Abiyamo Brother.
Abiyamo has nothing to do with the Father
The word was coined from IYA TO BI OMO = ABI OMO = ABIYAMO

Abi which kain Yoruba una dey learn for school these days
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by DrWhizy(m): 9:43am On May 20, 2013
UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA ............my alma mata cheesy cheesy cheesy

2 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Kolade9(m): 9:44am On May 20, 2013
Repping the egun/ogu people from Badagry cool

2 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 9:44am On May 20, 2013
Great Lions and Lionesses!!!

2 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 9:45am On May 20, 2013
Abiyamọ: ITUNU HOTONU, Nigeria's First Female Rear Admiral

Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu is the second female two-star general produced in the Nigerian Armed Forces. The first was Major-General Aderonke Kale who retired in 1997.

I always thought Major Generals were 1 star generals; lieutenant general, 2 stars; & General, 3 stars!
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Bryancrox(m): 9:46am On May 20, 2013
Funny Name
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by White007(m): 9:48am On May 20, 2013
What a brave and courageous lady and feet to achieve such a rank in what otherwise would be termed a man's world.

Nice one Abiyamo.
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 9:56am On May 20, 2013
Story too long jhooor am too lazy to read all of dem next time cut it short

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by naptu2: 9:57am On May 20, 2013
wise_many2k:

I always thought Major Generals were 1 star generals; lieutenant general, 2 stars; & General, 3 stars!

Brigadier General, Commodore, Air Commodore = 1 star

Major General, Rear Admiral, Air Vice Marshal = 2 star

Lieutenant General, Vice Admiral, Air Marshal = 3 star

General, Admiral, Air Chief Marshal = 4 star

Field Marshal, Admiral of The Fleet, Marshal of The Air Force = 5 star

5 Likes

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Nobody: 9:58am On May 20, 2013
ALL THESE MAN MADE TITLES. SMDH. VANITY VANITY
Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by chriskwaku: 9:59am On May 20, 2013
Impressive

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by naptu2: 9:59am On May 20, 2013
Captivating article.

1 Like

Re: Itunu Hotonu - First Female Rear-Admiral by Alamen001: 9:59am On May 20, 2013

2 Likes

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