Former Sports Minister Lawal Buried

Air Vice Marshal Adebayo Lawal (retd.), former Minister of Youth and Sports and one-time Military Administrator of Benue State, died on Sunday at the age of 83. His daughter, Yinka Enahoro, confirmed the news, and Air Commodore Sani Zakari (retd.), Sergeant At Arms at the National Assembly, confirmed the funeral was held on Monday.

Zakari stated, “AVM Frank Ajobena (retd.) further informed us that AVM Bayo Lawal passed on in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday, June 23, 2024.”

Born on September 14, 1941, in Offa, Kwara State, Lawal was a pioneer officer of the Nigerian Air Force, which he joined in 1963. He received his training as a military pilot in West Germany, graduating in 1964.

Throughout his illustrious career, Lawal held numerous high-ranking positions within the NAF. These included Commander of NAF Port Harcourt (1969-1970), Commander of Enugu Air Force Base (1970-72), and two stints as Commander of NAF Kano (1972-73 and 1975-77). He also served as Air Officer Commanding HQ Tactical Air Command NAF Makurdi from 1977 to 1978.

Described as “a very active and vibrant fighter pilot,” Lawal’s service to the nation extended beyond the military. He was appointed Military Governor of Benue State in July 1978, a position he held until October 1979. Later in his career, he served as the Federal Minister of Youth and Sports.

After retiring from active service, Lawal ventured into business and devoted himself to faith-based philanthropy. Known as a devoted Muslim, his funeral took place on Monday. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.


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Sydney Okafor

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