Amb. Conteh Pays Tribute to Fallen Former ECOMOG General
Liberia’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, has eulogized the late Lieutenant General Victor Samuel Leonard Malu as a commanding officer who risked everything, including his life, for Liberia’s peace.
Malu died on October 9 in the United Kingdom at age 70.
Ambassador Conteh in a tribute on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, extended Liberia’s heartfelt condolences to General Malu’s family and the Government and people of Nigeria.
“General Malu was a decorated soldier who will be remembered in Liberia for risking everything, including his life, in the search for peace in Liberia,” Ambassador Conteh remarked.
Ambassador Conteh delivered the tribute on Wednesday, October 25 during the wake-keeping, according to a press release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja.He said: “On this sad occasion, Liberians of all ages and social strata wish to pay tribute to his selfless work in securing peace and stability in their country. He will always be remembered as a man of professionalism, discipline, and bravery, which was clearly demonstrated during the time of Liberia’s greatest need.”
The retired Lieutenant General and former Nigerian Chief of Army Staff was also a Force Commander of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Peacekeeping Force (ECOMOG) who served in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Lt. Gen. Malu served as Chief of Staff of ECOMOG and Commander of the Nigerian Contingent in Liberia from 1992 to 1993. He subsequently served as the ECOMOG Force Commander in Liberia from December 1996 to April 1998. After that, he served as Chief of Army Staff during the administration of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo from May 1999 to April 2001.
Also paying tribute was General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state of Nigeria, who said the late Nigerian general impacted his troops positively. Tributes also came from scores of other dignitaries.
The acting Ambassador of Sierra Leone to Nigeria, Major-General Claude Nelson Williams, also a former head of his country’s army, recalled the time he served as part of the Sierra Leonean continent to ECOMOG.
Major-General Timothy Shelpidi, who too served as a Force Commander of ECOMOG in Liberia, had his tribute printed in the souvenir program, and said: “Malu was a professional military officer who had no interest in politics. Few admired and tolerated him while many saw him as arrogant, proud and inflexible in behavior, especially if he stood for truth.”
In his exhortation, Rev. Basil Orkpe reminded the mourners, “What speaks for you [when you are dead] is what you did [when you were alive].”