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Colonel John Mark Inienger (September 1985 – July,1988)

Colonel John Mark Inienger was appointed Military Governor of Bendel State on September 3, 1985.

He was Commander of the 4th Mechanised Brigade, Nigerian army Benin City and acted as Governor whenever the incumbent was on leave.

John Mark Inienger was born on 16 April 1945 at Mbaduku, Vandeikya local government area of Benue State.His father was Tiv from Mbaduku, and his mother was from Bebuabung in the Cross River State town of Obudu.He had his primary education at Mker between 1952-1959.

Between 1960 and 1963, he was at the Nigerian military school, Zaria where he had his secondary education. He graduated from the military school in 1963 and enlisted in the Nigerian army electrical and mechanical engineering corps where he trained as a technician.

John Mark Inienger was in charge of the 29 Infantry Battalion (1968–1969), Battalion Commander of the 82 Infantry Battalion (1970–1973), Instructor at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (1975–1976) and Battalion Commander of the 31 Infantry (1976–1977). He was Battalion Commander of the Nigerian Battalion to Lebanon (1980–1981) and Commander of the 4 Mechanised Brigade (1984–1985).

In August 1985 General Ibrahim Babangida became the military ruler of Nigeria after a coup against Muhammadu Buhari. Lt, Colonel John Inienger was instrumental in the coup, and was rewarded by being appointed Military Governor of Bendel State, a position he held until December 1987.

Later posts were Commander of the Brigade of Guards at Nigerian Army Headquarters, Lagos (1988–1989) and ECOMOG Field Commander in Liberia (1993–1996). During his period as ECOMOG commander during the First Liberian Civil War, conditions were chaotic as warlords sought to capture sufficient territory to be rewarded after the eventual peace. Inienger was quoted as saying “There was an orchestrated campaign of calumny against ECOMOG to discredit it, its neutrality, and impartiality… ECOMOG was being described as an army of occupation”. By April 1996 his troops were hard pressed to maintain control in the capital, Monrovia, against militiamen engaged in looting. Major-General John Mark Inienger returned from Liberia in 1996 and was appointed Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji.


In May 1999, the military handed over to the civilian government headed by Olusegun Obasanjo. Within a month, the new government ordered that all officers who had served in the military government for more than six months must retire. John Mark Inienger was among 100 officers affected by this decision. He died on 8 February 2002 while travelling by car from Jos to Makurdi.

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