For more stories on Nigerian women who were first in their fields, visit FIRST WOMEN page for our past collections.
Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu, a trained architect and an expert in naval logistics is the first woman to attain the rank of a Rear Admiral in the history of the Nigerian Navy.
Prior to joining the Navy, Itunu’s dream was to join the Nigerian Army, however, when she applied, she was told there was no place for women in its engineering corps.
Sad at the turn of events, Itunu applied to join the Nigerian Army when she was told that she would be accepted irrespective of her gender.
Before she joined the navy, she worked in an architect office for two years after she graduated from the university before she took her professional exams.
Born on January 18, 1959, Hotunu studied Architecture from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and enlisted in the Nigerian Navy in 1985. She has served at various naval formations and in different capacities across the country.
She was among the first set of architects to be enlisted into the Nigerian Navy and it is on record that Hotonu was the first female military officer to serve as a Directing Staff (that is an instructor) at the famous Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji.
She was also the first female military officer to attend the then National War College, now National Defence College, 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.
Rear Admiral Itunu is married to Arc.Abayomi Hotonu, with 3 children