The Valiant Ex-Generals & The Phenomenal Influence in Nigeria Political Landscape


The Valiant Ex – Generals & The Phenomenial Influence in Nigeria Political Landscape

By Haruna Yusuf

Leaders are creatures of their environment, but unlike most creatures, they are also movers of it, as movers of and within the society, they push it forward, at the same time shaping it as much as it shapes them.

All great leaders have had one characteristic in common, it was the willingness to comfort unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time, this, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.

In short, humanity has already achieved, technically, the total success all utopians ever dreamed of, our problems now are entirely due to wrong thinking, we are in the tragic comic predicament of two crazed men dying of thirst, fighting over a teaspoon of water in the middle of a rainstorm, we cannot see the rainstorm because we are hypnotized by emergency -reflexes fixation on the teaspoon. Robert Anton Wilson.

Mystical references to “society” and its programs to ‘help’ may warm the hearts of the gullible but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of Bureaucrats”

These league of Jolly Gentle Ex- military Generals are very brave in thinking and daring in action, that’s why they accomplish anything they stand for and are goal oriented. Today Grassroot politics has become a major and popular yardstick for measuring the success or otherwise of elected political leaders.

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These officers have proven to be leaders of high ethics and morality,who’ve exhibited uncommon wisdom, remarkable vision, and exemplary leadership and they’re worthy of emulation. The world is a place of constant change, if we are open and ready to consider everything while remaining unbiased, we will be to accept these change and utilize them to improve our lives!

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They’re the Alpha & Omega in today’s Nigeria politics.


Before his retirement from the Army, he served in various capacity and was appointed platoon commander of the second infantry Battalion Abeokuta Nigeria, from November 1963- January 1964. He attended the platoon commander’s course at the military training college, Kaduna in 1964, he facilitated his military training by attending the mechanical transport officer’s course at the Army mechanical transport school in Borden, united kingdom.

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From 1965-1967, he served as commander of second infantry Battalion and appointed Brigade Major, Second Sector, First infantry division, April 1967-July 1967, following the bloody Nigerian coup d’etat, which resulted in the death of premier Ahmadu Bello, Buhari alongside several young officers from northern Nigeria, took part in the counter coup which ousted General Aguyi Ironsi replacing him with General Yakubu Gowon.

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From 1970-1971 he was Brigade major/commandant, thirty First infantry Brigade, he then served as assistant adjutant General, first infantry division headquarters from 1971-1972, he also attended the defense service staff college, wellington, India in 1973, from 1974 -1975 he was acting director transport and supply at the Nigeria Army corps of supply and transport headquarters.

He was appointed Governor of the northwestern state from 1 August 1975 – February 3/1976 to oversee social, economic and political improvement of the state. On the 3/February 1976,the northeastern state was divided into three states, Bauchi, Borno and Gombe, Buhari then became the first Governor of Borno state, he was later appointed the federal commissioner for petroleum and Natural resources, Chairman 1977/1978.
Then military head of state/President (1983-1985)

He retired and joined politics to contest 3 times as presidential aspirant and finally contested the fourth time in 2015 and won to become the president of the federal republic of Nigeria under the flagship of the ruling All progressive Congress (APC) recontested and won with margin till the end of his tenure in 2023


He is a well respected military officer who before his retirement served in various military departments and as military officer he spent time assigned in the Congo, Britain, and India, rising to the rank of major in the latter part of the 1960’s he played a senior role in combating Biafra separatists during the Nigerian civil war, accepting their surrender in 1970, in 1975, a military coup established in junta with obasanjo as part of its ruling triumvirate. After the triumvirate leader, Mutala Mohammed was assassinated the following year, the supreme military council appointed Obasanjo as head of state, continuing Murtala’s policies, Obasanjo oversee budgetary cutbacks and an expansion in access to free school education increasingly aligning Nigeria with the united states, he also emphasised support for groups opposing white minority rule in the southern Africa.

Committed to restoring democracy, Obasanjo oversee the 1979 election, after which he handed over control of Nigeria to the newly elected civilian president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

He joined politics in 1998 and became the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 1999 presidential election, which he won comfortably as president, he depoliticized the Military and both expanded the police and mobilized the Army to combat widespread ethnic, religious and secessionist violence, he was reelected in 2003 election, influenced by Pan-Africanist ideas, he was a keen supporter of the formation of the African Union and served as its chair from 2004-2005. He earned a PhD in Theology from the open university of Nigeria. Obasanjo has been described as one of the great figure of the second generation of Post- colonial African leader.


He is popularly known as David Mark is a retired Nigerian Army Brigadier general and relevant politician who belongs to the people’s democratic party (PDP) through the party, he was elected as senate president and a senator for the Benue state constituency, mark was a former military Governor of Niger state and former minister of communication.

David mark passed through some rigorous training in various military based institutions at his younger age which did well to earn him the tittle of Brigadier-General in the Nigerian Army. David mark was the commandant of statistic communication in 1974 and later held a political post as chairman abandoned properties implementation committee in the eastern region in 1976 military Governor of Niger state 1984-1986. Headed communications ministry and it two major parastatals NITEL& NIPOST 4 times senator Benue south and Senate President.


Dan-Ali is a level- headed military officer who before his retirement served in different commands and staff capacities, some of which includes commanding the Nigerian contingent supporting the united nations Africa hybrid mission in Sudan, Dan-Ali was on the directing staff of the Armed forces command and staff college, JaJi from 2003-2005 and was chief instructor (CI) at the Nigerian defense Academy in 2010, he was also acting Director military training before getting posted to the defense headquarters, logistic department as deputy Director, he retired from the Nigeria Army on August 30th 2013.

General Dan-Ali also earned 2 master Degrees, in public policy and Administration (MPPA) from Bayero university kano (2004-2005) and a master Degree in Security Studies from Bangladesh university of professionals (2009)

Dan-Ali after his retirement in 2013 was lured by his constituent into partisan politics to contest the senatorial seat and serve in the Red chamber to bring back the lost glory to the state, but by providence he became in charge of a country defense and security ministry, and served for one term, 2015-2019 after his term he contested for the controversial G8 Zamfara state Governorship in 2019 and became a strong pillar in both Zamfara and National politics.

Mansur Dan-Ali was confirmed as a cabinet minister by the Nigerian senate in October 2015, in order to coordinate national security the military icon was chosen as minister of defense by president Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015 when the northeast was at the peak of Boko haram insurgents and crimes and criminality in the southeast and south south.

Flying blind: The defense guru protested not to pay up unless the restriction are relaxed, saying he will discuss the matter with the USA Ambassador, the military icon left indelible footprint through his policy of original and direct procurement of equipment from the manufacturer via govt to govt policy, the same policy of intergovernmental negotiation was used to purchase the tucano fighter jet.

No oil, no money, no deal. The defense guru presided over what was advertised as military drill of 10,000 soldiers including special forces around the creeks of twon-brass on the nun river bayelsa a safe distance down the coast from abaramatu.

The general doesn’t keep your shoes clean and he doesn’t suffer his with pleasure, he matches on leading and commanding the mission.

In my curiosity to know about the military icon who brought lasting peace to my region, i carried out a covert research on his personality before formerly meeting him one-on-one, and as we kept talking, chatting i came to understand his personality that precedes him and how he was able to achieve the lasting peace in northeast in just a short as minister of defense.

That’s why Nigerians, especially the northeast/west always recommend the defense guru and his exceptionality is one of a kind and outstanding in service delivery mandate.

The defense guru did not just became the minister of defense by mistake or opportunity considering his vast wealth of military background, experience towards security and commanding of constraint office’s inner working and service delivery mandate. Today especially the good people of northeast are ever ready to reel out facts about him and his achievement as minister of defense.

Going by Dan-Ali’s antecedent, his time as minster of defense has achieved quite a milestone and has excelled security wise and distinguished himself as an outstanding minister of defense, if the reports making round are anything to go by.

His main characteristics are resilience, experience, integrity and dedication to duty at all times, what made him best is his foresight, vision strategic planning and the ability to command and serve to the best of his ability by delivering fruitful results.

Mansur Dan-Ali is indeed a silent achiever, because he has achieved the best in his time as minister both security wise and politically, he was able to lure some ex-general to join partisan politics under the ruling all progressive congress (APC) silent achievers like Dan-Ali are not common, every nation or society boast only a handful, they have become even much harder to find these days. He will never accede to being unduly recognized across zamfara and Nigeria as a whole, but he prefer to work hard in silence and let his achievements make the noise. Like a household name, Dan-Ali has remained a formidable factor in the military and political equation of zamfara and Nigeria at large.

Dan- Ali is a man of no mean repute who is beyond reproach, an outstanding leader and consensus builder a one man who will never improve himself at the expense of the people, a renowned military officer, humanly behaved, well trained professional who stood the test of time.


Buba Marwa held various post in the Nigerian Army, including Brigade major ( 23 Armoured Brigade) Aide-de-camp (ADC) to the chief of Army staff, lieutenant General Theophulus Danjuma, Academic Registrar of the Nigerian Defense Academy and Deputy Defense Adviser in the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC in 1990, he was appointed Governor of Borno state in 1992, he became the defense Adviser to the Nigerian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, he attended several trainings in Nigeria and Abroad.

He has two postgraduate degrees, Master of public and international affairs from the university of Pittsburgh (1983-1985) and master of public administration from Harvard (1985-1986)

In 1992 General Marwa was posted as Registrar of the Nigerian Defense Academy and in 1993, he returned to foreign service as Defense attache at the mission of Nigeria to the united nations in New York.
In August 1996 he was appointed military administrator of Lagos state, his Three years tenure in the state was accompanied by strategic programmes, the feats were achieved on a strict budget of N14 Billion, Marwa who did not borrow from any bank throughout his tenure, handed over cash amount of N2 Billion, the highest amount handed over from one state administrator to another.

Buba Marwa earned awards and Honours among others and he is presently the chairman/chief executive of the Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) under the present Administration of President Buhari.


Before his retirement served in different units and formations in the Nigerian army, including the defense industries, corporation of Nigeria (NICON) as Director research, Commander, Education, 2 Division Ibadan, Oyo state, he voluntarily retired in 2008 December, after serving the army for 35yrs, he became a business man after his retirement and joined partisan politics in 2014 under the umbrella of Labour Party, and later defect to APC in Akure, he became a strong pillar in Ondo politics.


He served in different capacity, as platoon commander and later became company commander at the historic and elite 6 infantry Battalion (BN) of the Nigerian Army, he was later deployed as adjutant 1st Guards Battalion (BN) and later commander of the 4 Battalion in Epe Lagos, among others, he was later appointed as commander of the 15 Brigade of the ECOWAS monitoring group (ECOMOG) mission in Liberia in 1992 before commanding the Nigerian contingent force in 1993, he served as commander of the Guards Brigade in Abuja from 1993-1996, he subsequently rose to become General officer commanding (GOC) 2nd Division Ibadan and later proceeded to the Lagos Garrison Command as Commander.

Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd) was one time the military Governor of Sokoto State, from August 1990 to January 1992 in the political sphere, legal Adviser to All Nigerians People’s Party ANPP and in 2007 the Kano state Governorship Candidate of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) later the National Chairman of the Party and was appointed as minister of defense by president Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 under the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) till date.


He served in different capacity, he served as Troop leader, Squadron leader, Battalion Commander, Brigade Commander, Acting General officer commanding and military administrator. He participated in the united nations peace keeping exercise in chad in 1983 and somalia 1993.

During the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993) he was either a staff officer or a commander of an armoured unit, he was appointed the military administrator of Lagos state from December 1993 to August 1996, during the subsequent administration of General Sani Abacha in June 1996, he retired with the rank of Brigadier-General in 1999.

In April 2003 he was elected Governor of Osun state as a member of the People’s Democratic party (PDP) and was reelected in 2007.


Dambazzau is a retired Nigerian Army and politician. He served as a military police officer, Aide-de-camp (ADC) to the Chief of Army staff (1979) commanded military police unit and served as a special investigator (1984-1985) Dambazzau was a Registrar of the Nigerian Defense Academy from (1993-1999) he also served as chief instructor, support weapon wing of the infantry centre and school from(1999-2001) and later as Directing staff at the National war college from (2004-2005) from (2007-2008) he served as General officer commanding (GOC) 2nd Division, Ibadan. He was appointed chief of Army staff in 2008 by president Umaru Yar adu’a, he was appointed minister of interior (2015-2019) by president Muhammadu Buhari.

The ministry of interior was created in 2015 following a merger between the ministries of internal affairs, police force immigration service and prison service among others. General Danbazzau Rtd was appointment to head the ministry.

The ministry through the department has recorded tremendous achievements within the three years of the president Muhammadu Buhari administration and under the leadership of Danbazzau particularly in the following areas

1) Automation of the federal marriage registries 2) Approval processed through the department between 2015-2018 3) Additional of federal marriage registries were established 4) Collated and processed 213 applications for citizenship 5) Business division among others.


He is a retired Nigerian Army Brigadier-General, diplomat and politician. A distinguished officer, he eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier-General, he served during the Nigeria civil war, and was the Governor of western state while Nigeria was under military rule from (1971-1975) Oluwole Rotimi became the Nigerian Ambassador to the United states in 2007.

In 1999 General Oluwole Rotimi was appointed by president Olusegun Obasanjo as the head of a commission of enquiry for the investigation of federal government landed property. He was honoured with national award of commander of the order of the Niger (CON) 2003. In 2005, Oluwole Rotimi was appointed a member of the national constitution review conference representing his home state, Ogun state.
He became Ambassador to the United states of America in march 2008, and left 2009 on allegation of insubordination by the led government of Yar adu’a.


He is a retired Army colonel, three (3) times Senator, A medical Doctor, former federal commissioner of education and was People’s Democratic party (PDP) National Chairman between 2005/2007.
Prior to graduation from Medial school on march 14/1963, Ali was commissioned as a second lieutenant of the Nigerian Army Medical corps, he was then posted to the first Battalion in Ibadan where he was in charge of the Medical Reception Station (MRS) while running the clinic and receiving military training, subsequently, he was sent to Crawford, Scotland for his post graduate studies.
He was the founding Director of the NYSC and had to go on lecture tours of the Nigerian Universities to Quall agitations against the program.


During the military Regime of Ibrahim Babangida he served as military Governor of Benue state from August 1986, then as military Governor of Gongola from August 1986- December 1987

Jang attended a course on supply operation training (logistics) in Denver, Colorado, united states and was promoted to the rank of captain in 1972, major in 1975 and wing commodore in 1978 serving in most of the Nigerian Air force formation during the period.

He voluntarily retired from the Nigeria Air force in 1990, Jonah Jang took a Bachelor of Divinity Degree at the theological college of northern Nigeria (2000-2002) in 2007 he successfully contested the governorship election in plateau state on the platform of the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) and won and got reelected in 2011-2015.

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Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George is a Nigerian politician who became military Governor of Ondo state, and later chairman of the Nigerian Port Authority, then National Vice Chairman in the southwest zone of the People’s Democratic party (PDP) He earned BSC and MBA, he became Commodore in the Nigerian Navy, and was appointed military Governor of Ondo state ( 1988-1990)
He became principal staff officer, to General Oladipo Diya when the latter was chief of General staff between (1993-1997) was also Director at the Nigerian National War college (NWC)
He was appointed chairman of the Nigeria Port Authority in (1999-2003)
He was the National Vice Chairman of the People’s Democratic party (PDP) in the southwest Zone and remained a strong pillar in PDP


during his time as Navy officer he held a number of onboard and shore appointments, he was at one time a commanding officer of a patrol craft, a landing craft and that of the first missile carrying ship of the Nigerian Navy in February 1976, General Murtala Mohammed appointed Nyako Governor of the newly founded Niger state, which had split out from Sokoto state, he served in this post until December 1977, later he became the chief of Naval operations of the headquarters, the flag officer commanding the Naval training command from where he was appointed the chief of Naval staff in January 1990, two years later, he was appointed the Deputy chief of defense staff and retired from the service in September 1993 with the rank of Vice Admiral.

He Joined partisan politics in 2006 and was elected Governor of Adamawa state in 2007 and was reelected in 2011, impeached on July 15/2014 he was cleared of all allegation in 2016 by the supreme court.


He is a man with undisputable record of service to the nation and the people in an institution vaunted for its discipline and adeptness in shaping men of impeccable character. As a young man born to parents who both raised the bar in education and exploration of talent, General Charles, himself armed with quality education and skill at the time this was rare and many, negotiating their way with the rarity of their qualifications, settled for enriching jobs in boards and industries, Charles instead chose to serve the country by joining the Nigerian Army where he contributed three (3) decades of nothing short of excellence.

In 1987, at the time Major General Charles already bagged master’s degree in Business Administration with specialization in finance from Nigeria’s premier university, the university of Ibadan, he had already caught the attention of military commanders and indeed the leadership of the nation as a Man molded for great things, it therefore came as little surprise that he, at different points of his career in the Nigerian Army, bagged several awards for his brilliance and character, particularly attention to details and incorruptibility, General Charles spent his years managing finance of the Nigerian Army and not once was found wanting.

Major General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd) A leader in the ruling All progressive Congress (APC) and loud voice in the efforts to return Edo state back to the path of progress obaseki wheeled it away from.


The fighter jet pilot. Nigeria’s 20th Chief of Air staff (CAS) Air marshal Abubakar, born 8 April 1960 is a retired air Marshal in the Nigeria Air force and former chief of air staff. He served as chief of Air staff from 12 July 2015 to 26 January 2021.

In 2023 he contested for governor of bauchi state in the 2023 gubernatorial election under the ruling all progressive congress (APC) losing to the incumbent governor Bala Mohammed of the peoples democratic party (PDP)

In October 2022, a Nigeria national honour of commander of the Order of the federal republic CFR was conferred on him by president muhammadu Buhari


He was born on November 12, 1970 in wukari, taraba state (The old gongola state) to the family of Mr & Mrs kefas. His family is renowned for great strides and achievements in the military and public services. Agbu is the younger brother of Air commodore ibràhim kefas who served as the military governor of cross river state between December 1993 to September 1994, Ibrahim also served as the military governor of Delta state in 1996 during general Abatcha’s military rule.

Agbu kefas is a product of some of the most reputable institutions of learning in Nigeria, namely the Nigeria defense academy in Kaduna where he obtained bachelor of science degree in political science and defense studies in 1994, the university of Ibadan in Oyo state, where he bagged a master’s degree in legal criminology and security psychology in 2005 and the delta state university Abraka where he obtained a masters degree in public administration in 2008, also, he has a number of prestigious executive education from global institutions like Harvard Kennedy school in the US. Kefas is married to patience and they have four children. He served in the military for 21 years before retirement.


The valiant military general and academia was born on 7th December 1957 a Nigerian diplomat, academia and political scientist, he was the president of united general assembly 74th session from 17th September 2019 to September 2020. He previously served as vice President of the 71st session from September 2016 to September 2017.

He served as Nigeria’s permanent representative to the united nations since 2017. From 2010 to 2016, he was the director general of the national institute of policy and strategic studies in kuru, Nigeria, and was the vice chancellor of the usman danfodio university from 2004 to 2009.

In January 2021 he was relisted by president Buhari as the permanent representative to united nations, New York.

Prof Mohammed Bande was born and educated in zagga a town in present day kebbi state. Major General Bande won kebbi state governorship ticket and contested in the just concluded 2023 general elections and lost to APC

19) LIEUTENANT GENERAL YUSUF TUKUR BURATAI CFR Psc (+)NAM GSS ndc (BD) (Rtd) was born on 24th November 1960 a retired Nigeria Army lieutenant general and former chief of Army staff COS who was appointed by president Muhammadu Buhari in July 2015 as Nigeria’s ambassador to the federal republic of Benin. He was commissioned into the Nigeria Army in 1983 and has had multiple command, administrative and institutional appointments.


He was born in July 1960, is a former Nigeria Army major and intelligence officer who served as chief security officer to general Sani Abacha, who was Nigeria’s military head of state from 1993 until his sudden death on 8th June 1998.

Al-mustapha join partisan politics in 2019 and founded the green party of Nigeria and emerged as the presidential candidate of the party.

In 2022 he contested for presidential election under the umbrella of AA by defeating 2 contestants and emerged the presidential flag bearer of the party to run for president in the 2023 general..he campaigned vigorously and participated in the general elections losing to APC

As far as we understand politics, these league of Retired Gentle Jolly Generals are the shakers and movers of today’s Nigerian politics and the greatest leaders Nigeria ever seen.

Haruna Yusuf -Editor, political analyst and commentator, writes from Abuja


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