By Salim Yunusa

Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru (10th August, 1966 – 21st May, 2021), was appointed Chief of Army Staff along with other Service Chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 26, 2021.

Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, was the 30th Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria. He was also the 26th indigenous Chief of Army Staff and was in office for three months and 26 days. It was the second shortest stint as army chief after the three months stewardship of Lt. Gen. Aliyu Gusau between September and November 1993.

Late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru was born on 10 August 1966 in Doka, Kaduna North Local Government Area, Kaduna State.

He was a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Armed Forces Command and Staff College and Nigerian Army School of Infantry. He commenced cadets training in January 1984 and was commissioned into the rank of Second Lieutenant in December 1986 as an Infantry Officer. He held a Masters degree in Strategic Management and Policy Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Others include, Masters of Science in Human Resources Management and Development from Salford University in the United Kingdom and Graduate Diploma in International Studies from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

General Attahiru has held several appointments on the staff, instructional and in command during his military career. He had a tour of duty with the United Nations in Sierra Leone as a Military Observer, where he facilitated United Kingdom military engagement, Operation BARASS in September 2000. He was an Operation Officer and later Company Commander in NIBATT 19 ECOMOG Operations in Liberia. Also, he had the unique privilege of having commanded with distinction all through the chain of command in the Nigerian Army. Prominent among these appointments are Commanding Officer 146 Battalion Nigerian Army (Operation HARMONY IV) in the Bakassi Peninsula, Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army (Operation PULO SHIELD), General Officer Commanding 82 Division Nigerian Army. He was one time Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE (the Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Outfit in North Eastern Nigeria). It is on record that he brought relative stability to the region with the surrender of several Boko Haram combatants.

As a staff officer, he was unit Adjutant, 7 Battalion Nigerian Army, Serti, Chief of Staff, 1 Brigade Nigerian Army Sokoto, General Staff Officer Grade 1 Training/Operations as well as Staff Duties/Plans at Headquarters 1, 2 and 81 Divisions of the Nigerian Army. He was Deputy Director Military Secretary 2 at the AHQ MS (A) and one-time Director Army Public Relations and Spokesperson of the Nigerian Army. He was later Director staff duties and Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans at the Army Headquarters. He was equally privileged to serve as Chief of Defence Transformation and Innovation and Chief of Defence Logistics at the apex organ of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Defence Headquarters Abuja. In that position, he worked with the US Defence Logistics Agency on the Vertically Integrated Logistics Approach (VILA) Programme towards enhancing the operational readiness in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

On the instructional, he was an Instructor at the Depot Nigerian Army, Nigerian Defence Academy and the Nigerian Army School of Infantry. He was later a Directing Staff and Chief Instructor at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji – Kaduna.

He was at the National Defence College, Kenya for the National Defence Management and Security Studies Course and at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Special Forces Academy Shijiazhuang-Hubei Province, China for the Basic and Advanced Special/Operations Commando Forces Courses. He has undertaken leadership and security policy course at the prestigious Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University USA, Graduate School of Media and Communication, Agha Khan University of Nairobi, Bournemouth University Disaster Management Center, and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

He died on 21st May, 2021, in a plane crash, alongside 10 others.

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