Home Profile in Excellence Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, former Chief of Army Staff

Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, former Chief of Army Staff


Aliyu Mohammed Gusau (born May 18 1943) is a retired Lieutenant General of the Nigerian army, who served in many senior level security, defence, and military roles. He was most recently the Minister of Defence, and served as National Security Adviser to two different presidents, Chief of Army Staff, headed different intelligence agencies, and was Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Early life and education

Aliyu Mohammed was born on 18 May 1943 in Gusau, Zamfara State. The army added his birthplace to his name, making “Aliyu Mohammed Gusau”, to distinguish him from another General, Aliyu Mohammed. Although Aliyu does not himself use “Gusau” in his name, it has been widely adopted by the media.He enrolled as an officer cadet at the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1964 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1967.

Military career

He was Commander of 9 Infantry brigade, Abeokuta (April 1976 – July 1978), Adjutant General of 2 Mechanised Division (July 1978 – September 1979) and Director of Personnel Services, Army Headquarters (October 1979 – November 1979).

From November 1979 to December 1983 Aliyu was Director of Military Intelligence (DMI). He played an important role in the coup that ousted President Shehu Shagari on 31 December 1983 and brought General Muhammadu Buhari to power.] Following the coup he was proposed as overall head of Intelligence, with the support of Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Babangida, but the appointment was opposed by Buhari. Buhari confirmed Shagari’s appointee Muhammadu Lawal Rafindadi as director of the National Security Organization (NSO), and dismissed Aliyu from the DMI, replacing him with Colonel Halilu Akilu. Aliyu was sent on a training course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in Britain.

Babangida and Abacha years

Aliyu was a player in the coup of 27 August 1985, when Babangida replaced Buhari. In the lead-up, due to the influence he had acquired as DMI, Aliyu was placed under intense surveillance and in turn placed pressure on the coup leaders to act swiftly.

After the coup, Aliyu was appointed Director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Acting Director-General of the NSO from September 1985 to August 1986, then Coordinator on National Security from August 1986 to December 1989. He reorganised the security and intelligence apparatuses, which had fallen in disarray under Rafindadi during the Buhari regime, breaking up the NSO into three organisations: State Security Services (SSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).

Aliyu was appointed General Officer Commanding 2 Mechanised Division, Ibadan (December 1989 – August 1990) and Chief of Administration, Defence Headquarters, Lagos (August 1990 to February 1992). He was Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna from February 1992 to January 1993. Aliyu became National Security Advisor in January 1993, and was promoted to Army chief when Babangida passed control to the short-lived civilian government of the Nigerian Third Republic in August 1993.

Once General Sani Abacha had consolidated power in November 1993 he replaced Aliyu by Chris Alli as chief of army staff.Retiring from the army, Aliyu became chairman & chief executive of Alpha Public Affairs Consultancy from December 1993 until recalled as NSA by the newly elected President Olusegun Obasanjo in May 1999.

Fourth Republic

With wide influence in both civilian and military circles, Aliyu played a central role in ensuring that the transition to democracy in May 1999 went smoothly.[7] Aliyu was the National Security Advisor in the crucial period when former political office holders in the armed forces were retired in June 1999, helping Obasanjo assume control of the armed forces as a civilian President. He remained National Security Advisor during most of Obasanjo’s presidency. He left office to compete in the 2006 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for presidential candidate, coming third. The winner, Umaru Yar’Adua, went on to be elected President.

On 8 March 2010, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced that he was removing Major-General Sarki Mukhtar as National Security Adviser and replacing him with Aliyu. A few days later, Aliyu met with the service chiefs in Abuja to discuss the Jos crisis and the security situation in the country. There were rumours that a review of senior army and police assignments could be underway. Speaking at a seminar in April 2010, Aliyu said the legal system seemed to promote crime and the law enforcement agencies appeared overwhelmed. He also said that efforts to fight corruption were perceived as selective and ineffective, and some of the agencies had credibility problems since their leaders had been accused of corruption.

In April 2010 it was announced that Aliyu would seek nomination to be a candidate in the 2011 Presidential elections under the flag of the ruling party – Peoples Democratic Party (P.D.P). This effort was frustrated through a Northern Consensus Candidature bid which he lost to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (Turakin Adamawa).

Source Wikipedia

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