NIGERIA: Abdulsalami Abubakar Biography And Profile

By Politicoscope May 16, 2017 11:53


NIGERIA: Abdulsalami Abubakar Biography And Profile

General Abdulsalami Abubakar was born in Minna, Niger State on June 13, 1942 into the devout Muslim family of Alhaji Abubakar Jibrin and Hajiya Fati Kande Mohammed. For his early education, young Abdulsalami attended Minna Native Authority Primary School between 1950 to 1956, before proceeding to the famous Government College, Bida, for his secondary education from 1957 to 1962.

For his Post Secondary School Education, he attended Kaduna Technical College from January to October 1963.

Imbued with patriotism to serve the fatherland, Abdulsalami was enlisted in the Nigeria Air Force on October 3, 1963 as Officer Cadet. In June 1964, he was sent to Germany for flying training. Due to exigencies prevailing at the time, he was seconded to the army and commissioned Second Lieutenant and was posted to infantry.

By dint of hard work, he progressed steadily in the service, earning his promotions regularly and becoming a General on June 9, 1998. From 1967 he held various staff and command appointments ranging from Platoon, Company, Battalion and Brigade Commander. He became General Officer Commanding the 82nd Division of the Nigerian armed forces in 1988 after being Military Secretary from 1986 -1988.

He was appointed Commandant of National War College from where he became Chief of Defence Staff from 1993 to 1998 when destiny made him Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1998.

How General Abubakar emerged from the shadows
Nigerian military ruler, General Abdulsalami Abubakar is a career soldier little known outside military circles before he came to power in June 1998.

A quiet Muslim and he has never sought the public eye like some of his colleagues, although he frequently stood in for General Abacha.

While other senior officers in the politicised army came and went, sometimes straight into the regime’s prisons, he kept his own senior position in the ruling clique throughout Abacha’s tenure.

“He has always kept himself in the shadows. A real dark horse,” said one Nigerian politician in Lagos. “Nevertheless his appointment at this time seems the logical one to make, perhaps because of that.”

Steady promotion
He was effectively the number three in the regime, after Oladipo Diya, who was put out of the running when he was arrested – and subsequently sentenced to death – for treason.

General Abubakar’s roots lie in the same Minna region of northern Nigeria as the former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, whose annulment of 1993 elections plunged Nigeria into political turmoil and paved the way for Abacha’s takeover.

The two men are personally close and Abubakar served as intelligence chief under Babangida. They own homes almost next door to each other in Minna and both men were conspicuous at Abacha’s burial at his northern hometown of Kano.

The new head of state has proved himself to be much more in favour of handing over power to a civilian administration than his predecessor.

On 20 July, General Abubakar, in a nationally televised broadcast, said the political parties established under his late predecessor, General Sani Abacha, had been discredited and were being abolished.

A BBC correspondent in Nigeria says the speech struck a chord among many Nigerians, for whom its tone of reconciliation implied a genuine intention to correct the mistakes of the past.

Since coming to power, General Abubakar has repeatedly promised that his tenure in office will be brief, and that the soldiers will soon return to the barracks.

Political parties have been allowed to form, and the transition process is under way

He has been involved in several international assignment such as the following:

June 2000: Chairman, Commonwealth Observer Group for Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Election
August 2000: United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Democratic Republic of Congo.
June 2001: Chairman, Military Sub–Committee for Inter- Congolese Political Dialogue
Nov. 27, 2001: Leader of the Carter Centre Delegation for the Monitoring of the Zambian’s National Elections
March 2002: Chairperson, Commonwealth Observer Group for Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Election.
June 2002: President, African Strategic and Peace Research Group
May 2003: Appointed by ECOWAS as the Facilitator Mediator for the Liberian Peace Talk
July 2004: Appointed Special Envoy of the Chairman, African Union, to The Chad and Sudan.
April, 2005: Commonwealth Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Republic of the Gambia.
September 2006: United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Republic of the Gambia.
March 10, 2009: Appointed a member of African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on Sudan
October 29, 2009: Appointed ECOWAS Chief Mediator to Niger Crisis.


  • The Prestigious ECOWAS International Gold Award (May 27, 2000)
  • The National Honour for “The Shortest and Successful Democratic Transition in the History of Nigeria Award” by CCJRCA (July 31, 2000)
  • Distinguished Leadership of Honour Award by NBA (August 21, 2000)
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science (Honoris Causa) by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria. (November 25, 2000)
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science (Honoris Causa) by Edo State University, Ekpoma, Nigeria (May 4, 2002)
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science (Honoris Causa) by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, GHANA. (August 10, 2002)
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Law, LLD (Honoris Causa) by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria (May 15, 2004)
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Law, LLD (Honoris Causa) by University of Ibadan, Nigeria (November 17, 2006)
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Law, LLD (Honoris Causa) by Igbinedion University, Okada, Nigeria. (November 25, 2006).
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Agriculture (D. Agric) (Honoris Causa) By Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria (Junuary 31, 2009).
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree of Doctor of Letters (D. Agric) (Honoris Causa) By University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria (November 10, 2012).


  • The Peace Prize Award by Rainbow Push Coalition U.S.A (August 7, 1999)
  • Outstanding Peace Award for bringing Democracy in Nigeria by the Nigerian Community in U.S.A (October 16, 1999).
  • Outstanding Leadership Qualities Award by MABDEC in USA (August, 2000).
  • Chicago State University Instituted Lecture Series in his honour ‘First Lectures’ (February 23, 2001)
  • Liberian National Honour “The National Distinction in the Order of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia “by the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) (December 16, 2005)
  • Award Honours as the International Recipient by National Secretariat of the Golden Image Award 2013 of the Republic of Liberia in recognition of the role played in Liberia as the ECOWAS Facilitator for the Liberian Peace Talks (July 20, 2013 in Monrovia).

– Abdulsalami Abubakar Biography And Profile

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By Politicoscope May 16, 2017 11:53

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