Life and Times of the Late COAS, Lieutenant General Attahiru
Nokai Origin, Abuja
Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, the 21st was born on August 10,1966 in Doka, Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State. A graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Armed Forces Command and Staff College , and Nigerian Army School of Infantry. He commenced officer cadet training in January 1984 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in December 1986 as an Infantry Officer. He held a Masters’s degree in Strategic Management and Policy Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy. He also attained a Masters of Science in Human Resources Management and Development from Salford University in the United Kingdom and a Graduate Diploma in International Studies from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
He had a tour of duty with the United Nations in Sierra Leone as a Military Observer, where he facilitated United Kingdom’s military engagement Operation BARASS in September 2000. He was also 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 is 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 a 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 Army Headquarters MS (A) and one-time Director Army Public Relations and Spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, 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 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.
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 attended 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 undertook 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.
On the evening of May 21, 2021, the late Army Chief was traveling on a Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft King Air 350 while on an official visit to Kaduna, where he was to attend the Passing out Parade of 80RRI in Depot Nigerian Army on May 22, 2021. The plane crashed en route, killing Attahiru and all ten other military personnel on board the aircraft.