Chief of Army Staff (Nigeria)

The Chief of Army Staff is the highest ranking military officer of the Nigerian Army.[1] The position is often occupied by the most senior commissioned officer appointed by the President of Nigeria.[2] In the chain of command, the Chief of Army Staff reports to the Chief of Defence Staff, who in turn, reports to the Defence Minister, accountable to the President of Nigeria.[3] The Statutory duty of the Officer is to formulate and execute policies towards the highest attainment of National Security and operational competence of the force.[4]

Chief of the Army Staff
Flag of the Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army
Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai

since July 2015
Ministry of Defence
Reports toChief of Defence Staff
AppointerPresident of Nigeria
Term lengthNo fixed length

Chiefs of the Nigerian Army

Following is a chronological list of officers holding the position of General Officer Commanding (GOC) or Chief of Army Staff (COAS).[5]

General Officer Commanding

No. Picture General Officer CommandingTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Exham, KennethMajor general
Kenneth G. Exham
195619592–3 years
FosterMajor general
195919633–4 years
Mackenzie, JohnMajor general
John Alexander Mackenzie
196319630 years
Welby-Everard, ChristopherMajor general
Sir Christopher Welby-Everard
196319651–2 years
Aguiyi-Ironsi, JohnsonMajor general
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi
196515 January 19660–1 years

Chief of Army Staff

No. Picture Chief of Army StaffTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Gowon, YakubuLieutenant colonel
Yakubu Gowon FSS
(born 1934)
Later military ruler
January 1966July 19666 months
Akahan, JosephLieutenant colonel
Joseph Akahan FSS
May 1967May 1968 1 year
Katsina, HassanMajor general
Hassan Katsina RCDS, PSC
May 1968January 19712 years, 8 months
Ejoor, DavidMajor general
David Ejoor
January 1971July 19754 years, 6 months
Danjuma, TheophilusLieutenant general
Theophilus Danjuma
(born 1938)
July 1975October 19794 years, 3 months
Akinrinade, IpoolaLieutenant general
Ipoola Alani Akinrinade CFR FSS
(born 1939)
Later Chief of Defence Staff
October 1979April 19806 months
Jalo, GibsonLieutenant general
Gibson Jalo CFR FSS, JSS
Later Chief of Defence Staff
April 1980October 19811 year, 6 months
Wushishi, MohammedLieutenant general
Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi CFR FSS
(born 1940)
October 1981October 19832 years
Babangida, IbrahimMajor general
Ibrahim Babangida
(born 1941)
Later military ruler
January 1984August 19851 year, 7 months
Abacha, SaniLieutenant general
Sani Abacha GCON , DSS, mni
Later military ruler
August 1985August 19905 years
Abacha, SaniLieutenant general
Salihu Ibrahim FSS , FHWC
August 1990September 19933 years, 1 month
Gusau, AliyuLieutenant general
Aliyu Mohammed Gusau DSS, rcds
(born 1943)
September 1993November 19932 months
Alli, ChrisMajor general
Chris Alli CRG, DSS, ndc, psc(+)
(born 1944)
November 1993August 19949 months
Kazir, AlwaliMajor general
Alwali Kazir DSS, Usawc, psc(+)
(born 1947)
as Chief of Army
August 1994March 19961 year, 7 months
Kazir, AlwaliLieutenant general
Ishaya Bamaiyi DSS, Usawc, psc(+)
(born 1949)
March 1996May 19993 years, 2 months
Malu, VictorLieutenant general
Victor Malu DSS, mni, fwc, psc
May 1999April 20011 year, 11 months
Ogomudia, AlexanderLieutenant general
Alexander Ogomudia
(born 1949)
Later Chief of Defence Staff
April 2001June 20032 years, 2 months
Agwai, MartinLieutenant general
Martin Luther Agwai
(born 1948)
Later Commander of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur
June 2003June 20063 years
Azazi, OwoyeLieutenant general
Owoye Andrew Azazi
Later Chief of Defence Staff
1 June 2006May 200711 months
Yusuf, LukaLieutenant general
Luka Yusuf CFR, GSS, GPP, DSO, psc(+), fwc, Msc
June 2007August 20081 year, 3 months
Dambazau, AbdulrahmanLieutenant general
Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau CFR, GSS, psc, ndc, fwc(+), PhD
(born 1954)
August 2008September 20102 years, 1 month
Ihejirika, AzubuikeLieutenant general
Azubuike Ihejirika CFR, GSS, psc(+), fwc, fniqs
(born 1956)
September 2010January 20143 years, 4 months
Minimah, KennethLieutenant general
Kenneth Minimah GSS, psc(+), fwc
(born 1959)
January 2014July 20151 year, 6 months
Buratai, TukurLieutenant general
Tukur Yusuf Buratai NAM, GSS, psc(+), ndc (BD)
(born 1960)
July 2015Incumbent4 years, 4 months

See also


  1. "Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan sacks military chiefs". BBC News. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  2. "President sacks Service Chiefs, names replacements". Daily Independent. Archived from the original on July 10, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  3. "Minimah, Jibrin, Amosu Appointed Service Chiefs". Thisdaylive. Archived from the original on July 14, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  4. "Chief of Army Staff vows military will end insurgency". Premium Times. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  5. "Chronicle of Command". The Nigerian Army. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
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