General Hassan Usman Katsina (31 March 1933 – 24 July 1995) was a Nigerian statesman and military leader who was the Governor of Northern Nigeria following the 1966 Nigerian coup d'état. During the Nigerian Civil War he served as the Chief of Army Staff and later became the deputy Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters.
Hassan Usman Katsina
|Chief of Army Staff|
May 1968 – January 1971
|Preceded by||Joseph Akahan|
|Succeeded by||David Ejoor|
|Governor of Northern Nigeria|
16 January 1966 – 27 May 1967
|Preceded by||Kashim Ibrahim|
|Born||31 March 1933|
Katsina, Northern Region, British Nigeria
(now Katsina, Nigeria)
|Died||24 July 1995 (aged 62)|
Mons Officer Cadet School
Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
|Years of service||1956–1975|
|Battles/wars||First Congo War|
1966 anti-Igbo pogrom
Nigerian Civil War
Hassan Usman was born on March 31, 1933 in Katsina to the Fulani royal family of the Sullubawa clan. His father, Usman Nagogo, was the Emir of Katsina from 1944 to 1981. His grandfather, Muhammadu Dikko, was the 47th Emir of Katsina from 1906 to 1944.
In 1956, Katsina joined the Nigerian Army. As the military was still under colonial control, he trained at the Mons Officer Cadet School and the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Following independence, Katsina rose through the ranks of the military. He was viewed as a prominent and senior Northern military officer, with links to the ruling class.
|Platoon commander||2nd Battalion||Kaduna|
|Intelligence officer||United Nations Operation in the Congo||Congo (during the Congo Crisis; received the Congo Medal)|
|Company commander||5th Battalion||Kano|
|Commanding officer||Recce Squadron||Kaduna|
|Chief of Army Staff||Nigerian Army||Nigeria (during the Nigerian civil war)|
Governor of Northern NigeriaEdit
Following the 1966 Nigerian coup d'état, which resulted in the death of Premier Ahmadu Bello. Katsina was appointed Governor of Northern Nigeria. He served as a counter balance to the military hardliners led by General Murtala Mohammed, who wanted the region to secede following the death of Ahmadu Bello. He participated in the 1966 Nigerian counter-coup which overthrew General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi and brought General Yakubu Gowon to power. He was later appointed a member of the Supreme Military Council of Nigeria.
Regional power vacuumEdit
Katsina stepped into a new position that was in need of strong leadership to calm nerves as a result of the military coup and the death of prominent regional political leaders.
His government chose to carry on with the progress attained by Ahmadu Bello and brought aboard senior civil servants in the region who possessed administrative attributes that could continue with the progress. Key figures in his government included Ibrahim Dasuki; who later became Sultan of Sokoto, Ali Akilu; who later played a prominent role in the creation of states in Nigeria, and Sunday Awoniyi. His administration also saw the rise of the Kaduna Mafia, a new class of young Northern intellectuals, civil servants, and military officers.
During his brief period of leadership, he led the Interim Common Services Agency, an agency which undertook the task of sharing the collective resources of the region in a new decentralized political and economic system of governance. Katsina, also revitalized political linkage with the emirates as a support base for his new administration; and was close to re-introducing the old Native Administrative structures of the colonial system, where emirs played a major role.
Katsina's government saw anti-Igbo sentiment intensify, resulting in the 1966 anti-Igbo pogrom, during which several cities were engulfed in a series of violent killings in reaction to the coup which resulted in the death of Ahmadu Bello and the introduction of the unitary system of government. Many Northerners feared these developments were part of a conspiracy to create an Igbo-dominated nation state.
Nigerian Civil WarEdit
In 1968, General Katsina was appointed Chief of Army Staff. In this position, he led the war effort by doubling the size of troops, blockade of supplies to Biafra, and utilised air support from the United Arab Republic. In 1970, he witnessed the unconditional surrender of Biafra to Nigeria.
Later life and deathEdit
Following the 1975 Nigerian coup d'état, General Katsina was retired from the military as the most senior experienced military officer at the time. After his retirement, he rejected several government appointments. General Katsina was respected within the military class as he led the promotion of several young officers who later led the Nigerian military juntas of 1966–79 and 1983–98.
He was later involved in the formation of political organisations such as the National Party of Nigeria and the Committee of Concerned Citizens. He was also the president of the Nigerian Polo Association, of which his father Emir Usman Nagago was life president; and pioneer of polo in Nigeria.
- "Nowa Omoigui. January 15, 1966: The role of Major Hassan Usman Katsina". dawodu.com. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
- Siollun, Max (2009). Oil, politics and violence: Nigeria's military coup culture (1966-1976). Algora Publishing. ISBN 978-0-87586-708-3.
- Roman Loimeier. slamic Reform and Political Change in Northern Nigeria, Northwestern University Press, 1997. p 24.ISBN 0810113465
- Roman Loimeier. slamic Reform and Political Change in Northern Nigeria, Northwestern University Press, 1997. p 26.ISBN 0810113465
- Emmanuel Ike Udogu. Nigeria In The Twenty-first Century: Strategies for Political Stability and Peaceful Coexistence. p 121-122.
- Stephen Vincent. Should Biafra Survive? Transition No. 32, Aug., 1967, p 54.
- Simone K. Panter-Brick. Soldiers and Oil: The Political Transformation of Nigeria. Routledge, 1978. p 118. ISBN 0-7146-3098-5
- Michael S. Radu, Richard E. Bissell. Africa in the Post-Decolonization Era. Transaction Publishers, 1984. p 43. ISBN 0-87855-496-3
- Burji, B.S.G. (1997). Tributes to man of the people. Burji Publishers. Retrieved 2015-04-13.