Dan Suleiman

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Dan Suleiman
Governor of Plateau State
In office
March 1976 – July 1978
Preceded by Abdullahi Mohammed (Benue-Plateau)
Succeeded by Joshua Anaja
Personal details
Born 1942[1]
Guyuk, Adamawa State, Nigeria

Air Commodore Dan Suleiman was a member of General Murtala Muhammed's supreme military council in Nigeria between July 1975 and March 1976, and was military governor of Plateau State from March 1976 to July 1978 after it had been created from part of the old Benue Plateau State.[2] After the return to democracy in 1999 with the Nigerian Fourth Republic, Suleiman became chairman of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), a socio-political group representing the people of the Middle Belt of Nigeria.[3]

Military career[edit]

Suleiman played a leading role during the Nigerian Civil War (1966–1970).[4] He was appointed to the cabinet of General Yakubu Gowon in January 1975.[5] As Federal Commissioner for Special Duties he was instrumental in founding the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).[4] He assisted in the military rebellion of July 29, 1975 when Gowon was deposed, replaced by General Murtala Muhammed.[6] Following the coup, he was named a member of the Supreme Military Council.[7] Murtala Mohammed appointed him Commissioner for Health.[8]

Suleiman was appointed the first military governor of Plateau State in Nigeria from March 1976 to July 1978, after Benue-Plateau State was divided into Benue State and Plateau State.[2] As governor, he made the progressive proposal that anyone born in Plateau State or anyone who had lived in the state for 20 years should enjoy all the rights and privileges of a native regardless of their ethnic origin.[9] Suleiman retired in 1980 as an Air Commodore.[10]

Political career[edit]

Suleiman was Chairman of Allied Bank of Nigeria Plc between 1984 and 1986.[10]

Suleiman resisted the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha after the elections of 12 June 1993 were annulled. As one of the founders of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) he was forced into exile.[4] Sani Abacha died unexpectedly in June 1998. On 7 October 1998 Suleiman, NADECO Vice Chairman, returned to Nigeria.[11] He became a leader of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State. The party went on to win the national elections in 1999.[12] He also became chairman of the Middle Belt Forum. In September 2001, as chairman of the MBF Suleiman said the middle belters are grossly marginalised and have become an endangered species on the brink of extinction and cultural annihilation.[3]

In the 2003 PDP primaries in Delta State, Suleiman was head of the electoral panel.[13] He joined the board of directors of Trans Nationwide Express.[10]

From June 3, 2004 to June 4, 2007 he administrated the Embassy of Nigeria in Moscow and was also to Minsk accredited.[14] As of 2006, Suleiman was Nigerian Ambassador to the Russian Federation.[4] In June 2007 he was summoned to Russia's Foreign Ministry to discuss the kidnapping of six Russian employees of RUSAL, the world's largest aluminium producer. The workers were snatched from the company's residential compound in the Niger Delta.[15] In June 2009, President Umaru Yar'Adua appointed him chairman of the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria.[16]


  1. ^ Omonijo, M. (1999). Political Factbook and Who's who in Nigeria. WINNGAM Communications. ISBN 9789780415006. Retrieved 2015-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b "Nigeria: States". Rulers.org. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  3. ^ a b Sefy Megafu (2001-09-19). "Cry of Anguish from Middle Belt". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d "DAN SULEIMAN’S BIOGRAPHY FOR LAUNCH". Nigerian Newsday (Nasarawa State). September 12, 2006. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  5. ^ Nowa Omoigui. "Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975: The coup against Gowon - Part 6". Dawodu. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  6. ^ Nowa Omoigui. "Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975: The coup against Gowon - Part 8". Dawodu. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  7. ^ "Brigadier Murtala Muhammed's First Address as the New Head of State - July 30, 1975". Dawodu. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  8. ^ Max Siollun (2009). Oil, politics and violence: Nigeria's military coup culture (1966-1976). Algora Publishing. p. 185. ISBN 0-87586-708-1. 
  9. ^ Abimbola O Adesoji, Akin Alao (March 2009). "Indigeneship and Citizenship in Nigeria: Myth and Reality" (PDF). Journal of Pan-African Studies v2 no9. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  10. ^ a b c "BOARD OF DIRECTORS". Trans Nationwide Express. Archived from the original on 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  11. ^ "ARCHIVES: THE TRANSITION". Motherland Nigeria. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  12. ^ "Religious Clash Feared, As Political Crisis Grips Adamawa State". Ukpaka Reports. Feb 24, 2010. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  13. ^ "2003: Sidelined State Law Makers (1)". ThisDay. 2003-03-03. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  14. ^ 03-06-200406-12-200402-200506-12-200422-07-2005
  15. ^ "Russia summons Nigerian ambassador over kidnappings". Reuters. 4 Jun 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  16. ^ Juliana Taiwo (30 June 2009). "Yar'Adua Approves Agriculture Parastatals' Boards". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-04-04.