Hassan Katsina

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Hassan Usman Katsina
Governor of Northern Nigeria Ng)nng.gif
In office
16 January 1966 – 27 May 1967
Preceded byKashim Ibrahim
Succeeded byJoseph Gomwalk (Benue-Plateau)
Audu Bako (Kano)
David Bamigboye (Kwara)
Abba Kyari (North Central)
Musa Usman (North Eastern)
Usman Faruk (North Western)
Chief of Army Staff
In office
May 1968 – January 1971
Preceded byJoseph Akahan
Succeeded byDavid Ejoor
Personal details
Born31 March 1933
Died24 July 1995(1995-07-24) (aged 62)
Alma materBarewa College
Mons Officer Cadet School
Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
AwardsCongo Medal, Independence Medal,
Military service
AllegianceFederal Republic of Nigeria
Branch/serviceFlag of the Nigerian Army Headquarters.svg Nigerian Army
Years of service1956–1975
RankMajor General
UnitSupreme Military Council, Army HQ, Recce Squadron.
Commands2nd battalion

Hassan Katsina (31 March 1933 – 24 July 1995) was a Nigerian Army Major General and son of Usman Nagogo, the Emir of Katsina from 1944 to 1981. He was governor of the Northern Region of Nigeria from 1966 to 1967. During the Nigerian civil war, he was the Chief of Staff, Army and later became the deputy Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters under the administration of General Yakubu Gowon.

Early life and education[edit]

Hassan Usman Katsina was born in Katsina to the royal house of Nagogo in 1933.[1] He attended Kankiya Elementary School and Katsina Middle School. After finishing middle school, he went to Barewa College, Zaria and the Nigerian School of Arts, Sciences and Technology also in Zaria. He joined the Nigerian army in 1956.[2]

Military career[edit]

Hassan Katsina rose through the ranks of the Nigerian military from a 2nd lieutenant in 1958, to become a Major General and member of the Supreme Military Council[3] by 1975. Then, he had become a prominent and senior Northern military officer, who had linkages with the traditional authorities in the north and the perception of a genteel character to many Nigerians in general. He served both as an apolitical army officer, early on in his career and a political appointee under a federal military regime from 1966 to 1975.

Immediately after joining the army in 1956, he underwent training in a few institutions such as the Mons Officer Cadet School and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst where he was course mates with Iliya Bisalla.[4] He became a Lt Col in 1966, after which, he was made the governor of the Northern province of Nigeria. He died on 24 July 1995.[5]

Military units[edit]

Dates of Rank[edit]

Military governor[edit]

On January 17, 1966, the then Lt Colonel Hassan Usman Katsina became the military governor of the Northern province of Nigeria. He was handed over the reins of power by major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, a major figure in the coup that first brought to power the Nigerian military and led to the death of Ahmadu Bello, the former premier of the province. Hassan Katsina stepped into a new position that was in need of strong leadership to calm nerves as a result of the military incursion to power and the death of prominent political leaders from the region. His administration chose to carry on with the progress attained by the Late Bello and brought aboard senior civil servants in the region who possessed administrative attributes that could continue with the success achieved by Ahmadu Bello. 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.[6] Hassan Katsina, also revitalized political linkage with the emirates in the north 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.[7] On the under hand, he also promised to reform the native administration and local governance. Keys figures in his administration were Ali Akilu, who later played a major role in the creation of states in the north, Ibrahim Dasuki and Sunday Awoniyi.[8]

Instances of rebellion[edit]

However, his administration sometimes had to control violent actions from the populace and in his own military camp. In May 1966, some Northern cities were engulfed in a series of violent killings in reaction to various political events of the period. The north, which in 1952 had no more than three (that is not true, as at 1950s the north had over 50 secondary schools) Barewa Zaria 1922, GCBida 1914, GSS Ilorin 1914, Rumfa Kano 1909, GCKatsina Ala 1918, GCKeffi 1954, GCMakurdi !954, Abdulazziz Attah Okene 1918, GSSKatsina 1914, Ramat Yola 1918, GCKangere 1954, GCMaiduguri 1954, Nigerian Military School Zaria 1954, and many more, go confirm) secondary schools were still suffering from inadequacy in educational facilities when the military administration of General Ironsi announced a unitary system of governance. Many Northerners feared they may be overwhelmed in administrative positions by the numerous educated southerners especially, Igbos, resorted to violence fueled by the aforementioned, and a few other reasons including the notion that the January 15, 1966 coup was an Igbo coup.[9] This led to the exodus of a number of easterners from the region.

Later life[edit]

Though, he was respected by some of the military officers who led the 1975 coup, a few of whom he had promoted rapidly, he was retired in 1975 and later rejected entreaties for a governmental appointment after his retirement.[10] He was later involved in the formation of a few political organizations such as the National Party of Nigeria [11] and the Committee of Concerned Citizens. He was also an ardent fan of the game of polo. He became the first person from Katsina to have attained prominence in the Nigerian Army.


  1. ^ Taylor, S.; Reuters Ltd (1967). The New Africans: A Guide to the Contemporary History of Emergent Africa and Its Leaders. Putnam. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  2. ^ "Nowa Omoigui. January 15, 1966: The role of Major Hassan Usman Katsina". dawodu.com. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  3. ^ Simone K. Panter-Brick. Soldiers and Oil: The Political Transformation of Nigeria. Routledge, 1978. p 67. ISBN 0-7146-3098-5
  4. ^ Siollun, Max (2009). Oil, politics and violence: Nigeria's military coup culture (1966-1976). Algora Publishing. ISBN 0-87586-708-1.
  5. ^ Burji, B.S.G. (1997). Tributes to man of the people. Burji Publishers. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  6. ^ Roman Loimeier. slamic Reform and Political Change in Northern Nigeria, Northwestern University Press, 1997. p 26.ISBN 0810113465
  7. ^ Emmanuel Ike Udogu. Nigeria In The Twenty-first Century: Strategies for Political Stability and Peaceful Coexistence. p 121-122.
  8. ^ Roman Loimeier. slamic Reform and Political Change in Northern Nigeria, Northwestern University Press, 1997. p 24.ISBN 0810113465
  9. ^ Stephen Vincent. Should Biafra Survive? Transition No. 32, Aug., 1967, p 54.
  10. ^ Simone K. Panter-Brick. Soldiers and Oil: The Political Transformation of Nigeria. Routledge, 1978. p 118. ISBN 0-7146-3098-5
  11. ^ Michael S. Radu, Richard E. Bissell. Africa in the Post-Decolonization Era. Transaction Publishers, 1984. p 43. ISBN 0-87855-496-3

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