Luka Yusuf

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Luka Nyeh Yusuf
Chief of Army Staff
In office
May 2007 – August 2008
Preceded byO.A. Azazi
Succeeded byA.B. Dambazau
Chief of Staff Armed Forces of Liberia
In office
February 2006 – May 2007
Succeeded bySuraj Abdurrahman
Personal details
Alma materNigerian Defence Academy
Military service
Allegiance Nigeria
Branch/serviceNigerian Army
RankLieutenant General

Luka Nyeh Yusuf (September 22, 1952 - June 2, 2009) was a retired Nigerian Army Lieutenant General who served as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) between 2007 and 2008.[1] He succeeded Owoye Andrew Azazi as Chief of Army Staff.[2]

Education & background[edit]

Yusuf was born on September 22, 1952 in Bara-Kagoma, Kaduna State. He attended the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Nigerian Army Artillery Corps in 1975 and was a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Course 14.  Others in his NDA class were officers such as former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike [1]


Yusuf served as Commander of the Nigerian military contingent to United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) before being appointed in 2006 as Commander in Charge of the Armed Forces of Liberia by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.[3] Upon Yusuf's appointment as Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff by President Umaru Yar Adua in 2007,[4] Liberia's President awarded General Yusuf with Liberia's Honor of Distinguished Service. He will always be remembered for his contributions in the area of bringing peace to the troubled Niger Delta Region where he described the militants as misguided children. He said that though the Nigerian Army has the wherewithal to deal with the militants, it was better for the nation to take the path of dialogue than confronting the militants in an all out offensive.

He also said all soldiers had the right to sue the army if they felt they had been slighted in any way and if any judgment was given in favour of the complainants, the army would abide by any court ruling.

His words, “I am a fulfilled man, we have been able to achieve monumental feats because, compared to the last 30 years, the difference in the last one year has been immense. We set the Army on a transformation path, we beefed up training, Eagle Ex-Ring 1V 2007 and NADCEL 2008 is an attestation to this fact. In addition to several unit level trainnings, preparations are currently on for others now. My appeal, however, is that the maintenance of our equipment should not be compromised.’’ 

He said, “we were 101 that got admission into NDA in 1973; only 67 came through two years later. Today, 28th of August 2008, I am the last man standing among the 14th Regular Course. I am an extremely fulfilled man. I am proud to have tasted battles and commanded the Nigerian Army, the pride of every soldier”.

Yusuf was very particular about the welfare of his men. “Never in the history of the Army have barracks been renovated enblock as five barracks are slated for renovation, meaning that in four years, all Army barracks in the country would have been renovated. We also made sure that our troops on peace support operations get their full allowances as stipulated by the United Nations. It has never happened before”.

He also launched the Barracks Youth Foundation for the upliftment of the teeming youngsters in the barracks.

He also cherished the transformation of the Army and he put so much energy into the realisation of that dream.[5]


Yusuf died in London on June 2, 2009 after a protracted illness at the age of 56 [6]


  1. ^ a b Auta, Benjamin. "Yusuf: The man, the soldier, the General". Daily Trust. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  2. ^ Siollun, Max. Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966-1976). Algora Publishing, 2009. p. 252. ISBN 9780875867083. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  3. ^ "LIBERIA: Sirleaf starts to form government, some appointments spark protest". IRN. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  4. ^ Agande, Ben. "Yar'Adua Decorates Azazi, Yusuf With New Positions". Vanguard Nigeria. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Outgoing Military Chief of Staff Receives Nation's Highest Military Distinction -". Executive Mansion - President of Liberia. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Former COAS, Gen. Yusuf Is Dead". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 15 February 2016.