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Alhaji Waziri Kolo Ibrahim (1926-1992)

Alhaji Waziri Kolo Ibrahim was a wealthy Kanuri businessman from Borno State, Nigeria who became a prominent politician and party leader during the Nigerian Second Republic. He was one of the original founders and financiers of the Nigerian People’s Party but later left the party to form the Greater Nigerian People’s Party(GNPP) in 1978. As leader of the GNPP he won approximately 10% of the vote in the 1979 Nigerian presidential elections.

Early life

Ibrahim was born on February 26, 1926 in Yerwa, Maiduguri. His father, Baba Alhaji Ibrahim Ibn Mohammed was an Islamic scholar; Baba Alhadji named his son after a friend who was then the Waziri of Borno. Waziri’s early childhood was in Damaturu where his father was an Imam of a local mosque. He attended Damaturu Elementary School (1936-1939), the Maiduguri Middle School (1940-1943) and Kaduna College, 1944-1947. At Kaduna Collge, he was classmates with Prof Umaru Shehu; while in school, it was the desire of the then Chief Education Officer of Borno, Kashim Ibrahim that Waziri should enter the teaching service after graduation. However, Waziri did not further his education after Kaduna College nor was did he teach. He chose to work with U.A.C. as a trainee manager in 1948 and rose to become a cashier and storekeeper at U.A.C.’s, Maiduguri branch in 1951. He then worked at Jos in 1952 before becoming a labour and staff manager for the Benue area in 1953. By the time he left the firm, he was the Kaduna district manager.

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Hassan Katsina (1933 – 1995)

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

Hassan Usman Katsina was born in Katsina to the royal house of Nagogo in 1933. 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.

Military career

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 by 1975. Then, he had become a prominent and senior Northern military officer, who had linkages with the traditionalauthorities 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.  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.

Read more: Hassan Katsina (1933 – 1995)

Aliyu Dan Sidi Emir of Zazzau (1903-1921)

Aliyu dan Sidi is the grandson of the first Fulani Emir of zazzau, Mallam Musa Bamalli. Aliyu dan Sidi lived with his teacher/tutor Mallam Abubakar Limamin Durum since the age of 5. He was a very intelligent pupil who turned out to be the tutor’s favorite to a point that fostered jealousy from his colleagues. 

He became the Emir of Zazzau at the age of 62, though a bit elderly, his God-given wisdom and brilliance remained intact. As a result, he was been cheered with chants like “Aliyu dan Sidi Sakaina mai iya ruwa”. Moreover, his courage was so immense that during the railway construction from Lagos-Kano, he rode with some of his men to Bida, which was before they reached Kano. His presence lifted their spirits and served as a motivation which also curbed some rumors going round about the railway project. Aliyu dan Sidi wrote a song titled “Wakar Diga” dedicated to that project. 

Read more: Aliyu Dan Sidi Emir of Zazzau (1903-1921)

Abubakar Gumi (1922–1992)

Abubakar Gumi was an outspoken Islamic scholar and Grand Khadi of the Northern Region of Nigeria (1962–1967), a position which made him a central authority in the interpretation of the Sharia legal system in the region. He was a close associate of Ahmadu Bello, the premier of the region in the 1950s and 1960s and became the Grand Khadi partly as a result of his friendship with the premier. In 1967, the position was abolished.

Gumi emerged as a vocal leader during the colonial era, where he felt the practice of indirect rule had weakened the religious power of Emirs and encouraged westernization. Beginning in the 1960s, public conflicts emerged between him and leaders of the Sufi brotherhood, some of whom he later debated on television programs in the 1970s and 1980s. By that time, he had managed to keep himself and his ideas in the spotlight by holding Friday talking sessions inside the Kaduna Central Mosque. He used the sessions to revive his criticism of established authorities based on his views of a back to the source approach or the need to embrace a puritanical practice of Islam. He also criticized harshly the involvement of mysticism and the resulting syncreticized practice of the Sufis.


Read more: Abubakar Gumi (1922–1992)

Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (1906 – 1975)

Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975. As king, he is credited with rescuing the country’s finances and implementing a policy of modernization and reform, while his main foreign policy themes were pan-Islamism, anti-Communism, and pro-Palestinian nationalism. He successfully stabilized the kingdom’s bureaucracy and his reign had significant popularity among Saudis. In 1975, he was assassinated by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid.

Early life

Faisal bin Abdulaziz was born in Riyadh on 14 April 1906. He is the third son of Saudi Arabia’s former king, King Abdulaziz. His mother was Tarfa bint Abdullah bin Abdullatif Al Sheikh,[8] whom Abdulaziz had married in 1902 after capturing Riyadh. She was from the family of the Al ash-Sheikh, descendants of Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab. Faisal’s maternal grandfather, Abdullah bin Abdullatif, was one of Abdulaziz’s principal religious teachers and advisers.

Faisal’s mother died in 1912 when he was quite young, and he was raised by his maternal grandfather, who taught him the Quran and the principles of Islam, an education which left an impact on him for the remainder of his life.

Faisal had only one sister, Nurah. She was married to her cousin, Khalid bin Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman, son of Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman.

Faisal was raised in an atmosphere in which courage was extremely valued and reinforced, unlike that of most of his half brothers. He was motivated by his mother to develop the values of tribal leadership.

Read more: Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (1906 – 1975)