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    Former army chief, Mohammed Wushishi, dies at 81

    A former Chief of Army Staff, Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi (retd.), is dead.

    Wushishi, who hailed from Niger state, was said to have died on Saturday at a hospital in London, according to a statement by Mary Noel Berje, spokesperson for the governor of Niger.

    Governor of Niger, Abubakar Bello, was quoted as expressing sadness over the development and sympathised with the family of the deceased.

    Part of the statement read, “Niger state Governor and Chairman North Central Governors Forum (NCGF) Abubakar Sani Bello, has sympathised with the people of Wushishi local government area, Kontagora Emirate and the entire Nigerlites over the death of an elder statesman Gen. Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi (Rtd).

    “The Chairman North Central Governors Forum said government and people of Niger State are indeed saddened by the demise of the Former Chief of Army staff who coordinated the activities of elder statesmen in the state over the years and made immense contributions to the peace, growth and development of the state and Nigeria as a whole.

    “The Governor maintained that even after active service, late Gen. Wushishi continued to offer useful counsel that helped in the development of the society.

    “He said the death of Gen. Wushishi has created a vacuum that can only be filled by Allah, pointing out that the society will miss his wise counsel which are most needed now in overcoming the numerous challenges that have bedevilled Nigeria in general.

    “The Chairman, NCGF, prayed Allah to forgive all the shortcomings of the deceased and grant him Aljahna Firdausi as well as give the entire people of the state and close associates the fortitude to bear the great loss.

    “This loss is for all Nigerians considering the very many contributions the deceased has made in uniting the country as a soldier and ensuring its growth and development.”

    General Wushishi was born in 1940 in Wushishi, Headquarters of Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State. Wushishi joined the army on 21 April 1961, and attended the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna, and then the Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot in the United Kingdom.

    He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 12 January 1962 He later attended the United States War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

    He served as a member of the United Nations Peace Keeping force in Congo in the early 1960s. He was appointed Deputy Commandant, Army School of Infantry in July 1975.

    He served as Federal Commissioner for Industries (January 1975 – March 1976) and was a member of the Supreme Military Council from 1976 to 1978. He was Chief of Army Staff (COAS) from October 1981 to October 1983 during the Shehu Shagari administration.

    He was required to retire on 3 January 1984, after the 31 December 1983 coup in which General Muhammadu Buhari came to power. After retirement, he entered business. He became chairman of the board of directors of UAC of Nigeria, retiring on 1 January 2010 at age 70.

    He was also Chairman of the board of UPDC (property development), a director of Stanbic IBTC Bank and MTS first Wireless, and a member of the board of Acorn Petroleum. He received the national Honour, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.

    Copyright PUNCH.

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