General Owoye Andrew Azazi – The Life of An ICON
General Owoye Andrew Azazi was born in Peretorugbene in Bayelsa State on February 1, 1952 to James and Abi Azazi. He had his early education in old Bendel State of Nigeria where he attended Government College Bomadi and graduated in the class of 1968, after which he joined the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Combatants Cadet – Course 12 on July 3rd, 1972.
General Owoye Andrew Azazi held an Msc. in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan, and completed the Staff Intelligence and Security Course, School of Service Intelligence, Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom and Combined Strategic Intelligence Training Programme, Defence Intelligence College, Washington DC, United States. He was a graduate of the Command and Staff College and National War College Nigeria, where he won the President and Commander-in-Chief’s merit award for best all round performance.
He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 14 December 1974 and at the end of combined training won bronze medal for being first in Art subjects. He has served Nigeria as a Brigade Intelligence Officer, Divisional Intelligence Officer and Colonel Coordination, Headquarters Directorate of Military Intelligence. He was Assistant Defence Attache at the Nigerian Embassy of Nigeria, Washington DC, United States for three years (1982-1985). He served as a member of the Directing Staff of the Command and Staff College from where he was posted to Lagos Garrison Command as the Intelligence Officer and subsequently to the Directorate of Military Intelligence as Colonel Coordination. He was later posted to the Training and Doctrine Command as Colonel Research and Development and then as Director of Training. He was then posted to War College. On graduation from War College
he was appointed Colonel General Staff, 81 Division of the Nigerian Army and later Deputy chief of Defence Intelligence, Defence Intelligence Agency. General Azazi also served as a member of the Directing Staff of the National War College Abuja, rising to become its Principal Staff Officer Coordination. He was appointed Director of Military Intelligence in 2003.
He was an external examiner at the National War College and a Guest Lecturer on Military Operations Other Than War and Revolution in Military Affairs. A member of the Policy Review Committee 2000/2001 and chaired the Committee of Nigerian Army in the Next Decade in May 2004. he was appointed the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Nigerian Army in January of 2005 and subsequently Chief of Army Staff (COAS)in June 2006. In May 2007, he was appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and in August 2008, General Azazi announced his retirement from military service. He had one of the fastest growing military careers in the mordern day era wearing the ranks of Major General, Lieutenant General and General between May 2006 and June 2007.
He came out of retirement in October 2012 when he was appointed National Security Adviser (NSA) by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. As the NSA, General Azazi worked with other countries, notably African neighbours, European countries and the United States, towards developing a new security and counter terrorism strategy with his approach to reforming Nigeria’s security and intelligence apparatus being low key and behind the scene. He was replace as NSA by Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.) and up until his death served the nation in other capacities.
The General held his family in high esteem, pushing immediate and extended family members to excellence in all endeavours and was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather and friend. He was married to Mrs. Alero Azazi and was an avid reader with a flair for music, historical books and biographies.
Honours & Military Decorations:
1. Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR)
2. Grand Service Star (GSS)
3. Distinguished Service Star (DSS)
4. Meritorious Service Star (MSS)
5. Force Service Star (FSS)
6. Corps Medal of Honour (CMH)
7. Pass Staff Course Dagger (psc+)
8. Fellow of the War College Dagger (fwc+)
9. President and Commander-in-Chief’s Merit Award.
MAY HIS GENTLE SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE!