Former Chief of General Staff, Oladipo Diya, is dead. Diya, who was the de facto second-in-command to the late military dictator, Sani Abacha, died at the age of 78.
Had he lived for few days for, he would be 79 on April 3.
A statement issued by Barrister Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of the family, confirmed death of the former Chief of Defense Staff.
The statement said Diya died in the early hours of Sunday.
“On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; We announce the passing on to Glory of our dear Husband, Father, Grandfather, brother, Lt- General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (Rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.
“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023.
“Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course,” it reads.
Here are seven things to know about the late General
1. He was born on Monday, 3 April, 1944 in Odogbolu, Ogun State, then Western Region, Nigeria.
2. Diya attended Yaba Methodist School, Lagos from 1950 – 1956 and thereafter proceeded to his hometown, Odogbolu, as a pioneer student of Odogbolu Grammar School, from 1957 – 1962.
3. He joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian civil war. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in March 1967. He later attended the US Army School of Infantry, the Command and Staff College, Jaji (1980–1981) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru. While serving in the military, Diya studied Law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained an LLB degree, and then at the Nigerian Law School, where he was called to Bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
4. He became General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985 and Commandant, National War College (1991–1993)
5. He was the former Chief of General Staff, who served as deputy to the late dictator, Sani Abacha.
6. In 1997 Diya and dissident soldiers in the military allegedly planned to overthrow the regime of Sani Abacha. The alleged coup was uncovered by forces loyal to Abacha, and Diya and his cohorts were jailed. Diya was tried in a military tribunal and was given the death penalty. Upon the death of Abacha in 1998, Diya was pardoned by the late Head of State’s successor, Abdusalami Abubakar.
7. He was Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985.