Sunday, 3 December 2017

Mamman Jiya Vatsa OFR Birthday...Military (RIP)

                                        Mamman Jiya Vatsa OFR

Major General Mamman Jiya Vatsa OFR (3 December 1940 – 5 March 1986) was a senior Nigerian Army officer and writer who was executed by the government of Major General Ibrahim Babangida on 5 March 1986 following a military tribunal conviction for treason associated with an abortive coup. He served as Minister of the Federal Capital Abuja, and was a member of the Supreme Military Council.

Early Life and Education
Vatsa was childhood friends with Ibrahim Babangida and both men were peers who attended the same educational institutions. Like Babangida, Vatsa attended the Provincial Secondary School, Bida from 1957 to 1962 and started his career with the Nigerian Army by enrolling in the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) on 10 December 1962.

Military Career

Since the NMTC was not yet an officer candidate commissioning institution (it would later become one in 1964 when it was upgraded and renamed Nigerian Defence Academy, the Nigerian government sent NMTC cadets who had completed their preparatory cadet training to foreign military academies for officer training and commissioning. After graduating from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Vatsa was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army

Vatsa commanded the 21 battalion during the Nigerian Civil War and wrote academic articles about the operational aspects of certain battles.In 1970, Vatsa was an instructor at the Nigerian Defence Academy, before being posted as a Principal Staff Officer at Army Headquarters. Subsequently, he commanded the 30 Infantry Brigade (Ogoja) until July 1975, 13 Infantry Brigade (Calabar) until February 1976, and the Brigade of Guards until 1979

 It was during his tenure that the HQ of the Brigade of Guards was moved from Dodan Barracks to its Kofo Abayomi location in Victoria Island before transfer to Abuja. Vatsa subsequently served as Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI) from late 1979. He, along with Lt. Col Bitiyong developed the Special Warfare Wing and established the doctrinal basis for the establishment of the 82nd Composite Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu.

Vatsa was instrumental in naming the Division "82nd Div" after the 82nd West African Division in Burma. During the latter part of President Shehu Shagari's government, Vatsa was appointed Quarter-Master General (QMG), the post he held as of the time of the coup of December 1983.

 He was on leave during the Buhari coup against Shagari and did not take part. During the 27 August 1985 Babangida take-over, General Vatsa was in Mecca with Major General Tunde Idiagbon on pilgrimage. As of the time of his arrest in December 1985 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit treason he was the Federal Minister for the Federal Capital Territory. He was a member of the AFRC, Federal Executive Council and occasionally, the National Council of States, the only military officer, other than the C-in-C, to be a member of all three ruling bodies.

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