Friday, December 14, 2012

Profiling Nigerians: General Theophilus Danjuma: The Coup Maker

 This week, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma’s 75th birthday ceremony occasioned an outpouring of generous tributes from many people and a harvest of advertisements for Nigerian newspapers.
By all standards, TY Danjuma is one of the most remarkable personalities in the history of Nigeria.

Profiling Nigerians: General Theophilus Danjuma Nigeria's coup maker

General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, the civil war veteran, the coup maker, former chief of army staff, former defence minister, big corporate player, oil magnate and one of Nigeria’s rich men was 75 years old on Sunday 9 December.
His net worth is estimated at $600 million, according to Forbes. Some say Forbes arithmetic may actually be an under estimation of his true assets.

Danjuma's political career began as Chief of Army Staff from 1975-1979 during Obansanjo's regime following the coup that led to the death of Gen Murtala Mohammed. He was a close ally, loyalist and confidante of the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, who rewarded him with an oil block. The block,which was located in Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta region,was left unexploited for several years. In 2006, he reportedly sold it to China’s offshore oil company CNOOC  for  $1 billion. After taxes, and paying off various dues, he was left with over $500 million setup the TY Danjuma foundation with a $100 million endowment.

The TY Danjuma Foundation is one of Africa’s largest charities, and Danjuma is Nigeria's biggest philanthropist.

Also, under Obasanjo Danjuma served as Nigeria's Minister of Defense from May 1999 until his voluntary retirement at the age of 41 in 2003.

Danjuma is reputedly the owner of South Atlantic Petroleum, a major stakeholder in the Akpo oil and gas field off the coast of Nigeria.


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