The Life of Dan Suleiman
Air Commodore Dan Suleiman was an anti-colonialism activist and one of the founding leaders of NADECO. Additionally, he served as first military administrator of old Plateau State and later Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia. Until his death on February 1 2023.
He served in various capacities with the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, including as deputy chief of staff and counsel for Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. Now in private practice, his primary area of concentration lies with white collar criminal defense cases and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations.
Early Life and Education
Suleiman was a man of strong convictions. An advocate of national participation, after retiring from the Air Force in 1980 he engaged in advocacy and politics – particularly his pioneer military administration of newly carved-out Plateau State marked by forthrightness and democratic ideallism. Suleiman put forward a proposal that sought to redefine indigeneship and citizenship rights within this state to ensure everyone who lived there had full citizenship rights regardless of ethnic origin.
Nigeria needs more leaders like Suleiman who will bring unity to their nation and inspire national solidarity against injustice. He hails from Guyuk in Adamawa State and was one of the founding titans and consistent activists behind NADECO.
Suleiman served on the Supreme Military Council and as Federal Commissioner for Health under Murtala Mohammed’s regime, in addition to serving as pioneer military administrator of Plateau State. A man of deep democratic conviction and nationalist ideals.
He was one of few outspoken pro-democracy activists of that era, serving as founder and leader of NADECO to oppose annulled June 12 elections, while leading Middle Belt Forum’s fight against marginalisation of its constituents in Nigeria.
At Covington, Suleiman represented institutions and individuals involved in high-stakes white collar investigations and litigation matters, drawing upon his experience as an official of the Department of Justice Criminal Division – specifically his position as deputy chief of staff and counselor to Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
Achievement and Honors
Suleiman was a staunch patriot and nationalist, never willing to compromise his principles for anything other than patriotism and nationalist ideals. From July 1975 until March 1976 he served on General Murtala Muhammed’s Supreme Military Council; from March 1976 until its creation out of Benue Plateau State (in July 1978), he also held the office of governorship over Plateau State (created from March 1976 to 1978).
Later he went on to lead the Middle Belt Forum as chairman. President Shehu Shagari presented him with the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), while University of West Africa gave him an award called Convocation Postgraduate Research Travel Award (PGRTA) so he could study more effective solutions to insecurity in his region.
He was one of the founding members of NADECO and led resistance against Sani Abacha’s dictatorship while advocating for democratic restoration. He died on February 1, 2023.
Suleiman and his brother found refuge during Lebanon War in France where they struggled to make ends meet. Though he graduated top of his class at Dauphine University with impressive financial analytical talent, no one hired him – instead, he ended up working as a falafel cook to make ends meet.
He was one of the founding members of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and advocated for revalidation of June 12, 1993 elections conducted under General Sani Abacha. Furthermore, he played an instrumental role in Nigeria’s transition back into democracy.
President Muhammadu Buhari offers his condolences to Air Commodore Dan Suleiman’s family following his passing, recalling how he was an unwavering patriot and tireless pro-democracy activist during his career as an Air Force General.
Suleiman is a fashion tycoon with numerous brands like Hawes & Curtis for menswear and Ghost for womenswear, owned by Low Profile Holdings which he estimates as being worth an estimated PS200million.
At Valley Ranch Mosque, he encouraged his congregants to join other organizations in fighting bigotry and discrimination. Not just on hot-button issues that directly affected Muslims but across society as a whole.
He remains single, keeping his personal life private and not disclosing any details regarding past relationships or affairs, nor revealing whether any children exist. An avid music lover, this entrepreneur enjoys collecting musical instruments. Furthermore, his reading choices tend to focus on history, politics, and religious topics.