The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has promoted and appointed Lt Gen Owoye Andrew Azazi as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Lt Gen Azazi was until his new appointment the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Kaduna. He replaces General Martin Luther Agwai who was also promoted and appointed the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
The New COAS appointment took effect from 1st June 2006, as contained in the statement dated 30 May 2006, issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Obong Ufot Ekaette.
Staff Intelligence and Security Course, School of Service Intelligence, Ashford, Kent, UK and Combined Strategic Intelligence Training Programme, Defence Intelligence College, Washington DC USA. He is a graduate of the Command and Staff College Nigeria, and the National War College, Nigeria where he won the President and Commander –in – Chief merit award for best all round performance
MSc Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan.
He had his early education in old Bendel State of Nigeria after which he joined the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Combatant cadet course 12 on 3 July, 1972. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 14 December, 1974. At the end of the combined training he won the bronze medal for being first in Art subjects.
Lieutenant General OA Azazi has served as a Brigade Intelligence Officer, Divisional Intelligence Officer and Colonel Coordination, Headquarters Directorate of Military Intelligence. He was assistance Defence Attaché at the Embassy of Nigeria, Washington DC, USA for 3 years. 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 a Colonel Coordination. He was later posted to the Training and Doctrine Command as Colonel Research and Development and then Director of Training. 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 Directing Staff of the National War College, Abuja rising later to become its Principal Staff Officer, Coordination. He was appointed Director of Military Intelligence in 2003.
His recent seminar and conference highlights include participation at the Forum on African Exit Strategies, Institute for Higher national Defence Studies (IHEDN), Paris, June 2004, Member Curriculum Review Workshop for Senior Leadership Seminar on the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies/National Defence University, USA and facilitator, Seminar on Energy and Security in Africa March 2005. He also participated in the OECD/DAC Workshop on Security System Reforms held in Ghana in December 2005.
The senior officer is an external examiner at the National War College and a Guest Lecturer on Military Operations Other Than War and Revolution in Military Affairs. General Azazi was a member of Nigeria’s Defence Policy Review Committee 2000/2001. He was appointed Chairman of the Committee of Nigerian Army in the Next Decade in May 2004.
He was recently a Guest Lecturer at the Department of Psychology of the Post-Graduate School, University of Ibadan and the Friedrich Ebert Siftung Institute Sensitization Training Workshop for Experts and Personnel in the Security Sector in West Africa. He is married with children. His hobbies include reading biographies, Nigerian Music and playing squash. Until his latest appointment, Lieutenant General Azazi was General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Nigerian Army.