Meet Sadique Abubakar, Nigeria’s 20th Chief of Air Staff



SADIQUE ABUBAKAR, Nigeria's 20th Chief of Air Staff Photo Life History Biography Age Family 1

Sadique Abubakar is the 20th Chief of Air Staff of the Nigerian Air Force.

FULL NAMES (alternate names)

Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, DSS, psc (+), fwc, ndc (+), MSc


He was born on the 8th of April, 1960 in Azare, Bauchi State, northern Nigeria.


He attended the St. Paul’s Primary School, Bauchi from 1967 when the Nigerian Civil War started to 1973. For his secondary education, he was at the Government Secondary School, Bauchi State. He has a Diploma in Public Administration and a Bachelors of Science degree (second class upper division) in political science. He has also a masters of science degree in strategic studies from the University of Ibadan.


He is married with children. He is shown with his family members below:

SADIQUE ABUBAKAR, Nigeria's 20th Chief of Air Staff


In November 1979, Sadique joined the Nigerian Air Force as a member of the Cadet Military Training Course (CMTC 5). For his primary flying training, he was at the Primary Flying Training Wing (PFTW) from 1980 to December 1981 when he graduated as the Best All Round Student and the Best in Flying Cadet Course. Thereafter, he was off to the Oxford Air Training School, England, where he did his Basic Flying Training.

  • Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has a tactical-type rating on the Mi-35P helicopter gunship, he is also a Training Captain on the aircraft. He is also type-rated on the Mi-17.
  • Member, Junior Division (JD), Course 33.
  • Member, Command and Staff College, Course 21.
  • Participant, National War College, September 2006 – August 2007.

Air Marshal SB Abubakar possesses a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) helicopters with Instrument Rating. He has flown a total of 7 aircraft types: Piper Warrior, Bulldog, Bell 206, Enstrom, BO-105, Mi-17 and Mi-35P.


Sadique Abubakar rose through the ranks and held the following appointments:

  • Commander, NAF Station, Maiduguri
  • Commanding Officer (CO), 207 Wing
  • Acting Commander Officer, National Emergency Management (NEMA) Air Wing
  • Directing Staff (DS) in the Junior and Senior Divisions of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College.
  • Directing Staff, National Defence College.
  • Group Operation Officer (GOO), 97 Special Operation Group, 2007 – 2008.
  • Commander, 97 Special Operation Group (SOG), PH, 2009 – 2011.
  • Air Component Commander, OPERATION RESTORE HOPE.
  • Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) Mobility Command, February 11 to 6th June, 2012.
  • SASO, Tactical Air Command, 6th June 2012 – November 2012.
  • Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, 8thNovember 2012 – 31st December, 2013.
  • Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training Command.
  • Chief of Defence Communications, Defence Headquarters (DHQ), January 2014 – January 2015.
  • Chief of Administration, Nigerian Air Force Headquarters.
  • Appointed Chief of Air Staff (CAS) by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 13th of July, 2015. He was promoted Air Marshal. See the photos below:

SADIQUE ABUBAKAR, Nigeria's 20th Chief of Air Staff

SADIQUE ABUBAKAR, Nigeria's 20th Chief of Air Staff


14th October, 2015: Abubakar and other service chiefs with Gen. David Rodriguez, Commander, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) and his team in State House, Abuja.

“My message to the insurgents is simple; it is either they give up their insurgency or they are going to face the force. We are putting together everything in place and we hope that they will keep to this advice and surrender their arms. They can come up so that we can bring this operation to an end, if not, the consequences will be terribly unbearable. ” The deadline has been set and we are going to achieve that deadline.

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” It is not only an Air Force war; it is a war that is jointly fought by all the forces.

“Our responsibility is to make it easy for the surface forces to move around to conduct their operation without any hindrance and that is exactly what we have been doing.

” It is a very coordinated operation between the air elements and the land elements and that is why we are beginning to see the result of that coordination. In trying times such as now, you need not only a sound mind but you also need a very sound body. Certainly, somebody that has a weak body is not likely to do well in the battle, so it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves that we have very trying times. We have challenges and responsibilities as members of the Nigerian Air Force and you cannot do that with only a sound mind, you need a sound body as well. We are likely going to introduce additional exercise that will keep our men in good shape so that they are able to discharge their constitutional responsibilities without any difficulties”. –  At the end of 2015 Annual 10-kilometer Walk/Jog Exercise organised by the Admin Branch of the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja, 19th September 2015.

  • “The key words in this vision, is professionalism, it’s about a disciplined force. A professional force will act within the providence of the law, a professional force will protect the lives of citizens, and a professional force will do what is expected of it in dealing with our security challenges whether it is in the north-east or other parts of the country. No organisation or society has what it wants all times, what is important for you is to recognise the importance of what you have, the limitation and try to make the best out of the resources you have available and that has to do with professionalism. A professional force will draw up a capacity building programme that will give people what they require in order to be effective in discharging their responsibilities. It will respect the rights of the citizens whether in counter-insurgency operations or wherever they find themselves. A professional force will ensure that whatever is done, is done efficiently and effectively.” – 18th September, 2015 at a meeting of senior military officers in Abuja.


Sadique Abubakar and the Police IG Solomon Arase at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa when President Buhari received the UK Chief of Defence Staff and his delegation in on 8th Oct 2015.

  • Love for nature, reading and travelling are his hobbies.
  • In September 2015, he warned Boko Haram insurgents to surrender or be crushed.

24TH SEPTEMBER 2015: Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar at a meeting with the Ambassador of Ukraine to Nigeria,  Valerii Y. Aleksandruk. Prospects of military cooperation between the two countries were discussed.


1997 – Best Officer of the Year, Tactical Air Command.

2009 – Awarded the Chief of Air Staff’s Letter of Commendation for good leadership and prudent management of resources by Air Marshal OO Petinrin.

2011 – Awarded the Chief of Air Staff’s Letter of Commendation for good leadership and prudent management of resources by Air Marshal MD Umar.

2013 – Awarded the Chief of Air Staff Special Award by Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh.

2010 – date: External Examiner, National Defence College.

2012 – 2014: Chairman, Participant’s Project Defence Panel.



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