Monrovia - Major General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman, who led post-war Liberia’s Armed Forces resurgence has died. The former Commander In Charge of the AFL died Wednesday in New York, where he was undergoing treatment for an undisclosed ailment he had been battling for some time now. Defense Minister Brownie Samukai told FrontPageAfrica late Wednesday that Liberia and the AFL is indebted to Major General Abdurrahman for the immense contributions he made to help transform Liberia’s postwar military.
Samukai said he received the news of the former AFL chief at about 11:35pm local time, from Nigeria, informing him of Major General Abdurrahman’s passing. “He apparently was not well when he left here last year. He went to New York, where he was being treated. The treatment was going on quite well from what we understand until the last few days,” said Minister Samukai.
He recalled a military man well grounded in the field who was always willing and ready to teach. “He always told us that the best morale that you can give a soldier is adequate training.” Minister Samukai said President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who was in the process of preparing a speech to recognize the former AFL chief’s contributions to the Liberian army in observance of the upcoming Armed Forces Day on Feb 11, has been informed. “The President is deeply saddened by the loss. His legacy in training the Liberian army will be greatly remembered.”
At his turning over last February, Maj. Gen. Abdurraham said he was happy to have helped the new Army and has no doubt that the new Army as a force for good can carry out its duties well. “I want to thank the new Army and the people of Liberia for accepting me to help in the reconstruction of the new Armed Forces of Liberia who I have no doubt can carry out their duties efficiently.”
Major General Abdurrahman assumed command of the army in June 2007, succeeding fellow Nigerian, Lt. General Luka Yusuf, who Major General S.A. Abdurrahman held a Philosophy Degree in Arch from Heriot-Watt University in the United Kingdom. Born on September 9, 1954, Major General Abdurrahman was an Architect, Engineer Officer of the Nigerian Army prior to taking up his post in Liberia.
Abdurrahman was educated at LEA Primary School, Maiduguri Road, KADUNA (1961–67); Government College, KEFFI WASC, 1972. He entered the Nigerian Army as an Officer Cadet on NDA Regular Course 14 in 1973. He then attended the Nigerian Defence Academy, KADUNA NDACE, 1974; the Engineer Officers' Orientation Course (EYOOC) NAETS, 1976; the Unit Security Officer's Course NAIS, 1976; Ahmadu Bello University, ZARIA BSc (Arch), 1979; the Engineer Young Officers' Course (EYOC) NASME, 1981; Ahmadu Bello University, ZARIA MSc (Arch), 1981; Heriot-Watt University, EDINBURGH, UK PhD (Arch), 1985; Army Junior Staff Course (AJSC) CSC, 1986; Engineer Squadron Commanders' Course NASME, 1986; Senior Command and Staff Course (CSC) CSC, 1988; Commanding Officers' Course (COC) ICS, 1992; National War College 2000; International Joint Operations Planning Course (IJOPC) UK, 2003.