Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali was born on August 25, 1959 at Birnin-Magaji in Zamfara State to the late Alhaji Mohammed Mode Dan-Ali’s family, who was the first Emir of Birnin-Magaji Emirate. He acquired both Islamic and Western Education and secured admission into Government Secondary School, Shinkafi, from (1972-1977). He proceeded and obtained Higher National Diploma (HND) in Photogrammetric and Survey Engineering School (GIS) from Kaduna Polytechnic (1977-1982) as well as Masters Degrees in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) from Bayero University, Kano (2004-2005). He has also secured another Masters Degree in Security Studies, from the Bangladesh University of Professionals, in 2009.
He enrolled in Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna after his NYSC, and got commissioned as Lieutenant in December 1984. He later attended several civil and military courses at both home and abroad. Dan-Ali has served in different capacity in both Command and Staff which are: Captain 311 artillery Regiment Epe. He served as Battery Captain. Adjutant and Battery Commander from 1985-1988. He was also Aide De Camp (ADC) to the Honourable Minister of FCT between 1989-1993. He was also Company Commander/Instructor at Short Service Wing at NDA 1994-1996. As a Lt. Col. he was General Staff Officer Training at Headquarters Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery (HQ NACA). He was also General Staff Officer Examination between 1998 and 2000 at Army HQs and later Garrison Commander at 32 Artillery Brigade, Abeokuta.
He was also at AFCSC as Directing Staff (DS) from 2003-2005 and Colonel (Courses) at Army HQs, Abuja between 2005-2006. Furthermore, he was Commander 301 Artillery Regiment (General Support) at Gombe from 2006-2008. Prior to attending National Defence College Bangladesh, he served as the Commander Nigerian Battalion at United Nations – Africa Hybrid Mission in Sudan (UNAMID).
After a successful tour of duty in Sudan he was posted back to NDA as Chief Instructor (CI) after completing his NDC Course in 2010. He became Acting Director Military Training (DMT) before his posting to Department of Logistics at Defence HQ as Deputy Director. His hard work and academic excellence earned him promotion to the amiable rank of Brigadier General and appointed as the pioneer Commander of the newly established 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Ondo State from 2012-2013. Dan-Ali voluntarily retired from active military service August 30, 2013 with full military honours.
Brigadier General Dan-Ali retired as a well decorated senior officer. He has to his credit the following national and international medals: Forces Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS), Passed Staff Course Dagger (psc+), and Command and Field Command Medals. Others include Silver and Golden Jubilee medals, Member, National Defence College Bangladesh, Harmony and United Nation Medals. He is a founding member of the Nigerian Armed Forces Polo Association where he represented the Nigerian Military in various tournaments at home and abroad winning laurels and medals. His passion to impact on the less privileged motivated him to establish a school called El-Eman Nursery/Primary School which he personally built and donated to his community. Mansur’s accomplishment in both military and private life earned him nomination by his home state Zamfara as a delegate to the National Conference in 2014. He handled this national assignment meritoriously.
He attended various workshops, conferences and presented many papers on contemporary security issues both at home and abroad, he holds traditional title Yariman Birnin Magaji (The Prince of Birnin Magaji). He is polite, sociable, amiable and straight forward in his dealings with others. Mansur Dan-Ali is a committed APC member who staunchly support General Buhari’s aspiration for presidency and change agenda. In October 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari nominated Mansur Muhammed Dan-Ali as ministerial nominee representing Zamfara State and was subsequently appointed Honourable Minister of Defence in November 2015. During his leisure time, he enjoys playing polo and jogging. He is currently the captain of Armed Forces Polo Veterans Team. The Honourable Minister was recently conferred with the prestigious title of Sarkin Yakin Zamfara by Zamfara State Council of traditional rulers. The Honourable Minister is happily married with children and grandchildren.