Jeremiah Timbut Useni (born February 16, 1943) was a Lt. General in the Nigerian Army and Minister responsible for the administration of the Abuja Federal Capital Territory under the Sani Abacha military junta. He came from Plateau State. He served Nigeria in various capacities such as Minister for Transport and Quarter-Master General of the Nigeria Army. Useni also served as Deputy Chairman of one of the significant parties in Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party.
Period of military rule
Useni came to national limelight in Nigeria when he was appointed Military Governor of Nigeria's defunct Bendel State in January 1984. In 1998 Useni, then minister for the capital territory of Abuja, was rumored as a successor to General Sani Abacha. Useni states that the decision to appoint Abdulsalami Abubakar instead was based on protocol. Ten years later, Useni insisted Abacha died a natural death, contrary to rumors that he died after eating a poisoned apple.
Speaking in April 2008, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Aliyu Modibbo Umar, blamed problems with the Abuja Master Plan on the administration of Useni as a minister under the Abacha military government.
In August 2001 he was appointed head of a delegation from the Arewa Consultative Forum to meet and discuss common goals with Northern state governors and other leaders. In 2003, he was Deputy National Chairman North for the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). In November 2004, he was locked in an internal ANPP struggle with Chief Donald Etiebet, the National Chairman.
In May 2006, he left the ANPP to become chairman of a new party, the Democratic People's Party, taking with him other members of the progressive wing of the ANPP. However, he was suspended indefinitely in December 2008 for saying the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa was a national sacrifice. He was succeeded by Biodun Ogunbiyi, who criticized Useni's poor leadership, resulting in failure to win any seats in the Senate or House of Representatives in the April 2007 elections.
Useni ran for election as Senator for Plateau South in April 2011 on the DPP platform, but was defeated by Victor Lar of the PDP.