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Nigerian Army


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The Nigerian Army (NA) the largest of the Nigerian Armed Forces, has about 100,000 professional personnel. The original elements of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) in Nigeria were formed in 1900.

During the Second World War, British-trained Nigerian troops saw action with the 1st (West Africa) Infantry Brigade, the 81st and the 82nd (West Africa) Divisions which fought in the East African Campaign (World War II) and in the Far East.

In Nigeria, from a force of 8,000 in five infantry battalions and supporting units, strength rose to around 120,000 in three divisions by the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970.In terms of doctrine, the task of the Federal Nigerian army did not fundamentally change: its task remained to close with and defeat an organised enemy.

The rapid expansion saw a severe decline in troop quality. The Nigerian expansion process led to an extreme shortage of commissioned officers, with newly-created lieutenant-colonels commanding brigades, and platoons and companies often commanded by sergeants and warrant officers. This resulted in tentative command-and-control and in rudimentary staff work.One result of the weak direction was that the Federals' three divisions fought independently, and competed for men and materiel. Writing in a 1984 study, Major Michael Stafford of the US Marine Corps noted that "Inexperienced, poorly trained and ineptly led soldiers manifested their lack of professionalism and indiscipline by massacres of innocent civilians and a failure to effectively execute infantry tactics."Among the results was the 1967Asaba massacre.

The influence of individual personalities are generally greater in the armies of developing states, as they tend to have weaker institutional frameworks. Key personalities involved in Nigeria included then-Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo is particularly important due to his efforts to reorganise his command, 3 Division, during the civil war to improve its logistics and administration. The reorganisation he instituted made the Division capable of carrying out the offensive that ended the civil war.

 nigerian army

Structure

The Nigerian Army fought the civil war significantly under-resourced; Obasanjo's memoirs chronicle the lack of any stocks of extra equipment for mobilisation, and the "haphazard and unreliable system of procurement and provisioning" which lasted for the entire period of the war.Arms embargoes imposed by several Western countries made the situation more difficult

Military divisions in the Nigerian Army originated during the Nigerian Civil War, when in August–September 1967, 1 Area Command at Kaduna was redesignated 1 Infantry Division, 2 Division was formed under Colonel Murtala Mohammed, and the then Lagos Garrison Organisation was renamed 3 Infantry Division, later to become 3 Marine Commando Division.

"At the end of the Civil War, the three divisions of the army were reorganised into four divisions, with each controlling territories running from North to South in order to deemphasise the former regional structure. Each division thus had access to the sea thereby making triservice cooperation and logistic support easier. This deployment formula was later abandoned in favour of the present assignment of sectors to the divisions. Thus 1 Division with HQ at Kaduna is allocated the North West sector; 2 Division with HQ at lbadan South West sector, 3 Division with HQ at Jos North East sector and 82 Division with HQ at Enugu South East sector."

Its formations include the 1st Division, headquartered in Kaduna in the north-west, and 2nd Division (HQ Ibadan in the South-West, which includes 32 Artillery Brigade at Abeokuta). 2nd Division also possibly includes 4 Brigade at Benin City, with 19 Battalion atOkitipupa and 195 Battalion at Agenebode. 52 Signal Regiment may be the divisional signals unit. 3rd Armoured Division's headquarters is at Rukuba Cantonment, Jos, in the North-East, and includes 21 Armoured Brigade Maiduguri, 23 Brigade Yola, and 33 Artillery Brigades. 81st Division (Amphibious) HQ in Lagos, which includes the 9th Brigade, based at the Ikeja compound in Lagos, 82nd Division (Airborne and Amphibious) HQ in Enugu in the South-East, which includes the 2 Brigade at Port Harcourt, 13 Brigade at Calabar and the 34 Artillery Brigade at Obinze/Owerri. The Composite Division at Enugu was formed in 1964 as 4th Infantry Division, in 1975 became Lagos Garrison Organization; in 1981 became 4th Composite Division; became a Composite Division in May 2002 3rd Armoured Division was responsible in 1983 for the security of areas bordering Chad

Lagos and Abuja have garrison commands, with the Lagos garrison as large as a division. 81 Division was the youngest Division in the Nigerian Army. The Division was formed on 26 May 2002 when the Lagos Garrison Command (as it then was) was upgraded to a full-fledged Division. The Division therefore inherited the security roles hitherto performed by the defunct Lagos Garrison Command.However a later undated article in a Nigerian online newspaper says the 81 Division was later again renamed the Lagos Garrison Command. In the 1980s, the Army's brigades included the 7th Infantry Brigade in Sokoto. There are also Divisional Artillery Brigades, among which are the 32 and 34 Artillery Brigades,[ ordnance corps units as well as Combat Engineer Regiments, and many other service support units spread across the country.


 
Training and Doctrine Command formed in 1981, and is located at Minna. It supervises the army's schools, including the Depot. The Army sponsors the Nigerian Military School at Zaria.

Nigerian military forces abroad

In December 1983, the new Major General Muhammadu Buhari regime announced that Nigeria could no longer afford an activist anti-colonial role in Africa. Anglophonemembers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) established ECOMOG, dominated by the Nigerian Army, in 1990 to intervene in the civil war in Liberia. The Army has demonstrated its capability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain brigade-sized forces in support of peacekeeping operations in Liberia. Smaller army forces have been previously sent on UN and ECOWAS deployments in the former Yugoslavia, Angola, Rwanda, Somalia, and Sierra Leone.

That policy statement did not deter Nigeria under Generals Ibrahim Babangida in 1990 and Sani Abacha in 1997 from sending peacekeeping troops as part ofECOMOG under the auspices of ECOWAS into Liberia and later Sierra Leone when civil wars broke out in those countries. President Olusegun Obasanjo in August 2003 committed Nigerian troops once again into Liberia, at the urging of the United States, to provide an interim presence until the UN's force UNMIL arrived. Charles Taylor was subsequently eased out of power and exiled to Nigeria.

In October 2004, Nigerian troops again deployed into Darfur, Sudan to spearhead an African Union force to protect civilians in Darfur.

army in red cap

 

In January 2013, Nigeria began to deploy troops to Mali as part of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali.

Nigeria claimed to have contributed more than 20,000 troops and police officers to various UN missions since 1960. The Nigeria Police Force and troops have served in places like UNIPOM (UN India-Pakistan Observer mission) 1965, UNIFIL in Lebanon 1978, the UN observer mission, UNIIMOG supervising the Iran-Iraq ceasefire in 1988, former Yugoslavia 1998, East Timor 1999, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) 2004.

Nigerian officers have served as chiefs of defence in other countries, with Brigadier General Maxwell Khobe serving as Sierra Leone chief of staff in 1998-1999 and Nigerian officers acting as Command Officer-in-Charge of the Armed Forces of Liberia from at least 2007.

Chiefs of the Nigerian Army

Following is a chronological list of officers holding the position of General Officer Commanding (GOC) or Chief of Army Staff (COAS)

Lt Gen Ishaya BamaiyiDSS Usawc psc(+) COAS March 1996-May 1999

 

OfficerTitlePeriod ServedRemarks
Maj Gen Kenneth G. Exham   1956–1959 Duke of Wellington's Regiment
Maj Gen Foster GOC    
Maj Gen John Alexander Mackenzie GOC 1963  
Maj Gen Sir Christopher Welby-Everard GOC 1963–1965 Last British GOC
Maj Gen Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi GOC 1965–1966 Later military ruler
Lt Col Yakubu Gowon FSS COAS January 1966 - July 1966 Later military ruler
Lt Col Joseph Akahan OFR FSS COAS May 1967 - May 1968  
Maj Gen Hassan Katsina rcds psc COAS May 1968 - January 1971  
Maj Gen David Ejoor COAS January 1971 - July 1975  
Lt Gen Theophilus Danjuma COAS July 1975 - October 1979  
Lt Gen Ipoola Alani Akinrinade CFR FSS COAS October 1979 - April 1980 nil
Lt Gen Gibson Jalo CFR FSS JSS COAS April 1980 - October 1981  
Lt Gen Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi CFR FSS COAS October 1981 - October 1983  
Maj Gen Ibrahim Babangida COAS January 1984 - August 1985 Later military ruler
Lt Gen Sani Abacha GCON, DSS mni COAS August 1985 - August 1990 Later military ruler
Lt Gen Salihu Ibrahim FSS FHWC COAS August 1990 - September 1993  
Lt Gen Aliyu Gusau Mohammed DSS rcds COAS September 1993 - November 1993  
Maj Gen Chris Alli CRG DSS ndc psc(+) COAS November 1993 - August 1994??  
Maj Gen Alwali Kazir DSS Usawc psc(+) COAS August 1994 - March 1996
Lt Gen Victor Malu DSS mni fwc psc COAS May 1999 - April 2001  
Lt Gen Alexander Ogomudia COAS April 2001 - June 2003 Later Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
Lt Gen Martin Luther Agwai COAS June 2003 June 2006 Later Commander of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur.
Lt Gen Owoye Andrew Azazi COAS 1 June 2006 - May 2007 Later Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
Lt Gen Luka Yusuf CFR GSS GPP DSO psc(+) fwc Msc COAS June 2007 - August 2008  
Lt Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau CFR GSS psc ndc fwc(+) PhD COAS August 2008 - September 2010  
Lt Gen Onyabor Azubuike Ihejirika CFR GSS psc(+) fwc fniqs COAS September 2010 - Date

 

Phone 08123430505, 08123430506,
Email support@narecruitment.org
Website Website: http://www.nigerianarmy.net/
 

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