A Nigerian Air Force Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter

A Nigerian Air Force Mi-24D Hind (aka Mi-25) attack helicopter showing a nose-mounted quad-barreled 12.7mm HMG

25 July, 2014

In a determined effort to eliminate terrorism by routing insurgents from their hideouts in parts of the North East and North West once and for all, the Federal Government has placed purchase orders for 40 helicopters for attack and transportation from the United States and Russia, DailyPost can report.

Reliable security sources confided in PRNigeria that some of the helicopters will arrive the country as early as next month, while the remaining will be received certainly before the end of the year to boost the Nigerian Airforce.

Some military and other security forces are currently frustrated about their inability to storm the notorious Sambisa Forest where Boko Haram militants are keeping the abducted Chibok secondary school girls and also serving as operational headquarters of the

The reason, according to PRNIgeria findings is that security operatives are not only aware of the locations of the girls but are also closely monitoring the way that the girls are being moved around, hence they are afraid of the backlash should any harm befall the girls in the course of a forced rescue.

Past cases of attempts to rescue British and Italian nationals in Sokoto and SETRACO workers which boomerang are the reasons that the security forces have been reluctant in storming the forest and rescuing the girls.

“Oh, I wish we could have a consensus of opinion from Nigerians that we should storm the forest and rescue the girls. The day Nigerians decide that enough is enough in one voice, to clear the forest will take less than one week,” a top security source bemoaned.

Already, security forces have succeeded in ridding Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa and part of Bauchi states of Fulani cattle rustlers. “These have been completely eliminated”, the source declared.

The officers gave the assurance that although, terrorism like any asymmetric wars have proven to be difficult to combat anywhere in the world, the Nigerian security forces would have found it easier to deal with, had there not been politicisation of the issue.

Nonetheless, it was gathered that Damboa will soon be rescued from terrorists who recently took over the town after killing scores of residents. A special unit of terrorism forces have just been trained
under an international agreement and are ready to be fully deployed to volatile and prone areas of terrorism activities.

“Let me tell you that some communities are peculiar in the war on terror as some of their residents supported Boko Haram in the ambush and attacks on our troops. In the past, they gathered at a square to cheer the insurgents whenever a military personnel was captured and was being murdered.Young ones in the town even play with severed heads of victims.

“That is why we always warn Nigerians to report activities of these devils because giving them support is like dining with the devil or simply riding on the back of the tiger as they now turn against them. That was why some soldiers were reluctant to lay down their lives in some communities where innocent troops who were out to protect them were being misled for ambush. The situation is changing now as community leaders and youths are supporting the military
offensives.” the source declared.

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8 May, 2014

In what promises to be the biggest retooling exercise of the Nigerian Armed Forces since the glorious 1980-83 epoch, President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the release of the princely sum of US$1 billion for the procurement of military hardware in a modernisation and capacity-building drive for the Nigerian Armed Forces.

President Jonathan made this detail known while addressing delegates to the World Economic Summit taking place at Abuja. He indicated that this is an initial effort in direct intervention funding which is inadequate and it portends the release of additional funds going forward.

Gentlemen, we are finally on the same page as our Federal Government after so many years of yelling about the need to have the military retooled.

Before we lose our bearing and knowing fully well that this blog is firmly on the radar of Nigeria’s entire DEFSEC establishment right up to the topmost leadership, how do you think that this boon should be spent? Please note that your views will be assessed and if swayed by the superiority of your argument, the decision makers shall take in board your suggestions.

So given the available sum, how do you think our military can gain the most mileage and put the spring back in its traditionally fighting-fit steps? No rambling or inoperable wishlists please. Just a triservice shopping list which takes care of requirements for asymmetric and conventional warfare alike.

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11 October, 2014
By Anne Mireille Nzouankeu

The Cameroonian Presidency said Saturday that 27 hostages held by suspected Boko Haram militants have been released. The presidency said in a statement that the freed hostages include ten Chinese workers and the wife of Cameroon’s Vice-Prime Minister Amadou Ali.

The statement, however, gave no further details about the hostages’ release. The hostages had been captured by suspected Boko Haram militants in May and July on the border with Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Boko Haram militant group has been blamed for several earlier cross-border attacks in Cameroon.Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden” in Nigeria’s local Hausa language,first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against
government misrule and corruption.

The group later became violent, however, following the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody. In the five years since, the shadowy sect has been blamed for numerous attacks on places of worship and government institutions, along with thousands of deaths.

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A Nigerian Army Special Forces commando leads troops out on patrol in the far northeastern frontier district of Baga near the Lake Chad, sometime in April 2013 (AFP PHOTO)

9 October, 2014
By Rafiu Ajakaye

Dozens of militants were reportedly killed when Nigerian fighter jets on Thursday afternoon bombed a major Boko Haram base near Lake Chad, eyewitnesses have said.

“Air force fighter jets are currently hitting Wulgo village, which is on the banks of Lake Chad. The strategy is to flush them from the area,” a military officer privy to the operation told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity. “The militants were found attacking nearby towns and settlements from Wulgo, where they have a fortress,” he said.

Saidu Batagarawa, a Fulani herdsman in the area, said the military had warned local residents ahead of the aerial operation. “Boko Haram had long stationed themselves in Wulgo and other villages near Fotokol in neighboring Cameroon,” Batagarawa, who spoke in the local Fulfude dialect, told AA by phone. “It appears to be their launch base, but the soldiers are now smoking them out,” he added. Batagarawa suggested that up to 45 insurgents had been killed in the bombardments. “They are trying to escape. We are aware that they have a tunnel through which they escape,” he said. “But we exposed this to the troops long ago.”

Militants are known to launch attacks from border communities and then escape through waterways in the area – a strategy that is now being thwarted by deepening regional cooperation between Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Following a meeting in Nigerien capital Niamey on Tuesday, the leaders of Niger,Nigeria, Chad, Benin and Cameroon agreed to form a “joint force” to combat Boko Haram.In May, the five countries agreed to deploy a joint force composed of some 700 troops as part of a wider strategy for combating the militant group.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden” in Nigeria’s local Hausa language,first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption. It later became violent, however, after the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody.

In the five years since, the shadowy sect has been blamed for numerous attacks – on places of worship and government institutions – and thousands of deaths in Nigeria. The group has also been blamed for several earlier cross-border attacks in

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October 07, 2014
by Kingsley Omonobi & Umar Yusuf

Heavy fighting between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram terrorists ensued yesterday in Adamawa State as soldiers backed from the air by Nigerian Airforce attack helicopters launched an attack to retake territories in the possession of Boko Haram.

In the ensuing battle that continued into the night, Vanguard gathered that about 400 Boko Haram terrorist had been killed while there were casualties on the part of the Nigerian soldiers. Military sources in Adamawa state told Vanguard that the onslaught to retake the towns of Bazza, Michika and Madagali was launched from the town of Vimtim, the hometown of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh and that the General Officer Commanding 3 Division of the Army, Major General John Zaruwa was coordinating the onslaught

Said the source, “I can assure you that we are advancing successfully. We have dealt a heavy blow on the terrorists. They didn’t expect what they are seeing. Our armoured tanks are blasting and they are running for their lives. The airforce is providing air cover and hitting them also.“I cannot give you a categorical answer regarding casualties but so far about 400 of the terrorists have been killed. We have casualties among our soldiers also but the propaganda circulating that 70 of our men were killed is wishful thinking”.

“From reports on the ongoing battle, we may have lost a few soldiers but it cannot be confirmed because usually, they may have been injured and are holed up somewhere for first aid treatment” the source said.

Contacted on the development,Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade confirmed the fighting but stated he cannot give casualty figures or full details as operatives on ground were yet to furnish him with the situation report. He said he would give details when the operation is concluded.

Online media reports had indicated that during the fight at least 70 soldiers were killed in a fierce battle between insurgents and Nigerian troops and pointed out that the fighting was for control of the towns of Bazza and Vimtim in Adamawa State, a claim denied by the military source.

The source further debunked claims that Boko Haram used helicopters to fight back noting that the Nigerian Air Force helicopters may have been mistaken for that.

An eye witness told newsmen that the insurgents at a point on Sunday night re-grouped at the Federal Government College, (Technical) in Michika before they were dislodged and chased away.According to him, “the army came in on Sallah day and since then fierce fighting has been on. But, as you can see the insurgents are moving away and the military are following them”.

“The insurgents who were in their thousands came through Uba and attacked the Nigeria troops. “The gallant Nigerians soldiers were attacked from the rear by the militants but the military men engaged them in fierce battle over five hours “.

It will be recalled that on the 7th of September, 2014 the Boko Haram insurgents overran Michika, Bazza, Madagali and other border towns between Adamawa and Borno State during which the son of the former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a Lieutenant Colonel, Olugbenga Obasanjo an Engineer in the Nigerian Army was shot and wounded.

During the takeover of Madagali and Michika, the insurgents also attempted to overrun Vimtim, the hometown of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

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6 October, 2014
by Kabiru R. Anwar,

Nigerian security forces are reported to have entered Bazza and Michika towns in Adamawa State to retrieve them from Boko Haram stranglehold, Daily Trust learnt in Yola yesterday.

A top security source told our correspondent that soldiers had taken over control of the two towns following a Saturday night offensive, pushing out the insurgents who gave little resistance. Bazza, Michika, Gulak and Madagali had been under Boko Haram control for the past month, forcing thousands of residents to flee to Yola and other towns in Adamawa and other states.

“The military took control of Bazza and Michika in the night with little or no resistance from Boko Haram fighters. Election is fast approaching and from what I see, voters from that area may cast their votes in their homes,” the source said.

Saleh Johny, a resident of Uba-Gaya, a few kilometers from Michika, said residents saw a massive movement of troops towards Bazza and Michika on Saturday and heard several explosions thereafter throughout the night.

The chairman of Michika LGA, Vandi Pavanza, however said he had not been officially briefed on the development. “I heard about it but not officially, the fact is that I have been displaced from Michika.I am not in Michika so I don’t want to talk about something I am not sure of because I don’t want to tell lies”, he said.

A community leader in the area, Dr. Caleb Filli, said reports about retaking Michika and Bazza had reached displaced residents who were eager to return home.”From what we heard, soldiers are in Michika.It is a welcome development because we need peace to achieve development. You can see that economic activities have crumbled. People of the area have been away for 21 days. With this progress, people will to go back to their homes, farmers will go back to their farms and students will go back to school”, he said.

Military authorities in Yola could not be reached before press time.

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27 September, 2014

About 1,200 Nigerian security personnel including members of the Armed Forces,the police and members of the Department of State Services, DSS, have so far left Abuja for anti-
insurgent training in Russia.

Their departure for training as Special Forces, security sources said, followed alleged snub or nonchalant attitude of both the United Kingdom and United States towards Nigeria in her fight against Boko Harm terrorists.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that 400 security personnel left the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in a chattered
aircraft at about 5pm weekend, accompanied by top security officers as well as Russian instructors who had been in the country as part of the initial selection process for the officers and men that would take part in the training.

It was further revealed that two other batches of 400 troops each had earlier departed for the training,
bringing the total number of officers so far to about 1,200.

Saturday Vanguard had exclusively reported that following the dithering of some western nations especially, notably Britain and the United States of America over the training of
Nigerian security personnel to confront the Boko Haram insurgents, the Federal Government had decided to turn to Russia to meet some of its immediate security needs pending the resolution of the diplomatic difference between Nigeria and the
two Western countries.

According to sources the latest batch of Nigerian security personnel are
joining three batches of their
colleagues who had left for training in Russia earlier this year.The last group would be in Russia for four months
before returning to the country early next year to form a nucleus of the Special Forces Brigade to be set up
by the country.

A similar scenerio played out when Nigeria faced sanctions following the
annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections won by the late Moshood Abiola by the then military
government led by late General Sani Abacha as the Federal Government turned to China and India for its
miltary needs.

The emerging scenario in the fight against terror and the steps Nigeria’s government has taken would have resulted in global sensation during the Cold War as the West would have fought to keep her allies to the then
Soviet Union as now represented by Russia which has, although, embraced free market economy.

Nigeria, for years, enjoyed close ties with the West and was seen as a US ally. But the seeming nonchalant attitude towards it by its traditional
allies has reportedly compelled the country to turn to Russia and China for the training of its military as well as acquisition of military hardware to fight Boko Haram.

However, highly placed military and intelligence sources told Saturday
Vanguard in Abuja that the decision to turn to the other two world military powers was an interim measure to roll back the advances made by the Boko Haram insurgents who have gained some grounds in seizing and controlling some towns and villages in the northeastern
states of Borno and Adamawa before the latest defeat suffered by the insurgents in the last two weeks due to the increased performance of Nigerian troops, leading to the killing
of the insurgents leader, Abubakar Shekau.

Following the increasing sophistication of the tactics employed by the Boko Haram terrorists, the Nigerian government had reportedly
approached both the US and British governments to procure arms for its armed forces in order to effectively
counter the insurgents but the two governments continued to dither, a situation that might have been responsible for some of the gains recorded by terrorists in recent times.

A senior security official told Saturday Vanguard: “the United States and Britain appear unwilling to provide
arms to our armed forces. It is surprising because these are two friendly countries to Nigeria which is under threat from terrorists. We have no option but to look somewhere else for our needs pending when the
issues are resolved at the diplomatic level by our government.”

However, Russia which has always been willing to supply weapons and some other logistics to Nigeria when
other western countries are not forthcoming readily accepted the Nigerian proposal as the Nigerian Air
Force, NAF, has several Russian fighter jets in its fleet.

Already, Nigeria has entered into contract with Russian arms manufacturers for the supply of high calibre weapons to the Nigerian Army to combat the insurgents in the Northeast and has also begun
discussion with the Israeli government on possible supply of military hardware.

“When the Chief of Army staff said recently that the Nigerian army would soon take possession of weapons that would reverse the trend in the Northeast, he was referring to the deal between Nigeria and some
Russian arms manufacturers. We are also in discussion with Israeli companies. We don’t want to be held ransom by our traditional allies. That is why we are expanding our sources of supply,” the source said.

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President Gooduck Jonathan

25 September, 2014

The Senate has approved $1 billion dollar loan requested by President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle insecurity and terrorism in the country. The approval, however, did not come easily as some lawmakers argued that President Jonathan breached the constitutionally laid down process of requesting for extrabudgetary funds.

But the Chairman Senate Committee on Finance said President Jonathan is in full compliance of the law on this matter. President Jonathan had written a letter asking the Senate in July to approve a $1 billion (about N165) loan for the fight against Boko Haram.

The President said he needed the cash to upgrade military equipment and for training as well as logistics for the Armed Forces. This is in addition to N968.127 billion voted for defence in the 2014 budget by the Federal Government.

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Lt General Kenneth (“the Jumping General”) Minimah, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff.

LAGOS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua)

Troops in Nigeria have killed a man claiming to be leader of the Nigerian Boko Haram insurgents, Abubakar Shekau, the country’s defense authority said Wednesday.

One Mohammed Bashir, who has been acting or posing on videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as the leader of the group, died in an encounter with Nigerian troops in Konduga area of Borno, defense spokesperson Chris Olukolade said in a statement reaching Xinhua.

The spokesperson said several terrorists including some of their commanders lost their lives in encounters which lasted an average of about five hours each. The troops captured some of the terrorists and their equipment, he added, noting that inhabitants of the community who were victims of terrorists activities corroborated information on the identity of Abubakar Shekau.

He said a total of 135 terrorists surrendered along with equipment to troops around Biu area of northeast Borno State. Another 88 terrorists submitted themselves at Mairiga/Bun area, while 45 terrorists were picked up around Mubi in northeast Adawama State.
Olukolade said all the terrorists are being interrogated and processed in conformity with the dictates of standard best practices

The terrorists in continuation of their campaign of terror were determined to take over communities around Maiduguri, the state capital, which is their prime target. Analysts say this development further confirms the recent progress in Nigeria’s counter-terrorism approach in ending the five-year insurgency of Boko Haram, a group which has proved to be a major security threat in the West African country.

On Sunday, the Nigerian Defense Headquarters via a statement confirmed that some Boko Haram fighters had begun to surrender with their weapons voluntarily, following relentless onslaught by troops. The terrorists surrendered on Saturday, pleading for mercy, the statement said.

At least 13 insurgents were also killed in a crossfire with Nigerian forces after a local market was attacked in the same northeastern state last Friday.

Boko Haram seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the Nigerian constitution.

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