Nigerian Navy ships at a Lagos base(props:Gar3th)

Nigerian Navy ships at a Lagos base(props:Gar3th)

Facing the camera(square bows) are both extremes are the pair of 1,300-ton Hippo-class landing ships(tank) – NNS Ambe and NNS Offiom


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. Deltaman says:


    Good work, really informative Blog!
    Could you confirm if you know, which armed forces in West Africa are headed by Nigerian Officers?
    Read somewhere that SL and Liberia have Nigerian officers, maybe it isn’t the case anymore.


  2. beegeagle says:

    Thanks, Deltaman.

    The legendary Brigadier General Maxwell Mitikishe Khobe of blessed memory got appointed as Sierra Leone’s Chief of Defence Staff as a measure of the confidence which his outstanding command of ECOMOG troops in Sierra Leone, particularly in the Freetown sector, earned for him. The accomplished commander who was famous for leading his men from the front ranks alongside the likes of ECOMOG Field Commanders, Lt Gen Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro and Brigadier General Adetunji Olurin as the most effective, tenacious and combative among their peers in high ECOMOG command appointments throughout the 1990s in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Dogonyaro and Olurin were at various times GOCs of 3 Armoured Division while Khobe, in whose memory the 3 Armoured Division HQ Garrison has since been renamed, used to be a Commander of 21 Armoured Brigade. He served as Recce/Tank battalion commander in Liberia for years before his stint as ECOMOG Ground Task Force Commander in Sierra Leone. For more details about his career, use the search window on this blog to pull up the relevant article. Search for that name.

    The command of the RSLMF has since become fully indigenised with native-born Sierra Leonean officers at the helm.

    Since President Sirleaf came to power in Liberia in January 2006, every Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia bar none has been a serving Nigerian two-star general. Three or four Nigerian officers have thus far served as Liberian Army chiefs till date. They also have serving commissioned officers and NCOs on secondment from the Nigerian Army and hundreds of Liberian officers and men have been trained at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Infantry Corps Centre and Amphibious Warfare Training School

    On the strength of the foregoing arrangement, Lt General Luka Nyeh Yusuf, then a Major General, emerged as the first Nigerian-born Chief of the Liberian Army. During the ECOMOG/ECOMIL and later UNMIL eras, Yusuf had served as Sector 1 Commander in Liberia (i.e Monrovia). General Luka Yusuf of blessed memory, later served as Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff and thereby emerged as probably the first African soldier to have commanded two national armies.

    Closely mirroring that feat is General James Kabarebe, Rwanda’s incumbent Defence Minister who as Colonel in the late 1990s, served as Congolese Army chief under Joseph Kabila. Kabarebe, a Congolese Tutsi, later fell out of favour with the elder Kabila and was absorbed into the Rwandese military structure by his Rwandese Tutsi cousins in furtherance of Great Lakes Tutsi solidarity. He was appointed Chief of Defence Staff in Rwanda and has since risen to the rank of four-star general.

    Back to West Africa of the early 1990s, The Gambia sought to transform her paramilitary Field Force into a national army. It was to Nigeria that they looked for training support and the Babangida regime obliged the Jawara regime. Thus, Colonel Lawan Gwadabe of the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps emerged as the pioneer Commander of the Gambian Army. From the same Corps, he was succeeded by Colonel Dada

  3. beegeagle says:

    Gentlemen, just walked in to see a video report on NTA News which should interest us all. Now, the OPVs are sure to come and the Navy, going by snippets which we heard from the CNS himself, appear to be thinking along the same lines as we have been harping on.

    Get what works and not what is fanciful. The countries which I know would be able to hand in 1500+ ton 85m OPVs at a unit cost of $50m at this time are Korea and China. Come on, Daewoo Shipbuilding constructed an 11,000+ ton LPD for Indonesia at a cost of $37.5m

    So the Defence Ministers were at DHQ today to braiinstorm with the CDS, service chiefs and branch chiefs.


    * One OPV each to be constructed in China+Korea

    * Mutual security MoUs with Niger and Mali, including defence attache offices in the works

    * Stepped-up production at DICON on the cards

    DETAILS coming as soon as possible

  4. jimmy Hollyee says:

    Thanks for the pics however just wanted to ask a question are these two ships NNS Ambe and NNS Offiom especially NNS Ambe (LST) are they still in COMISSION as in if A LIBERIA OR Sierra Leone SITUATION arose can we load our T72s and travel?

    • xnur44 says:

      A simple question but a little eerie to answer because it hinge on force projection capability of the Nigeria military. If one is to compare the stage of Nigeria military development and sophistication (1980-1990), we did posse at best a rudimentary potential to project into and sustain power in distant areas. But 1995-2005 era, one may conclude that Nigeria military was in a state of an “arrested development”. Manpower we have; knowledgebase we have; but military equipment is not so good.

      Projection capabilities are usually understood to comprise the mobile infantry and air support units of a country plus the air and sea fleets used to transport them to distant battlefields. It is important to note that I am talking here of capabilities, not plans or intentions. Although decisions on the size and strength of a given military organization tend to reflect the relative priority accorded that particular military function by the government involved, the same government might later choose to engage in combat operations that exceed its fundamental capabilities because critical interests are perceived to be at stake. So in my humble opinion is a “NO” we cannot load T-72 on NNS Ambe and travel; we are not there YET!

  5. doziex says:

    Thanks Beeg, as always great info, straight from the source. Speaking of great combat leaders, I think general Malu under the command of general Olurin during “octupus” was great. Of course, general Khobe (late) was great with meagre resources in Operation Sandstorm. Furthermore, Major Tanko who cobbled together an almost defeated Nigerian army to launch a counter attack in Operation ” death before dishonour”. Major general Ndefo I recall did great in Kenema and Bo towns in sierra leone . I wish the NA would release the accounts of these heroic soldiers. Including the debacles in Makeni and Koidu diamond fields.
    Jimmy,I read, I think on the Nigerdock website or an affiliated company that NNS offiom(LST) had an engine fire. Which may have been repaired. Also the offloading ramp door hand to be welded shut. so it acts at best as a cargo ship. It can’t land tanks until fixed.

  6. beegeagle says:

    Indeed Doziex, we only mentioned the biggest masquerades at the festival. There is no doubt that there were a motley of OCs of companies, batteries and squadrons, an assortment of COs of battalions and regiments and some brigade commanders who were outstanding and deserve plaudits as well.

    Not to mention those tenacious rank-and-file soldiers who held out against all odds in siege-like conditions as the AFRC-RUF rebels sought to press their numerical advantage and superior knowledge of the terrain. That was why the Kamajor militiamen were assets to ECOMOG.

    Again, reading the thread “HANGING OUT WITH ECOMOG VETERANS”, you would see that two of the ECOMOG brigade commanders who were mentioned with great reverence by the narrator were indeed, Brigadier General David Ndefo and Brigadier General UJ Uwuigbe. They were pure warrior types who were practically always on the offensive and in so doing, inadvertently earned breathers for their troops. In effect, the only form of defence as those two senior officers understood it, was to go on the offensive.

    Ndefo later became the GOC of the 1 Mechanised Infantry Division. He retired on the rank of Major General.

    • saratu uwuigbe says:

      You described my husband very well , he was always on the offensive , even when he took his battalion to ECOMOG 1992 , because of his gallantry his officers and men nicknamed him Saddam Huseni if Nigeria but unfortunately he is late now
      May his soul rest in perfect peace

  7. Deltaman says:

    Thank you Beegeagle, most informative …
    best regards

  8. beegeagle says:

    Gentlemen, it looks as if the four units of AS-332B1/C1 for which orders were placed in August 2010 (see blog archives for full report) have quietly entered NAF service.

    The website which is dedicated to aircraft spotting reported the sighting in El Fasher, North Darfur State, Sudan of a Nigerian Air Force Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma helicopter (NAF 565).

    To be sure, the old stock of Puma/Super Puma helicopters consist of fifteen units numbered NAF 550-NAF 564.
    Therefore NAF 535 belongs to the consignment of four units for which deliveries were staggered over a fifteen to eighteen month period, w.e.f August 2010.


  9. doziex says:

    Why all the secrecy ? Is a nation’s orbat or number servicable equipment a matter of national security ? The gist out there according to authoritative sources such as janes defense weekly, is that most of NA’s equipment is unservicable.If NA reports it’s progress like any other country, it would change the perception of NA for the better. particularly with investors.
    I remember a previous story on this blog were UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari urged NAF to take advantage of UNPKO funds to re equip. It’s good to see a nigerian looking out for his nations interest.
    The problem remains, we need these choppers and more incountry.

    • beegeagle says:

      I am left to ponder the reasons why, Doziex.

      We cannot continue to go about these matters with a secret society mindset. To the extent that it sustains the wrong impression that defence acquisition is something undesirable and should be hushed up, it is a counterproductive way to go about things. Playing into the hands of naysayers is all that will be achieved. The flipside is that it could even create a wrong impression of non-transparent dealings in the minds of cynics who are inadvertently led to imagine or allege skulduggery.

      We have said previously that one reason why we do not have any qualms about defence contracts is because they clearly have the highest rates of completion when compared to the trend of abandoned projects and contracts not followed through on account of crooked contractors “taking off” after having been paid mobilization fees which is a common occurence in most of the other ministries.

      For instance, the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers completed the construction of the newest barracks in Abuja (General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Barracks), a 600-unit facility over a nine month period in 2009-2010. Try giving that same project to some Ministry(Works inclusive) and you would be lucky to get the job done in 3 years, if ever the project attains completion.

      Look at the frank and open communication about a succession of defence procurement contracts coming out of Ghana, even with much of that being paid for with loans and thus more likely to be frowned upon!

      That which should be celebrated, we would rather cover up. Well, congrats to the NAF for OUR new choppers. We are concerned that is why we have followed up on the matter faithfully and with heart and might…from the photograph of one airframe taken at Marseille which we posted on this blog early in September and now, a physical sighting of one of the choppers in Darfur.

      Tis one little step forward. We are pleased. Reach out for more…4G+ FGA jets, Mi-171Sh Terminator helics, Mi-17 choppers, Mi-35P gunships and more.

      Yes, you can NAF…so go for it.

  10. jimmy Hollyee says:

    We can’t thank you enough needless to say I read the thread SUPER PUMA HELICOPTERS that NIGERIA was aspiring to buy THIS WAS ALSO REPORTED IN SOME OTHER MAGAZINES. why the secrecy only GOD KNOWS AFTER 9/11 we all know that anytime any country MAKES any large purchase IT IS reported AND sine WE are buying from A NATO country . One can only shake ones HEAD(SMH) THESE PUMA are they ADAPTABLE for ARID conditions ( think SUDAN , more notably ( MALI, NIGER, CHAD) i await your reply because this is where THEY WILL BE NEEDED. LAST BUT NOT LEAST WAS THE HANGER IN ILORIN ever completed?

  11. beegeagle says:

    Jimmy Hollyee, let me just say that the last time that the Air Chief spoke about the new hangar at Ilorin namely, at the time when four upgraded Alpha Jets were returned to the fleet, he did say that the hangar would be up and running before the end of the year

    You have raised a very pertinent question concerning the Eurocopter Puma(16 seater) and Super Puma(24 seater)helicopters which have proved their worth across theatres worldwide.

    However, the Mi-17(32 seater) and Mi-171(36 seater) have surpassed all competing airframes from the perspective of ruggedness, ease of maintenance and all-terrain adaptability. It is not for nothing that they remain the first choice helicopter for UN PKOs worldwide.

    Nigeria is a vast country with the whole gamut of vegetational belts available in Africa contained within her territory – mangrove swamps, a giant river delta, tropical rainforest, parkland savanna, sudan savanna, highland(montane vegetation) and the Sahel-Sahara.

    It might interest you to note that the three state capitals of the Greater Darfur region – Nyala Lat 12.10N, El Fasher Lat 13.3N and El Jeneina Lat 13.2N all lie within the same belt as Kano Lat 12N, Illela Lat 13.4N and Arege Lat 13.27N. That is to say that vegetational belts and temperatures which suffice for Darfur are similar to what we have in the northern parts of border states such Borno,Katsina,Sokoto,Yobe,Jigawa and Zamfara.

    As much as the Darfur operations requires that we deploy airframes and armoured vehicles which are suited to the AOR, so does the diversity of our terrain at home in Nigeria necessitate specially adapted equipment.

    What we need most at this time, from the perspectives of versatility, troop and cargo carrying capacity, the capacity to operate in harsh climes and durability are brand-new Mi-171Sh Terminator assault/combat transport helics($20m) and factory-refurbished general purpose Mi-17 helicopters ($5m per unit). This would strike a pocket-friendly balance between battlefield potency,quantity and quality.

    That way, it would be possible for us to grab six Terminator combat helos and twelve refurb. Mi-17s for $180m for a total of eighteen airframes which combine state-of-the-art technology, firepower and a large all-round carrying capacity.

    Similar considerations should guide the acquisition of brand new Mi-35P($12.5m) and factory refurbished and upgraded Mi-24V($5m)attack helos.

    If we are able to squeeze out twenty five to thirty years(with upgrades)of service from the new-build airframes and fifteen years from the factory-refurbished ones, that would be just fine.

    By the same token, we have had to replace MOWAG Piranha APCs in Darfur with Otokar Cobra MRAPs and MT-LB armoured combat support vehicles. The MOWAG are not useless, the theatre is just not what the Swiss makers envisaged. Not so for the Turkish-made Cobra which has seen action in the hot and high precincts of Turkish Kurdistan.

    MOWAG Piranha APCs were deployed without hassles in the friendly climes of coastal West Africa during the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Civil Wars. Sahelian African theatres – Darfur, Borno, Sokoto are however not ideal territory for the MOWAG.

    We also need to bear in mind the fact that should the need for joint COIN operations from home (in the Sahel-Saharan regions of Mali,Niger and Chad) as a means of defending in depth arise, it is the Otokar Cobra and Gila MRAPs and Mi-17s which can be counted to withstand the rigours of the terrain.

    MOWAG APCs and Super Puma helics would suffice for operations such as UNMIL in Liberia.

    Back to the Puma/Super Puma helicopters, it means that we now have a total of nineteen units of both airframes (flying and crated alike) in our fleet – 3 Puma and 12 Super Puma numbered NAF 550-NAF 564 and a new batch of four Super Puma which would be numbered NAF 565-NAF 568.

    • xnur44 says:

      I just cross checked this, the super puma NAF 565 is one of the four helos existing in the NAF fleet.

      • beegeagle says:

        Thanks, XNur44. That is the essence of having “red necks” on board.

        Your valuable contributions are appreciated as always. Ditto Doziex, JimmyHollyee, Chidi, Yagazie, Ryan, Bood and all the other big hitters.

    • xnur44 says:

      I just cross checked this, the super puma NAF 565 is one of the four helos already existing in the NAF fleet and is now deployed on UN mission.

  12. beegeagle says:


    Brigadier General UJ Uwuigbe, an accomplished ECOMOG brigade commander whose escapades we focused on almost telepathically earlier on this week was,unknown to us, DEAD at the moment when we were xraying his exploits during the Sierra Leone Civil War. Low-value aliens in Nigeria continue to destroy our best hands. RIP, noble warrior.
    Someone needs to wean our elite of their historical reliance on the skills of migrant labourers. The average Nigerian bigman has a Ghanaian driver,a Togolese maid,a Beninois chef and a Chadian or Nigerien nightguard. Yet they do not even know the names of their various villages. Those days of innocence of the oil boom years are behind us.

    December 3, 2011

    *2 held over retired General’s
    murder… Wife in critical condition.

    Residents of Iragon village in Badagry area of Lagos State were thrown into mourning recently, when Brigadier-General Umai Jabil Uwuigbe (rtd), was hacked to death while his wife Mrs. Uwuigbe sustained severe injuries after armed men invaded their home. The relative peace and tranquility at Iragon village was promptly shattered the moment the residents of the area caught sight of the bloodied remains of the General.

    The attackers who were said to have sighted Mrs. Uwuigbe watching them while they were killing her husband reportedly inflicted machete wounds on her in a bid to kill and prevent her from exposing their identities. Mrs.Uwuigbe, however survived the attack as neighbours who saw her in a pool of blood rushed her to Badagry General Hospital for treatment.

    Residents of the area who besieged the General’s compound rained curses and abuses on his killers,describing the dead as a peaceful and easy-going person. A resident, who simply identified himself as Jacob, told Crime Guard, that the general never intimidated or harassed anyone in the area with his status.

    This, according to him, left many residents wondering what may have necessitated his brutal murder. Jacob, who said the incident surprised everyone in the area because the man was not known to be a troublemaker, suggested that the mission could not have been armed robbery. He suspected that it could have been the handiwork of assassins. “If you were
    around on the evening of September 20, 2011, when the incident occurred, you will know that people loved this man. People wept profusely.

    “I don’t know if anybody can talk to you in that house because ‘Mama’ is in the hospital. They said her condition is very critical. Baba as we called the general was a very peaceful person. We don’t know him as a troublemaker.

    “He was a retired general. He never used his status in the military to intimidate anybody. The whole people in the community are weeping for him. He and his wife loved each other as I was told. We all in this community are still in shock over his death,” he said. Policemen from Morogbo Police Station, who arrived the scene moments after the attack, were also left in a puzzle, as they couldn’t get a motive behind the killing.

    A source at the station who took part in the early stage of investigations before it was
    transferred to the state Criminal Investigations Department, SCID, Panti,Yaba, Lagos, told Crime Guard during a visit that “at first, we couldn’t pin a motive behind the killing, as the general was not involved in any business that could have resulted in his killing. And we also did not look on the case of robbery because nothing was taken or stolen from the general’s home after the attack”.

    But the story took a new twist when Mrs. Uwuigbe, from her hospital bed gave policemen working on the case, descriptions of her attackers, which unarguably matched those of two foreigners who were farmers working on their farmland. At that point, policemen from Morogbo immediately swooped on 38-year-old Samuel Sosu, who was the head of the farmers from the Republic of Benin, working on the general’s farmland. Samuel was immediately whisked to
    the homicide section of the SCID, where he was interrogated over the murder of the general. There, he was said to have denied having a hand in the killing . He also claimed that he wasn’t present at the crime scene.

    According to him; “I don’t have a hand in the murder of the general; we have a very cordial relationship. We were very close, that was why he gave me seven acres of land which I used for farming. I was not at the crime scene. It was the two guys I employed as labourers that may have killed the General. ”I am just an herbalist turned farmer. I am not a criminal.” But investigators did not buy his story. They kept him in detention and later asked him to assist in tracking down the other suspects. After a month long search for the fleeing suspects, the police eventually apprehended Sosube Abiodun, at Kajola Village, in Ogun State, where he was hiding.

    Following Abiodun’s arrest, the story changed. He confessed to the police during interrogations that Samuel had contracted him and a friend to kill the General in order to take possession of the seven acres of farmland which the general gave to him to farm on. According to him, “Samuel procured a friend and I (still at large), to kill the general so he could take possession of the land.

    Samuel told my friend that we should go and kill the General and he promised to reward us and also said we could search his house and take any money we can find in it. On that day, my friend and I hid in the General’s compound and when the general came out to switch off his generator, we pounced on him and slashed him to death.

    When we noticed that his wife had seen us, we entered the apartment and cut her too but we didn’t know she survived. However, Abiodun also claimed that he acted under the influence of metaphysical forces. “Samuel was the one that hypnotized me into committing the crime,” he said.

    The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Samuel Jinadu, who confirmed the report, said, “On September 20, 2011, at about 5pm, in Badagry, the deceased was macheted to death by the suspects.

    ”Whilst they were killing the General,his wife saw them and recognised them. They consequently attacked her and left her for dead. ”The wife was able to identify the suspects and Sosu was immediately arrested while Sosube was arrested a month later in Ogun State. However,one suspect is still at large.” Jinadu noted that the suspects were citizens of Benin Republic residing in Nigeria illegally. He added that the case would soon be transferred to court.

  13. doziex says:

    Bastards!! They should be tried and executed asap. We in Nigeria we dont revere our heros, we only show reverence corrupt officials turned billionaires by official theft. So the general will remain an unsung hero.
    As for security, in addition to all other measures we are currently advocating, an electrified border fence reinforced by land mines and the national ID program are also urgent necesities.

  14. Akande shola says:

    Navy is a first force dat i like n my life even is my wish to be come a navy officer,dat is reason why dat make me to apply for recruitent.

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