PHOTO CREDIT: Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images



Leader of the defunct Niger Delta Vigilante and one of four principal MEND factional commanders who took up the offer of amnesty, Ateke Tom

About beegeagle

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

    More militants: Ateke Tom, leader of the NDV and one of the four affiliated commanders of the MEND coalition, dressed in a black tshirt of camouflage trousers and wearing a rapper-style gold necklace

    Ateke Tom and Niger Delta Vigilante guerrillas

  2. doziex says:

    Hey Beeg, what’s your opinion on these arms, were they captured from fallen or escaping NA soldiers, or were they mainly purchased on the high seas, and smuggled in thru’ our porous or non existent security patrols ?

    • beegeagle says:

      BABAFEMI OJUDU on the sources of “Weapons of War in the Niger Delta”

      Jamestown Foundation

  3. Donspony says:

    Perplexed how easy it was to lay hold on standard army uniforms…also all pics of MEND militants makes me think they’ve all been to muscle camps coupled with their obligatory display of RPGs and rows of bandolier all over.

  4. jimmy says:

    nowadays it is very easy to get hold of army uniforms ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD UNFORTUNATLEY. The difficult ones are the ones that are specially designated

  5. beegeagle says:

    Desert camo with a dash of green

    Nigerian troops

    Desert camo with a tinge of chocolate

    Nigerian troops

    Gentlemen, once upon a time on this blog we stated that the reason why troops at the frontlines are increasingly using desert camo even when they are 600 km from the nearest desert precincts in Greater Borno is because of the ready availability of regular camo within Nigeria. Even inside markets, cargo pants made of green camouflage material are on the racks.

    To add to that, criminal elements are importing green camouflage as much as they are importing AK47 and pump action rifles.

    The very high incidence of crooks dorning military uniforms to perpetrate genocidal action on the Jos Plateau quickly led troops of the Special Task Force – Op Safe Haven, responsible for that AOR, to switch to wearing desert camo with a dash of chocolate. As we speak, more and more troops in Kaduna and Niger States(JSTF) have begun to appear in desert camo as well, this time with a tinge of green in it.

  6. bossjoe says:

    i don’t get it, why do some troops have the desert camo with ‘a tinge of green on it’ and others have it ‘with a tinge of chocolate’, does this signify different units or battalions or what?

    • beegeagle says:

      The one which has a dash of chocolate is the standard desert camo while that which has a dash of green appears to be an attempt at Nigerianizing the desert camo, in a manner of speaking.

      In the end, they just might settle for the one which has a dash of green for non-desert operations while using the regular desert camo in the desertified frontiers since that blends well in the dunes and oases.

  7. beegeagle says:

    NDV insurgents on Amnesty Day

    Niger Delta Vigilante

    Niger Delta Vigilante

  8. doziex says:

    Wow, they even captured one of those catamarrans. This is some heavy lead.

  9. doziex says:

    Men, some of these cats look spec ops ready. Methinks, they should go thru military regimentation and indoctrination to see if they possess the requisite military discipline or the patriotic zeal to serve their country.

    • doziex says:

      Why throw out the baby with the bath water ?

    • bossjoe says:

      yep, i also think so, they probably should be spec. forces, i mean, look how buff they are and also speaking of spec. forces, when last did we hear of them, and what was their mission / what were they doing??

    • peccavi says:

      what does ‘looking spec ops ready’ mean? They look like undisciplined jokers to me

      • doziex says:

        Ha ! no vex general, I am just referring to their imposing physical attributes.
        Of course, it requires much more than that to be spec ops worthy. I am just advocating that we search and choose the best of the best volunteers we can find.

        I saw the footage of an isreali PMC training some naija troops. I am willing to bet the farm, that those NA troops were not specially selected.

  10. doziex says:

    Yeah @bossjoe, it’s high time we address the issue of Quality in our spec ops men.

    (1) What is the selection process and criteria ?
    (2) How rigid and thorough is the training programs?

    I know with nigeria, every thing is a secret, so you can’t assess the true value of anything.

    But if you watch the military and discovery channels on cable or satellite tv, the entire selection process of the US navy seals is showcased in a program called BUDS: basic underwater demolitions/seals training.
    80% of their emphasis, is in FINDING THE RIGHT INDIVIDUAL. It’s even more important than the specialized training that comes after. They are screening for:
    (1) Self motivated individuals (Type A personalities)
    (2) Folks that don’t wilt or quit under the most intense pressure.(mental toughness)
    (3) Physical endurance & prowess, that is nearly super human.
    (4) Team players,disciplined and non self aggrandizing folks.

    So without any information, one can only hope that NA IS NOT CUTTING CORNERS in the various spec op programs that have flooded NA of recent.


  11. peccavi says:

    There would have had to be soe form of selection process (I hope) or else soldiers will ‘self deselect’ i.e. those that can’t hack it will drop off. I presume for our true SF (NN-SBS) there is a selection as I was reading in the papers but for those entire battallions that have undergone SF training I doubt it unless the commanders are given discretion to get rid of useless ones and get transferees from other untis who are keen. Again this is not uncommon, 16 Air Assault Bde in the UK is home to the Parachute Regiment, as well as other rifle battllions. Those attached battallions train up to Airborne standard with as many as possible doing the Parachute selection course to get badged up.

    For Naija SF to improve I would hope they are used operationally as much as possible and also attached as units and individuals to the SF of other countries for training and ops as well. As the UK SBS has operated in Naija it would be more than fair for the NN-SBS to send a platoon or so to serv with them in Afghan or on other ops, there is no way htat it will not help us improve our skill level

    • beegeagle says:

      No ooo! Please that 4-week training programme is a BASIC counterterrorism+counterterrorism APPRECIATION practical course. It is in lieu of the pre-deployment training which is given to Nigerian troops heading to Darfur and Liberia. Elsewhere, the US, France and Belgium have been conducting similar COIN-CT pre-deployment training for UPDF troops going to Somalia.

      Similarly, as part of her 5-year training course for officer cadets, the Nigerian Defence Academy have introduced a FOUR-MONTH LONG CTCOIN appreciation course for cadets. They have shorter DESERT WARFARE field training, AMPHIBIOUS WARFARE course, HIGHLAND WARFARE and JUNGLE WARFARE courses running simultaneously. This is to allow for the emergence of officers who are able to function across terrains and to surmount threats.

      For example, there have been insurgent infiltration and hostile activity in highland areas(Mandara Mts, Jos Plateau), desert areas(Baga, Kanamma), amphibious/littoral warfare(Niger Delta) and now, we have major CTCOIN operations in the Far North. I am sure you know why the NDA seek to make officers capable of cross-functional operations(versatility).

      By the same token, nobody should mistake the 4-week Basic CTCOIN course which is supposed to empower troops with skills and knowledge for frontline operations for SPECIAL FORCES training.

      It takes a lot, lot longer to be SPEC OPS-qualified in Nigeria. There is a 72 Para Battalion which is a Special Forces Battalion. To become a member, you have to spend many months at the CTCOIN Center at Jaji. Then you have to undergo counterintelligence, amphibious, jungle, rappelling, close quarter combat/urban warfare, airborne, mountain, desert, survival, among other courses. I doubt that you can accomplish all of that in one year, let alone one month.

      Bottomline, those guys who are being churned out from Training Centres are NOT Special Forces. They are only being put through a crash awareness program to boost their operational efficiency at the front and to help them survive the treacherous terrain. The emphasis is on SURVIVAL and CLOSE QUARTER COMBAT and that is why we have seen a very sharp decline in the number of civilians killed in crossfire.

      As for the Naval Special Forces, let us just say that after a civilian has concluded one year of ab initio training to become a seaman, he has to go through a further TWO-YEAR training regimen to become a naval SBS commando.

      In the recent past, the Nigerian Navy Special Forces have twice been honorably mentioned for their effectiveness. At Exercise Obangame 2010 held in Cameroon, the sublime boarding and searching skills exhibited by the NN was said to have stemmed from their continuing experience in anti-piracy operations while the combo of Navy and Army Special Forces who joined US and Senegalese marines which held in Senegal in April 2011, also commended the littoral warfare skills/small boats operational dexterity of the Nigerian commandos which they honed from years of COIN/anti-piracy/anti-bunkering operations in the Niger Delta.

      Get to google if you will, gentlemen.

      • peccavi says:

        Na so, I hope our SBS get to work operationally with US/UK/ French SF in other theatres, that video of Naija SBS training US Marines really warmed my soul

  12. doziex says:

    Yeah men, that Lt. omokparie of the SBS, seems to be the real deal. But I have seen him randomly in about 3 different SBS training pictures. This makes me wonder how big the unit is.

    He was in the picture in senegal, then again with the royal marines in a rigid hull boat and then I think in a pic, performing boarding ops with US trainers.

    I also know that the 72nd airborne battalion’s fame goes back to the liberian war. Especially, in the defense of monrovia during the NPFL’s octopus offensive.

    Details were very sketchy and hard to come by then. The battalion was commanded by one major Togun if I remember correctly. This was in late 92.

    Fast forward to december 1998, in freetown, as the rebels surrounded the capital and occupied the heavily forrested hills, ecomog was limited to artillery strikes by NA troops and MBRL strikes by the guineans.

    NAF carried out blind bombing runs of the surrounding hills & caves. But the AFRC/RUF were bunkering in caves, and wouldn’t budge. So the decision was made to send for the 72nd airborne to flush them out.
    I don’t think they arrived in time, as the rebels penetrated ecomog defences using a sea of terrified fleeing refugees as cover.
    Rather than mow down the crowds, ecomog troops retreated until the rebels entered the city and the rest is history.

    • doziex says:

      What I will give to give, to get a personal narrative of these ferocious battles by some NA soldier.
      How could NA swear tens of thousands of men to a 2 decade long secrecy ?? Every body writes about the biafran war but no takers for sierra leone & liberia ??

  13. beegeagle says:

    OK Doziex, Lt Omopariola is seemingly always on board because he is the Chief Instructor of the SBS and those were field exercises – falcon and falconer situation.

    There is a very quiet SBS officer amongst us, blogging quietly here. Always read between the lines, gentlemen.

  14. beegeagle says:

    Could it be about confidentiality clauses – like an embargo on memoirs? I ask because Madiebo published his “Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War” in 1980 and I believe Obasanjo’s “My Command” came out shortly after, ten years clear of the end of the Civil War?

    Otherwise, there are hundreds of serving of battalion, brigade and division/corps commanders who held command of companies,squadrons,batteries and even battalions during the ECOMOG years. Not to mention the now retired combative ECOMOG Battalion and Brigade Commanders, Contingent Commanders and Force Commanders such as Dogonyaro, Iweze,Olurin,Shelpidi,Ndefo, the Sultan of Sokoto, the Etsu Nupe Yaya Abubukar etc who have huge stories to tell.

    There has to be a reason why nobody is talking. I would personally love to read the Somalia and Bakassi memoirs of General Saleh Maina, ex-GOC 3 Armoured Div. Ditto Oyinlola’s. He was probably the best commander who went to Somalia and was very proactive, his men fighting all the time alongside or behind the Americans.

    • peccavi says:

      I think its less confidentiality clauses than a lack of a culture of history recording that seems to prevail nowadays. In fact aa determined anti literary bias. I remember Pacesetters and all the wonderful books published and printed in Naija in my youth and how my Dad would take us to buy a book each week all Nigerian tales. Reading Madiebo’s memoirs are an excellent example of the literary skills of Nigerian officers, even Obasanjo who is determinedly anti intellectual produced 2 excellent books, My COmmand and Nzeogwu.
      It would be good if there was a resource or society for Nigerians officers and men to record their expolits and get them published and kept in all libraries in the Federation as a bare minimum.
      @ Beeg: I presume he is a Navy Lt i.e. Army Captain?

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