President Goodluck Jonathan, dressed up in the uniform of a Field Marshal, inspects a guard of honour mounted by officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army

Major General NC Maduegbunam, Commander of the Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and recipient of the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation for Innovation receives his award from President Jonathan

Paratroopers of the Nigerian Army Airborne Force

Nigerian Army Airborne Forces do their thing

Combat March by Nigerian Army troops

Nigerian Army Special Forces commandos march past at NADCEL 2013

ZSU-23-4 Shilka Self-Propelled Anti Aircraft Gun (SPAAG) systems

Panhard VBL M11 armoured recce vehicles of the Nigerian Army

C3 Command Post Vehicles of the Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery

Panhard ERC90 Sagaie AFVs of the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps


Otokar Cobra APC

(Photo Credit: The Nation Newspapers)

Alvis Scorpion light tanks drive past

(Photo Credit: The Nation Newspapers)

Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL

* Acrobatic displays underway. – visible in the background is a Landcruiser gun-truck obviously part of the security operations.

* Nigerian Army paratroopers jumped as the C-in-C watched through binoculars. The Airborne Wing of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry was set up with the help of Major Bradford of the US Army in 1986. One of the jumpers was a 41 year old Lt Colonel who is the Chief Instructor of the Airborne Wing at NASI. Of the jumpers, the youngest had performed 259 halo jumps and 45 combat jumps. One paratrooper, a MWO, had 450+ halo jumps and 85 combat jumps tucked under his belt.

* MILITARY POLICE K9 Unit – (WAR DOG) . They have been active in the Northeast on CTCOIN operations. Interesting to know that the Commanding Officer of the War Dog Unit is someone who I met in 1995 as a young Lieutenant when he was AO Camp at the Provost Battalion at Ojo Cantonment, Lagos, in the person of Colonel Armstrong Bitiyong – worthy first son of the brilliant Lt. Colonel Musa Bitiyong who was killed in March 1986. Armstrong’s farher, Musa Bitiyong alongside the late Brigadier Ibrahim
Ahmadu Bako, led the operations which
scouted the forests of Zimbabwe to
convince ZANLA and ZIPRA guerrillas to
come out and be sent to Nigeria for training, preparatory to integration into
the new Zimbabwe National Army

Moving on, there are three War Dog platoons active in the Northeast with a total of 20 dogs in operation. The dogs are variously trained in explosive detection, narcotics detection, cadavar detection, search and rescue, checkpoint control and patrolling.


Leading the armoured vehicles was the Made-in-Nigeria Igirigi APC, painted in even more beautiful desert camouflage.The Igirigi APC was immediately followed by an array of eight Panhard VBL scout cars. Next came three Panhard AML 60 armoured fighting vehicles and a lone Panhard M3 APC (first-ever sighting in Nigerian service by this commentator), albeit configured as a battlefield ambulance.

Next came five Scorpion light tanks which were followed by five tracked Spartan APCs and seven beautiful Otokar Cobra APCs painted in desert camouflage – a Nigerian first. These were in turn followed by seven Panhard ERC90 Sagaie AFVs which were first inducted into Nigerian Army service in 1988.

* The Nigerian Army Engineers were led in by fabulously kitted combat engineers and they also displayed a range of engineering vehicles.

* The NA Signals Corps followed with an assortment of communications hardware configured on Mercedes Benz and Landcruiser trucks. The Stallion Surveillance Vehicle configured on a Pinzgauer ATV chassis by 51 Div Signals also displayed.

Heartwarming was the strong showing put in by the Landcruiser – the Army’s new and very appropriate bride and a move away from thousands of Toyota Hilux,Mitsubishi and Ford Ranger 4WD trucks. Toyota Landcruiser trucks and jeeps exclusively deployed today.

* The Ordnance Corps followed the Signals Corps with a Made-in-Nigeria field kitchen and a Made-in-Nigeria
airconditioned desert tent. Cheery.

* The Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery. More shock effect. Three ZSU-Shilka
SPAAGs passed by followed by four
Landcruiser C3 command post vehicles Next came a Mercedes Benz MB 2628
prime mover with a Bofors FH77B 155mm artillery piece in tow. They were closely followed by Palmaria self-propelled 155mm artillery – weighing 43 tons and protected against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons

* Combat March by the various corps of the Nigerian Army followed


+ Major General NC Maduegbunam,Commander NA Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; Innovation Award for the fabrication of an Electronic Target Acquisition Machine and Mobile Kitchen, rehabilitation of Steyr APCs and completion of the Command Workshop in Kaduna

– Major General AK Kwaskebe, Commander NA Corps of Artillery; Innovation Award for repairs of several artillery weapons and allied equipment.

– Major General JN Nwaoga, Commander NA Armoured Corps; Innovation Award for the resuscitation of Panhard AFVs and effective command of 23 Armoured Brigade in CTCOIN operations until 2012

– Major General GA Wahab, GOC 1 Mechanised Infantry Division; Operations Award for greatly curbing the menace of insurgency and terrorism in his volatile area of operations which covers flashpoints such as Kano,Kaduna, Sokoto etc

– Brig General II Abba, Commander 3 Brigade; Operations Award – for his effective command of troops to greatly curb attacks by insurgents and terrorists in Kano and insulating the states of Jigawa and Katsina under his AOR from the menace of terrorists.

– Brig General BO Ogunkale Commander 43 Div Engrs: Innovation Award for the fabrication of appropriate special equipment (Landcruiser gun-trucks) and allied equipment used for CTCOIN operations in NE Nigeria

– Brig Gen CT Olukoju, Commander 51 Division NA Signals; Innovation Award for the creation of the Stallion Surveillance Vehicle which has made video monitoring and live streaming, ground to air communications and internet access available at the frontlines in Mali and NE Nigeria

– Brig Gen OZ Azinta, Commander 13 Amphibious Brigade; Integrity Award for rejecting $30,000 bribe during his time as Chief of Staff of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta

– Lt Colonel AK Lawal, Commanding Officer Command Workshop Kaduna; Innovation Award for his role in the fabrication of a Mobile Kitchen mounted on a Toyota Landcruiser

– Lt Colonel Y Ibrahim, SO1 Personnel, NA Armoured Corps; Innovation Award for the development of an automated personnel management system relating to credit facilities and postings; helped to resolve issues relating to the braking system of the Panhard AML 60.

– Major AK Ali, Instructor NDA; Innovation Award for the production of a detailed map of NDA training areas in southeast Kaduna.

– Capt YM Abdullahi, Platoon Commander 2 Bn Warri; Gallantry Award for exploits while on JTF operations in the Niger Delta

– Major IBM Madu, Commander 34 Bde MEDE Centre, Innovation Award

– Lt DA Oloniba Troop Commander in the 23 Support Engineers Regiment; Innovation Award for special equipment leading to better CTCOIN ops in NE Nigeria

* 12 soldiers also received commendation awards for roles in supporting equipment fabrication, data management and sports.


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:

    Note that the triservice Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria already manufacture field kitchens. What the NA Ordnance Corps have now done is to make their own and have it self-propelled by mounting same on the back of Toyota Landcruiser trucks.

  2. Obix says:

    My ogas, the display was impressive. But at first i thought there wasn’t much on display, but later i realised the NA was not out today to show the maximum equipment in their armoury. They were out to show achievments made in the past year. On display were only NA innovative achievments and equipment refurbished by the NAEME. Kudos NA!

  3. Henry says:

    For me the highlight of the show was seeing “Igirigi” in the new desert camo pattern.

    There was no special forces march pass. just tons and tons of regular division troops who did not tuck in their shirts.

    Beautiful parade though. And the C-in-C with a big grin on his face. The man was all smiles.

    • CHYDE says:

      Those guys who wore black, carried AK47’s and wore night vision goggles were visibly present or are the not Sepc Ops forces ?

    • johnbest1 says:

      @ oga henry,it was a combat march past,u do not expect thm to thing of physical appearance while at war??that’s just like thinking of how new the paint job of your tank or apc is on the war front,they have shown us previously that if its beauty they can conform to that and now(today)they have proved that even while looking rugged and ready 4 war they looked awesome,those guys looked great with their shirts not tucked in,am so proud of the nigerian army.

  4. giles says:

    i enjoyed de show mostly dat of d para-troops,cos i was hopin to see new hardware,all d sam hop dat of next year will b better

  5. jimmy says:

    I like the public commendations given especially to the senior officers .leadership is by example.This will go a long to convince the junior officers what to aspire and to be commended for.I AM HOPING AT THE next armyCELEBERATION ( 2014?) G.E.J .will procure T90 tanks ( sorry OGA BEEGS I DISAGREE ON UPGRADING T55).

  6. Henry says:

    The T-55’s are museum relics. It should be kept were it belongs, in the history books. Only to be brought out when we are ready to make civil war documentaries.

    We need at the very least 170 T-90’s.

  7. beegeagle says:

    You are right, Obix. It was all about showcasing innovations and the innovators and recognising combat proficiency.

    The NA Engineers who we had so many kind words for this, on account of the Igirigi APC, the Police College turnaround, 180 one-bedroom units in Lagos and the refurbishment programmes, stole the show. Worthy Nigerians.

    @Oga Henry. The C-in-C really had fun and kept on tugging at the COAS’s hand to get him to explain the unfolding events. At least, the man seemed eager and is obviously interested in military stuff. That stands us in good stead.

    Thank you, NA. You guys made it worthwhile. I had to fire on all cylinders to watch and at the same time key in all salient details to bring to you and still cannot believe that I managed to key in the correct names and ranks, achievements and appointments held by the award-winning officers. The DAPR, Brig General Attahiru was quite snappy about reading out the names and citations and I had to follow at combative speed:-)

    Recall that we mentioned pointedly that we had never seen a Nigerian Army Panhard M3 APC and have I seen military p’rades in this one lifetime! They obliged me and showed me one – in very good condition too for the first-time ever and I have seen p’rades on TV since I was ten. Never mind those which we have watched live.

    Congratulations, Nigerian Army.

    • jimmy says:

      OGA BEEGEAGLE the army has done well to invite GEJ to these events havING MADE IT MY JOB TO STUDY GEJ impartially he takes his time and impressions especially about MADE IN Nigeria arouse his interest. The true success about the nadecle celebration is the timing LET US FLASH BACK TO TWO CRITICAL EVENTS
      Event#1 This concerned one of the first military maneuvers of the coast of lagos involving warships retaking an island this staged for the benefit of YARADUA R.I.P. this made a great impression procurement on a modest scale for the navy .
      Event#2 &3 the production of the n.n andoni and the apc igirigi no doubt has stirred GEJ roots to the core. The army will be advised to improve not only on the igrigi but to follow through on making it stronger, ( ballistic wise) run flat tires off course bullet proof windows and by 2014 have igirigi 2 hey ” if the president is excited at your presentation that means good things are coming your way
      ALL IN ALL well done NA

  8. Henry says:

    Photos have been released.

  9. beegeagle says:

    Please anyone sending photos should forward the raw weblinks and not the processed photos sent as attachment.

    Network connectivity issues where I am today make that imperative. Won’t get out of here before Monday.

  10. beegeagle says:

    Yes Chyde, I saw NA Special Forces dressed in black with NVGs and carrying AK47s on parade…just before the UN peacekeepers passed by

  11. beegeagle says:

    Yeah, the CO War Dog Unit indicated three types of K9 dogs in service as of today

    – German Shepherd
    – Labrador
    – Belgian ** (remind me, WoCon45)

  12. (@lordfej) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Y6mIwq1NI Army training cyber generals just a side view and please we are waiting for pictures

  13. beegeagle says:

    There are some photos which have yet to reach me.

    – a Bofors FH77B 155mm artillery piece being towed by a prime mover

    – a Palmaria 155mm SPH

    – Panhard AML 60 AFVs

    – Igirigi APC painted in desert camo

    – Otokar Cobra APCs painted in desert camo

    – Mobile Field Kitchen and Airconditioned Desert Tent of the Ordnance Corps

    – Otokar Cobra Armoured Recovery Vehicles (first sighting)

    – Panhard M3 APC – battlefield ambulance (first sighting)

    – Spartan tracked APCs

    When I have them, we shall post them here.


  14. demola says:

    259 halo jumps by the youngest officer, thats impressive

  15. Number one says:

    Nice pics.Am impressed with the level of innovation.About the shilka spaags methinks they should be replaced with the FK-1000 gun and missile system from China.

  16. ocelot2006 says:

    Wow…I missed the event. Great pics right there, though I feel the NADCEL 2012 celebration last year was cooler with the demonstration from Army Special Forces, paratroopers, and the Airforce 😀 . That said, I must give kudos to the officers and men of both the Signals and Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Corps of the NA. They’ve performed remarkably well.

    But, why use the old Toyota Landcruiser as a C3I Platform? The Pinzgauer was OK, and the Piranha isn’t a bad choice. Or even our good ole Landrovers.

  17. beegeagle says:

    The Artillery Corps is large with over 600 towed, rocket and self-propelled artillery systems from an assortment of suppliers. Given that size and diverse origins – 105mm, 122mm, 130mm, 152mm and 155mm acquired at different epochs, there is bound to be an assortment of C3 and carrier vehicles as well.

    To be sure there is this type of C3 Landcruiser, there are still Landrover-based C3s, UNIMOG-based C3s and the Pinzgauer-based types. The Pinzgauer also serves as artillery tractor for 105mm pieces.

    By the same token, there are MACK, Mercedes Benz and DAF prime movers and tank/SP arty transporters.

    That is the way it is.

  18. peccavi says:

    All very nice

  19. Henry says:

    Nawa oh!!!! So there is absolutely no photo of th desert camouflaged ‘igirigi’ from 2 days ago.

    Nigerian journalists sef.

  20. beegeagle says:


    We can turn the T55s into anti aircraft artillery(35mm AAA) and infantry support weapons (twin 25mm cannons)

    • eyimola says:

      Russia is offering an Upgrade path for the T-55. The FGN needs to start talking to Moscow.

      I don’t think Nigeria is in a position at the moment to just swap the turret of a T-55 (or any other tank)

  21. Henry says:


    More photos can be found in the link above.

  22. beegeagle says:

    Good to know, General. Would it be as stern as the TYPHOON MBT, a Ukrainian T55 derivative?



    We have 129 units of T55, including 79 delivered post-2000. We also use the Type 90 35mm AA guns which are improved Chinese-built clones of the Oerlikon GDF. So our Arma and Arty chaps should be very familiar with both systems.

    Now, if I had my way and assuming a $350k upgrade to the Typhoon MBT, I would factually upgrade 50 units of our more modern T55 variants to the TYPHOON MBT. A tank with a more powerful engine than the T72 and the same 125mm main gun cannot be ignored. The Typhoon has to have been heavily inspired by the T72 and Oplot tanks.

    Next, I would transfer all 30 units of ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG to the mechanised brigades for permanent use as a fire support system ala ECOMOG.

    From the remaining 79 units, I would reconfigure 35 units for the mechanised brigades by mounting the powerful Ukrainian-made Shturm combat module complete with radar+30mm cannon+GPMG+ATGMs on them…same as we have on our BTR-3 IFVs

    Finally, I would take another 35 units and depending on cost, have the British reconfigure them as Marksman SPAAG or get the Chinese to mount twin Type 90 35mm AA cannons+fire control radars on them.

    The remaining nine units of T55 would be scrapped for spares. All the upgrades would take place at the Special Vehicle Plant in Bauchi where 36 Scorpion and 14 T55 tanks were upgraded in the early 2000s by Messrs Marshpearl of Ireland and Expoma of Austria.

    All of those upgrades would cost about 40 million dollars and provide new armoured, mechanised and arty weapons which are good to go until 2030. Finally, I would grab 100 units of T72 tanks modernised in Ukraine for $50 million

    For a grand total of about $90 million, that would bring 220 powerful, modern and very durable mechanised infantry, artillery and armoured assets to our arsenal

    – 100 upgraded T72 with ERA Kontakt armor and other fire control improvements

    – 50 units converted to Typhoon MBTs

    – 35 units become Shturm-armed IFVs

    – 35 units become 35mm SPAAGs


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