A Bofors FH77B 155mm field howitzer of the Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery

July 24, 2013

The Nigerian Army has uncovered a live bomb at the construction site of the proposed 344 Artillery Regiment at Ezillo in the Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

This is contained in a statement from
Capt. A.M. Sa’ad of the Nkwegu Military
Cantonment, Abakaliki. The statement said the regiment was being constructed on the disputed land
between Ezza and Ezillo communities
that had claimed more than 50 persons. “The bomb was discovered during
supervision of the project located on the
ever-busy Abakaliki-Enugu expressway,’’
it said It said the bomb would be detonated where it was found.

The statement urged members of the
public to go about their businesses and
not to be frightened as the detonation
was for the safety of all.


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:

    The establishment of the Army’s second newest brigade – the 14 Brigade – first came to light on 1 February, 2011 in a statement made by the former GOC 82 Division, Major General Sarkin-Yaki Bello, during a courtesy visit to the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi. The newest brigade, 35 Artillery Brigade of 81 Division, went into the process of being formed in Q4 2012.

    In April 2011, 14 Brigade deployed to their brigade HQ garrison at Ohafia (the Goodluck Jonathan Barracks). According to the stated plan, the formations under the brigade, were to include the following new units

    – 145 Batallion to be located at Ikot Umoh Essien, Akwa Ibom State

    – 144 Battalion, Omuma (much closer to Aba in Abia State but officially inside Rivers State)

    * while an artillery regiment that would support the brigade during operations was proposed to be established in Ebonyi State.

    With the establishment of 344 Artillery Regiment, the 14 Infantry Brigade of 82 Division now have their full complement of combat formations.

    • eyimola says:

      Did they really name a barracks after a sitting President? Is there any sort of precedence for this?

      • beegeagle says:

        Yeah. Remember when we had Fort IBB, Sani Abacha Barracks, Gado Nasko Barracks, all named after an incumbent C-in-C and his coursemates, the CDS and the FCT Minister.

  2. jimmy says:

    INteresting it appears the bofors will be the workhorse of these new arty regiments. I am also begining to suspect that some procurements for arty pieces were made recently.All in all it is good to see the ARMY IS GETTING MORE TEETH.

  3. Obix says:

    This is a win-win situation here, i quote “The statement said the regiment was being constructed on the disputed land between Ezza and Ezillo communities that had claimed more than 50 persons.” Now the dispute has been laid to rest with “no victor, no vanquished”. The army has a new artillery regiment and with their presence the 2 communities can think of more important issues than planning attacks on each other. Maybe it’s wise to sit millitary or police installations on disputed lands like between the Ife and Modakeke communities in Osun state, Aguleri and Umuleri communities in Anambra state etc..where decades of conflicts have taken many lives. The communities could recieve compansations and move on.

  4. BishopOfSapele says:

    Naming military or public facilities for sitting presidents and senior officials happens too often in our country with the result that laudable projects end up coming across as self-serving. We should put an end to this practice. Officials can always look in our past and use project naming ceremonies to honor those who are found deserving.

  5. jimmy says:

    Though there is nothing wrong with it the u.s has a well documented history of naming ships / aircraft carriers after Presidents AFTER THEY HAVE LEFT OFFICE. I.M.H.O. i would prefer naming ships, barracks after civilian presidents after they have left office,however we live in Africa
    and the reality on the ground where”competing demands” and the fact that the ARMED FORCES as OGA XNUR has said in the past has had to do somersaults this may be the best solution because a lot of our politicians especially this generation (generation x / baby boomer born 1955/1966 do not seem to grasp how modern security is tied directly to the financial security of the nation.

  6. eyimola says:

    Personally, I don’t like it. However, even I have to admit that Jonathan has been good for the military. In the 80s Shagari as President was an exceptionally ambitious and forward thinking President who did a lot for the military. He bough NNS Aradu, bought Jags and commissioned the Vickers Mk3 for Nigeria. We have nothing of note named after him.

    I want Nigeria to be in a position where Presidents wil invest in the military (among other things), name ships after their predecessors, fully confident in the knowledge that such respect will be accorded to themselves when they leave office, Nigeria is nowhere near that.

  7. jimmy says:

    It is very surprising that the Miltary did not name anything after him. However it could also bee that Shagari who retired from ANY political discussion after the coup and only attends the Council of former HEADS of States rarely comments on anything.
    Sheu Shagari at the time of the coup had a son in the military who reputedly was a CAPTAIN at the time a relatively junior officer as was the practice in those DARWINIAN days he was forced to retire, Shagari’s historical papers and documents collected over a thirty to forty year period were ransacked and destroyed overnight, some say that pained the old man immensely.
    Lastly it could be that he has personally refused any entreaties from the same military that he spent so much on whom ironically overthrew him that is why nothing was named after him.

  8. Tope says:

    Well we may never know what truly transpired between Shagari and da Coup After but if he would be kind enough to Write a Memoir however painful it would do us a lot of Good. But in dis Age in Nigeria when u name or commission a project after any person people begin to read 6000 meanings into it.

    As for the Dispute let the Army immediately call a meeting between all Clan heads of da Communities because it would be unwise if dey dont and da communities decide to Channel their Anger towards the Soldiers for Stealing their Land, Many things have Started Wars for Far less…..let the Army Act as pacifier for them and also promise indirect jobs for the community.

    Finally NA Army is Blossoming under the Current COAS and we Salute….

    Gen Beeg pls share some light on da the Nigerian Airforce Robot that was produced for Bomb Detection and Detonation.

  9. jimmy says:

    side topic continues
    The blows keep coming while we remostrate about GEJ not buying enough AIRFRAMES AND SOME BY ALL ACCOUNTS EVEN FROM JADED OBSERVERS ARE IN THE PIPELINE……………. meanwhile on the otherside of the ocean AS NIGERIA UPARMS ITS AUGUSTAS This is what is happening………….

    • eyimola says:

      Apparently they might be selling their Griffins. This should be a warning for Nigeria. Advanced military aircraft are very expensive to maintain.

    • Number one says:

      If they are willing to sell the augusta’s we will probably buy them.As for the JF-17 AFIT is being restructured to manufacture aircraft parts so no shaking there

      • eyimola says:

        That’s one of the main advantages of the JF-17. Its a relatively sophisticated aircraft that’s easier to maintain, than any similar Western fighter Jet. However, its still an untested aircraft.

  10. Yagazie says:

    The problem with the SAAF can be summarised in three words….”UNDERFUNDING” and “AFFIRMATIVE ACTION”. The South Africans have the personnel to maintain the Grippen Fighters… the ‘problem’ is that they the wrong colour . Thus the ANC Govt would rather see the once mighty SAAF destroyed rather than have qualified white pilots and technicians employed to fly/maintain the aircraft. Ditto the SAN- all their subs have been laid up and are not which was damaged when the first black commander crashed it into the sea bed, another damaged during recharging of the battries which were incorrectly connected to an external power scource.

    On another point- America has ‘temporarily halted’ the transfer of 4 F-16 fighter jets to Eygpt because of their displeasure with the current political situation in the Country. This simply re-inforces our position that Nigeria should not buy advanced weaponry from the US/Western countries as that would expose us to sanctions/blackmail whenever they are not pleased with our politics/policies. China, Russia and the Ukraine are the way to go- until our nascent Defence Industry picks up.

    • eyimola says:

      Correct on all points.

    • jimmy says:

      preach my brother! you also can include MALAYSIA and ISRAEL in that orbit.

      • eyimola says:

        Which leaves Russia and China.

        Personally I find the Russian State unacceptably corrupt and despotic and would not have anything to do with them. (Despite the fact that they build the best fighter jets in the world).

    • freeegulf says:

      oga yagazie, you have made some salient points. however, your argument about the affirmative action and effects re a bit troubling. yes, SAAF is underfunded (competing demands:)), yes the ANC govt is giving black south africans important slots to ‘balance the military composition. but sadly, in a way, u re buttressing the views common with bitter white south africans.

      from the way u presented your points, you made it seem as if the black crews re ill trained and poor in leadership and skill. that is the way white ex SADF personnel always present their sorry stories. ex rhodeshia personnel did same back in the days in zim.
      the truth is that, both the blacks and the whites do a helluva job, and hopefully, with more funds, will continue to do so.

      one important point peeps forget is that apartheid SA was keeping a wartime army from the late 70s up to the early 90s. and this was the era that the SADF had a really massive boost in numbers and armament. today SANDF is a peacetime army, there are no neighbours to destabilize, no colony to keep at all cost, no nuclear ambition. in fact, the only job for them now is UN PKO and other unilateral intervention they deem necessary. the funds are needed elsewhere for other affirmative actions. keeping their birds flying however needs no excuses. the ANC govt bought them and they will maintain them if the top brass know how to make their institution work smoothly.

      • jimmy says:

        OGA FREEGULF YOU KNOW I RESPECT YOUR COMMENTS , you know we dey kampe
        but oga they are ill- trained o ti to ( translation it is enough). i am not taking sides what the ANC DOMINATED GOVT is doing is criminal. There are too many coincidences
        1.SUB RUNNING aground during the most basic of exercises
        2. Every nation has air force CRASHES THAT GOES WITH THE TERRITORY .Nigeria not excluded.South africa is on another level when their planes are flying or not being moth balled
        3 They not only grounded their entire augusta fleet what i did not include is the biggest naval event of this year will be held in SYDNEY AUSTRALIA every nation that has a ship will be there the only African nation that will be there will be yup you guessed Nigeria with the NN thunder South AFRICA DOES NOT FEEL CONFIDENT TO SAIL A SHIP three thousand miles away these
        4. South AFRICA WAS EMBARRASSED by A RAG TAG group of NO NOTHINGS IN CENTRAL AFRICA and because as it becoming clearer day by day they do not have three critical things , funds, able white / military leadership ( make we talk true bullet does not discriminate against skin color i am sorry( pele )I NOT TRYING TO SOUND RACISTS)
        5.Meanwhile the v.i.p planes and other nonsensical reign rampant .
        6. i am getting very impatient with my job and i will soon use up my powder WATCH THIS SPACE. SOUTH AFRICA has now joined the pko junket THIS REALLY AS lord eeben once said is primarily designed to weaken an already weakened one proud armed FORCE.
        7 There are quite a few of us that are beginning to agitate that Nigeria should pull out of ALL UN altogether the funds be dammed PKO unless they are P.E.O . peace enforcement ORGS AND THEY SERVE Nigeria’s primary STRATEGIC INTERESTS.
        8. GOTTA GO. but truth is bitter.

    • beegeagle says:

      Spot on, Mighty Yagz.

      This is why one has always said that I do not obsess over anybody’s goods even as most of our compatriots are star-struck. And like you said, we have already made the point that we need to turn to Russia, China, Ukraine and Israel as our frontline sources of major hardware. At a secondary tier, Turkey, Singapore and Korea. Forget the self-adulatory hype emanating from the West, whether it be tanks, artillery, air defence systems or fighter aircraft, we can get everything topnotch which we desire between Russia and Israel. On the naval front (bar the German Type 122A frigates), we can also get our OPVs, LPDs, corvettes and frigates and good quality stuff at that from China, Russia and Korea.

      These countries do not mix politics with the arms trade and coming from where we are, anyone who is indifferent to the real possibility of a wholesale grounding of our hardware systems, is either a kid who did not experience the ruinous impact of arms embargoes and military sanctions which we lived through in the 1990s or is on a perilous flight of fancy. The West always use their goods against the customer in a manner which smacks of neocolonial puppeteering and outright blackmail.

      The fact is that their governments are hostages to the overbearing activists in their midst so we need to steer clear of their collective baggage. They can keep their superlative weaponry. Just give me what works ref the North Koreans and Vietnamese who fought with supposedly crude Russo-Chinese hardware. We know what outcomes were forced by the North Koreans and the Vietnamese (against France and our dear USA alike) using those same supposedly ‘crude hardware systems’.

  11. beegeagle says:

    Photos of the AFIT bomb detonating robot have reached me. So we look forward to a SATURDAY SPECIAL tomorrow.

  12. Yagazie says:

    Oga Freegulf, No vex- but I believe in callling a spade a spade. Appointments should be done on merit. Yes South Africa because of its past aparthied history (when blacks/coloureds were held back) has to take steps to redress the imbalance in appointments- which they have done at a political level by ensuring the heads of the Navy, Army and Airforce are all black. I have my reservations about this but ok thats fine. However when it comes to technical/highly skilled positions like fighter pilots, aircraft technicians, submarine commanders/crew- merit should be the determining factor. South Africa has the trained manpower to manage/maintain all the sophisticated millitary equipment it has. At the moment most of that manpower is white. The Govt should embark on a training programme to ensure that more qualified black/coloured people are trained (and this takes years) to eventually take their rightful place as per millitary appointments/commands. In the interim use the manpower what you have. Now in the name of Affirmative Action, the SAF is a very pale shadow of itself (and note that under the last Air Force Commander- Lt. Gen Carl Gaggiano- a white) ALL the Grippens were operational, ditto the Hawk Jets. In Nigeria we had something similar called ‘Federal Character’ and look at the mess we are in because we sacrificed meit on the alter of of ,Federal Character’ in key appointments.

  13. freeegulf says:

    gens jimmy and yagz, i m truly impressed with your write ups. command positions might mirror affirmative action (if deserved) but crew training should always take preeminence. if however, they re shortchanging them based on corrective actions, then i think there will be a spiral down effect.

  14. peccavi says:

    It would be good to know what type of weapon system 344 Regt will use.

    Oga ‘s, I so fundamentally disagree with you on this South Africa issue, if what you are insinuating is that black people cannot fly planes or command submarines.
    If you say Affirmative Action gets unqualified or inexperienced people promoted to the detriment of quality, I agree. If you make this an issue of the person being black or white then that is ridiculous.
    The SADF had a completely different outlook, set of problems etc than the SANDF. As has been said they are not at war any more, they HAVE to integrate their armed forces. There is no way the country could function with a black majority government and a white commanded Army. With time qualified black officers will rise through the ranks in the same manner as others others, unfortunately in the interim certain unqualified ones will have to be in place.
    The problem comes if Affirmative action continues for ever
    If education levels in general are not increased for all blacks and educated/ competent blacks are not encouraged to join the military
    Government corruption does not lead to stupid decisions, disused equipment etc
    If you read the accounts of the CAR incident the SANDF actually fought what has to be one of the finest rear guard/ last stand actions in recent years, an action that any army can be proud of, they were let down by a stupid government decision to send them in the first place and then to not support them with artillery, armour or airpower.
    But it is very depressing when we Africans so doubt ourselves that we equate accidents or issues as caused by blackness and success by whiteness

    • jimmy says:

      Oga Yagazie’s words”
      lf (and note that under the last Air Force Commander- Lt. Gen Carl Gaggiano- a white) ALL the Grippens were operational, ditto the Hawk Jets. In Nigeria we had something similar called ‘Federal Character’ and look at the mess we are in because we sacrificed meit on the alter of of ,Federal Character’ in key appointments.
      Oga PECCAVI, Please feel to reply on this issue . And as I said to OGA Freegulf i highly respect your comments even when we are on opposite side of the argument . This is problem it is not easily put as a black and white issue .As Nigerians we are very reluctant to bring the hammer down or criticize South Africa much with the venom /constructive criticism we use on Nigeria for all the most obvious reasons (LEGACY OF APARTHEID) but what we are seeing in South Africa is going beyond the issue of affirmative action this is criminal negligence just in order to catch up with the blacks being in command we are seeing A CONSISTENT EROSION IN LEADERSHIP, TRAINING AND TACTICAL THINKING.
      OGA peccavi think about why did they have to fight a rear guard action how did they put themselves in that position , OGA YAGAZIE in a fit of anger sarcastically asked what did they go there with or whom did they think they were fighting people with bow and arrow? This is a leadership logistic nightmare no adequate air support , no adequate artillery support no heavy guns etc, etc. the list goes on. The most damming thing was the hasty panicky like withdrawal. This sent a very powerful message that if you bloody the nose of the South AFRICANS enough they SHALL cut and run with recriminations of blame at each others throat.
      Personally We know black can acquire all the skills necessary BASED ON MERIT THIS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION THING IS BECOMING LIKE A CANCER. What seems to been to be happening is that the right people are not being promoted because of the color of their skin and the results are showing up in the field and – they continue to show up in the field.
      i shudder when I read that an African country is the darling of the west ( I read pliant ineffective leadership foreign policy wise and military wise) South Africa is slowly but surely falling into that category ,
      Last I want blacks, whites, mixed races and Asians BASED ON MERIT TO dominate the South African army/armed forces because A WEAK SOUTH AFRICA IS BAD NEWS FOR AFRICA AT LARGE.

  15. eyimola says:

    South Africa has never had all its Gripens serviceable in the true sense of the word. The first deliveries to the SAAF was in 2008, and I believe the last batch was received last year. The problems with the South African Gripens are financial not technical, and IMHO cannot be blamed on the military leadership.

  16. yagazie says:

    Gen Peccavi, much respect for your comments/views. Please re-read my comments. I am not and would never suggest that poor operational issues in the SANDF are caused by having blacks in command whilst operational successes are only achieved when whites are in command. All I am saying is that Affirmative Action in which unqualified or non-experienced persons (who in this case happen to be black) are placed in charge of sensitive /technical equipment simply for the purposes of re-dressing past racial injustice is WRONG. Period. The racial imbalance should be addressed by ensuring that more blacks are given the right training and rise on merit through various cadres in the millitary – which will take years to complete and then they will eventually take up command appointments/man sensitive equipment. In the interim, use the available manpower (which in this case happens to be mostly white) to keep the equipment (aircraft/submarines etc) operational. i am quite passionate about this matter bacause South Africa is the only country in sub-saharan Africa with the requisite platforms/capabilities with which our military can conduct reasonable naval or Airforce excercises. It is also not in Africa’s (and particulalry Nigeria’s strategic intrest to have a degraded South African millitary- especially when such degradation is self- inflicted.

    • peccavi says:

      Oga Yagazie, With that I can agree, we can only hope they have sane political leadership that begins to reverse the decline

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