Nigerian troops in bullish mood get set for a trip into repossessed northern Borno


19 August, 2013

Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, a Lt. General, has challenged men and
officers of the Nigerian Army to imbibe
the spirit of professionalism in their
career and desist from meddling in issues of religion.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of
the Basic Counter Terrorism Course 13/13 at the Nigerian Army Training Centre
(NATRAC), Kontagora in Niger State at
the weekend, Ihejirika warned that
those who engage in religious extremism will have no place in the Nigerian Army.

“Military as a career the world over,
Nigerian Army inclusive, does not
promote any particular religion but the
common mandate of protecting territorial integrity of Nigeria and as such will not hesitate to flush out soldiers engaging in acts of religious extremism. “It has been observed of recent that a religious cleric has been distributing inciting statements, leaflets and compact disc loaded with information to confuse, misdirect and cause disaffection amongst you. “It is also targeted at breaking the espirit-de-corps which binds us together as a fighting force,” the army chief noted.

While calling on the soldiers to read
between the lines to sieve lies,
propaganda, and misinformation that
would cause confusion in the military,
Ihejirika urged them to disregard such
propaganda and continue in their resolve at protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians.

Represented at the occasion by
Commander of NATRAC, Sylvester Audu, a
Major-General, the Chief of Army Staff
said training and re-equipping of the
Nigerian Army are ongoing projects and
urged the soldiers to acquaint themselves with new equipment, which they will use to forestall any incursion into Nigerian territory.

Describing as spurious, allegations that the armed forces were opposed to amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect, Ihejirika said “most of the spurious allegations recently raised by a religious cleric accusing the Armed Forces of being opposed to amnesty for the insurgents were untrue and baseless.

“You can see for yourselves the
infrastructural developments around you
in Kontagora Barracks which are also
replicated in other barracks all over the
country to improve your efficiency,service delivery and as well as your well being. “Generally, welfare is being improved, new barracks are being built and old houses are also being renovated. “In particular, I have released some funds for the renovation of soldiers’ accommodation to reduce the stress on the already stretched accommodation in NATRAC. ‘I have also directed the headquarters, NAE, to come up with design of a befitting students’ accommodation block”, Ihejirika added.

A total of 1,600 young soldiers made up
of 1,431 males and 169 females attended the course that lasted two months.

Also in his address, Director, Counter
Terrorism and Counter Insurgency(CTCOIN), Tijani Golau, a Brigadier-
General, explained that the main
objective of the course was to avail the
soldiers the requisite skill and knowledge to combat the current wave of contemporary security challenges in the country.


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:

    There you have it, gentlemen. Two more ‘battalions’ of fresh troops set for deployment to the new 7 Infantry Division.

    • Akin Oges says:

      Oga Beeg, good morning. Sorry to spoil your late breakfast with this news on THISDAY:

      “The immediate past Vice-President of the World Bank (Africa) and former Minister of Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has confirmed the widely held belief that the federal legislature is a drain on the country’s national purse, stating that the National Assembly has between 2005 and 2013 received over N1 trillion.

      Ezekwesili made the revelation yesterday in Abuja, at a one-day dialogue session on the cost of governance in Nigeria and review of the Oronsanye Committee Report, organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).

      The former minister lampooned the budgetary allocation system in the country, which gives more to recurrent expenditure instead of capital projects.

      She reeled out the composition of the 2012 budget with more than 80 per cent allocated to recurrent expenditure, while a paltry 18 per cent was for capital expenditure.

      “In the 2012 budget, personnel expenditure alone gulped 44 per cent at N1.81 trillion, overheads was 14 per cent at N590 billion, and debt services of 16 per cent of the budget at N679 billion, while capital expenditure stood at 18 per cent of N744 billion.

      “Our lack of development is occasioned by this kind of budget, where capital expenditure is just 18 per cent of the budget, whereas in other developed and developing countries it takes about 60 to 80 per cent of their budgets,” she added.

      Speaking on the frivolous spending of the federal government, Ezekwesili revealed that in 2005 and 2006 the National Assembly was allocated N54.79 billion respectively, but it rose to N158 billion in 2010 and that the allocation had been steady at N150 billion since 2011.

      She said: ” Since 2005, the National Assembly has been allocated over N1 trillion…things will improve through part time legislators, as it will also filter the number of people who will go into the National Assembly. You must have means of livelihood and you don’t need to depend on public funds. We need to learn more on the good and bad side of it. But, we cannot rule out the possibility.”

      Ezekwesili also blamed Nigeria’s development woes on over-reliance on oil, which encourages laziness, corruption and mismanagement.

      She lamented that over dependent on oil had dragged the nation backward, while other nations with similar historical and economic background with Nigeria such as South Korea, Singapore, Qatar have not only diversified their economy, but were far ahead in technological advancement.

      The former World Bank vice-president said while other countries were moving forward, “Nigeria is entrapped in something called oil, where $1.6 billion is lost to theft annually, adding that the nation greatest tragedy is the entrapment by the oil.”

      Ezekwesili further stated: “Nigeria lags behind other oil-producing countries in business competitiveness with Qatar, Saudi. Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) at number 14, 17 and 22 respectively.

      “Economic evidence shows that the answer, whichwe must ponder deeply is that oil has entrenched corrupt, and mismanagement of resources in government.

      “We are entrapped by the so-called oil and the politics it entails. Our greatest tragedy is being entrapped by the oil economy, which has excluded creativity.”

      Ezekwesili noted that the problem of Nigeria was not the system of government being practised, but the kind of people to deliver on the system, as the best system.

      Speaking on the poverty level of the nation, she said Nigeria was endowed with wealth that breeds poverty, adding that 69 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line.

      “There should be effective demand of the report of the Oronsaye report. You should demand a mini national transparent dialogue because it touches on the heart of good governance,” she urged.

      Also, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Mr. Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, in his opening remarks, frowned on the cost of governance in Nigeria, especially the maintenance of 10 planes in the presidential fleet, which allegedly gulped about N9.08 billion annually.

      Musa further condemned the way government squander resources to service the greed of individuals, enriching cronies or financing wasteful perks of office.

      He, however, noted that there were some reforms in public finance management such as the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), which reportedly have uncovered about 46,000 ghost workers and saved about N119 billion.

      He said: “In spite of these gains, the debate still rages on. The recent media reports of our National Assembly members being the highest paid in the world, the size of the government cabinet at the executive level, including the retinue of superfluous aides and special assistants.

      “The 10-planes size of the presidential fleet, which allegedly gulps N9.08 billion annually for maintenance, the usually scandalous size of government contingents on foreign trips and many other seemingly curious provisions in the appropriation, continues to beg the question as to whether the ongoing government approach is the most appropriate approach in reducing the cost of governance and freeing valuable resources for developmental purposes.”

      • beegeagle says:

        There you have it. An average of US$800 million spent annually on 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Reps since 2005. A 469-man joint National Assembly. As you can see, self-service and not competing demands is where the problem lies

        Gentlemen, give me US$800 million to spend on hardware for our military for two years consecutively and I shall transform the arsenal overnight.

        Here is how that shall come to pass.

        Year 1


        * 2 new Type 056 corvettes+2 Harbin Z-9 ASW helics (with a used Type 53H2 frigate thrown in for free)$150m

        * 2 Daewoo Makassar LPDs (with two used 37metre PKM patrol craft thrown in for free) $100m

        * 2 ex-German Type 122A frigates $90m

        * 3 new and upgunned 83 metre Damen 8313 1500+ ton OPVs with helipads $65m


        * 8 factory-refurbished Su-27 air superiority jets (incl. two trainer variants) $100m

        * 12 new AS-550 Fennec armed scout helics $30m

        * 12 surplus Mi-35P attack helics $60m

        * 6 surplus Mi-17V5 armed utility helics $30m


        * 100 new units of GILA MRAP $50m

        * 100 refurbished units of Casspir MRAP $20m

        * 50 new units of BTR-3 IFVs (with Shturm combat module) $60m

        * 18 new units of AS-555 Fennec armed scout helics $45m

        HOW would the military look after one year? Money well spent?

        YEAR 2


        * 50 new units of T90 MBTs $195m

        * 100 upgraded units of T72 MBTs $50m


        * 6 new Su-30MK2 air superiority jets $270m

        * 6 surplus units of Mi-24V attack helics $20m

        * 6 surplus units of Su-25 COIN jets $40m


        * 3 torpedo+SAM-armed Knud Rasmussen OPVs $150m

        * 3 Made-in-Nigeria Andoni-class CPCs $15m

        * 9 Shaldag FPCs $60m

        How do we look after two years? 🙂 and US$1.6bn? That is what we have not been able to achieve in 14 years?

  2. camouflage1984 says:

    “The Air Force chief also appealed to the National Assembly to consider the NAF proposal for the purchase of aero craft to be able to respond swiftly to threat in border areas”. Please somedody clarify what the air chief means by ”aero craft” or is it that the reporter misquoted him? Permit me Og Beeg.

  3. freeegulf says:

    maybe he meant Aerostat. they are balloon-like craft (airship are also used) that are used for border defence.
    they can carry sophisticated radar and other surveillance gadgets to monitor borders, military installations, and other national assets and facilities that might be deemed threat worthy.
    the americans and israelis are quite adept in their use. they are a cheap and effective way to protect borders.
    the balloons are static and some are even non flying. their cost could start from $2m to $20m

    NAF should get at least half a dozen. they will go a long way in protecting our northeast, northwest, and southeast border with cameroun and EG

  4. freeegulf says:

    my marshal, the AS-550 Fennec would serve the NN better than NAF. the army can go for ex Luftwaffe mb-105s. the 105s are widely available, so spares wouldn’t be a problem
    NAF should add more MILs to their inventory. the heavy and medium lift should be their expertise. other than the AW-139 for ASW role, the navy need LUHs, so do army aviation command.
    also, NN might have to claw deep into NAF traditional front; fixed wing platforms. maritime platforms like the CASA CN-235 or the stretch derivative, the C-295M will serve well in this role, both as patrol and ASW type.

  5. freeegulf says:

    NAF has been operating MIL copters for over a decade now. its about time they add the AEW variants to their arsenal. our integrated C4ISR still has not taken shape. without these contemporary planning and gear, its extremely difficult to fight modern warfare that is non static.
    AEWs, mid refueling tankers, strategic reconnaissance aircraft, border surveillance and patrol, these are mandatory for NAF if they are to remain relevant as an independent institution.

  6. doziex says:

    Our elected leaders have bastardized, and made a mockery of democracy.

    If they choose to continue on this path, I predict military rule would be back in the cards for Nigeria.

    The coming coups will not be launched by the professional crop of generals we have now, but by Majors and under.

    Lest we forget, men with guns, are still men with guns.

    Nigeria may not survive such a scenario, but I hope the entire civilian leadership get executed for squandering the aspirations and dreams of a great people.

    • jimmy says:

      oga doziex
      Apart from being frustrated like the rest. let me be the first one to pour cold water on your argument. The composition and and general professionalism as well as some of the intricate things that obj instituted into the armed forces ESPECIALLY the army, followed by the navy and air force it is impossible to plot coup and let alone have a chance of succeeding are virtually less than zero. The armed forces of today are very very different from those of the 1970/80/ and even 1990s.
      Coupled with the fact that Nigerians of all ethnic backgrounds will not tolerate any coup.Thanks to ABACHA who punished every ethnic group. Their is virtually no chance OBJ with his demented Messianic ideology of a third term agenda cemented that deal.
      Buhari cannot even win the Northern region even as an ex-military leader with a depending whom you talk a not so blemished record.
      Those majors you talk about are so heavily engaged in other activities going on in NIGERIA, They really are not thinking like that.A major today can expect to be deployed from inside Nigeria to as far away as the Sudan , Mali, Niger,in a matter of six months.and then rotated to THE NORTH EAST/ WEST OR CENTRAL NIGERIA.
      Every Nigerian knows come 2015 GEJ or fill in the blank will be president. COME 2019 There will be another president hopefully the improvement who knows? maybe sen Chris call me ( I go come home campaign for her o!)
      Our new democracy is 14 years old it needs time a child that is 14 years is regarded as a teenager Nigeria needs time and the stability to mature.STUPID POLITICANS CHECK CORRUPTION CHECK RESILIENCE OF THE NIGERIAN PEOPLE CHECK.

  7. beegeagle says:

    Oga Doziex, please exercise some restraint. Knowing Nigeria, and if you ask me, I would say your last comment was out of order…free speech or not.

    There are many who would take this outburst to mean that you are goading the military on, are calling for a coup and calling for the execution of the civilian leadership. It will not be interpreted as a harmless tantrum but an act of emotional blackmail in pursuing one’s favoured outcomes. Many who have spoken out less categorically are in jail across the Third World.

    My hand nuh dey dat wan o, Nwokem. I nuh want mek anybody com ask me to produce Doziex or mek pesin hack into my blog in search of your details. Remember when I had some issues with suspected hackers last month? Men are responsible for their actions and utterances. Absolutely and certainly, ‘they’ know me but I hope they do not get to know you for the wrong reasons. This is my frank advice to you, my brother, in case you have not reflected deeply on the implications of what you are saying. That was totally unnecessary.

    What has come over you, my man? You are not engaging anymore and seem to be waxing ever more negative :-)! Take the 7 Division thing. When the snippets were droped, you said “I shall believe when I see”. When it became reality, you implied “wrong approach” to its formation. Now from the blue and even with the NA throwing up 1,600 troops to join the 8,000 others so swiftly afterwards – never mind the JSTF troops who will get absorbed into 7 Division – you come out with this needless outburst for no apparent reason…even as your earlier concerns have been eloquently addressed.

    I DOUBT that any of us can get any bit closer to our cherished outcomes by perpetually opposing every meaningful move or implying that our prescriptions always have to override those of the military. That would only alienate one and make them seem like implacable malcontents. Such men often have their views consigned to ignominy.

    Condemn and commend with the ebb and tide of developments. Blog on a case by case basis – not with a made-up mind and preconceived notions and expectations. I do that all the time (see the NN thread of yesterday or the Type 054 corvette/Type 054A frigate thread where I attacked like an angry lion). Even without looking to see how I do it, you can check to see what Jimmy, Peccavi, Eyimola, Henry, Freeegulf, XNur44 among many others, do. They condemn and commend as the situation demands and that, IMHO, is how not to lose your audience.

    If I were you, I would exercise a lot more caution. This always was and still remains an unofficial security community case you have not been reading between the lines. Even as you live in faraway America, remember Jonathan Elendu. I keep on reminding Beegeagle’s Bloggers about that episode in their own interest.

    Leave out the implied approach of “justify yourselves”, “I am not impressed” and “prove me wrong” since they look like acts of emotional blackmail. Even a child would see through all of that, call it mere baiting and move on. A lost opportunity of communicating one’s ideas then. So just make your clear prescriptions in a long post and let it be known. As a brother, it is my duty to help you watch your back sometimes.

    We are still committed to free speech and that is why that comment, with its very dangerous construct and at grave cost to my own person, remains on this page. I have yet to trash or edit a published comment in three years. But rights of free speech go with responsibilities. Let us all realise when we are taking things too far.

    This is the online media and the said outburst is no different from what is documented in a newspaper. It is even more serious than what the Nigerian presidential candidate who called for his supporters to, if need be, violently defend their votes, did in 2011 – eventually setting the nation off on an orgy of post-election violence. It is no different from genocidaires who went on air to call for ‘cockroaches’ to be trampled upon.

    Radio, TV, newspaper, blog, social networking sites – all media outlets. The Arab Spring was chiefly organised and executed via social networking sites, remember? Still, the anonymity which we enjoy online can and often gets shredded with catastrophic consequences to those who refuse to tread the path of caution.

    Careful kills nobody. Let us be mindful of the implications of what we say. It cannot always be “our way or the highway”

    Good morning one and all.

    • Akin Oges says:

      “Condemn and commend”. Clever. I like it. Thanks for the candid words of circumspection. Truth is, I feel the frustrations that gave vent to the comments of Oga doziex above. The wayward behaviours in our public offices are just not helping to move things along at all. Nevertheless, we should tooth-pick our comments when we let the world into our thought mode. Essentially we are here on this platform to help things to improve to our collective betterment. I agree with Oga Beeg, we should avoid the delivery of coming across as adversarial…”nothing good comes from a foe”. Regardless of the many flaws of the civil leadership thus far, we are here at this platform because we enjoy the ‘grace’ to associate/think/talk.

      • beegeagle says:

        You definitely know what I am saying, Akin. We are here to serve as watchdogs for our national security interests and to offer our “heads-up” where it is clear that someone might be clueless. We are not here to dethrone constituted authorities or to incite anyone against the governments at any or all levels.

        During the regimes of Buhari and Abacha, a platform such as this dared not exist. If it did, they would be the owners and operators.

        Yeah, commend and condemn has to be it because we are neither ‘yesmen’ nor rabble rousing activists. When you showed us the article which showed that 469 federal legislators are lounging with US$800m annually while the military at war have needs which are begging to be met, I condemned it immediately.

        But I did not stop there. We showed how for such an outlay which the beneficiaries would expectedly find nothing wrong about, we can extensively impact the pending requirements of the military. We condemn, commend and NEVER FAIL to make detailed prescriptions to show that we are not just manic-depressive downers but rather, think through our country’s issues and try to prescribe routes to the attainment of desirable ends. That is why we are taken very seriously and are so hard to ignore. They realise that one does not make such painstaking efforts except he truly loves and believes. So we live to rant angrily and to prescribe on another day.

        It would be very wrong to assume that it is all fruitless. One of us has been talking to one of Nigeria’s Top 7 citizens about our many issues, to my knowledge. That is what engagement means. It must not happen on our own terms alone. That is sure.

        The fact that we are gathered here: military, paramilitary, security and civilians alike and brainstorming on the way forward for our country in a free, patriotic and responsible manner, is the highlight of the dividends of democracy.

        Why don’t we just make hay and engage?It is not in doubt that the powers that be know that we are here. Remember, they called me to come see the SBS commandos? I did not apply or lobby for that. I mean, the No-COT partnered with us. We did not apply to be signed on. Do we publish directly mailed combat operations communique here or not? I never went soliciting for that.

        So the clear knowledge that proceedings here are being followed right at the top should be enough to spur everyone on into being at their best. That other approach is needless, utterly counterproductive and potentially, very dangerous. Enough said.

        Those of us who lived through all fifteen years of military in Nigeria, know the difference – the frustrating dithering of our civil administrators notwithstanding. Such thoughts are an ill-affordable luxury.

        In any case, Shagari achieved more in terms of hardware procurement in just four years than four dictators did in fifteen years. So what is the moot point – that the military provide for themselves better?

        OFFSIDE. Babangida and Abacha practically crippled the NAF which we are now struggling to rebuild at snail pace. Ask Freeegulf, Gbash10 and XNur44.

      • beegeagle says:

        That said, I remain very proud of everyone of us who has been deemed worthy, in mind and for his sense of balance, of being a commenting member of Beegeagle’s Blog. I only ask that we keep off the profane limits.

        It is indeed the case that across human societies the very best and most refined of men it is who lend themselves to the serious business of promoting, protecting and defending the highest communal and national interests of their communities and nations. It is an attitude which purveys concern for the group rather than for the individual and only the most elevated of men are able to place the interests of the entire group or nation above their individual and micronationalist pursuits.

        Real men concern themselves with how to secure their communities and nations, not least because there are vulnerable women and children within, who need to be protected.

        That is noble, dignified, classy and gentlemanly conduct.

  8. Akin Oges says:

    Gbam!!! Enough said. Much respect my General Beeg. And respect to Oga doziex, who nevertheless means well. Lessons learnt. We move on with been “One Love” in this business of making Nigeria Great.

  9. kai Oga Beeg, i nuh see any reference to purchases from Proforce ooh. I no go buy from them kwoo?

    • beegeagle says:

      😉 “I no go buy from dem kwoo” ko? Abi you don get private army?

      Sha, that was deliberate. I already itemised the relevance of their systems in the thread on the new 7 Infantry Division where we tried to prescribe conventional and counterinsurgency systems essential for the division’s smooth operations. PROFORCE PF2 LEOPARD AFVs HIGHLY DESIRABLE for 7 Division operations. Ditto Otokar Cobra APCs, Casspir+GILA MRAPs and Landcruiser gun-trucks.

      All correct, sir.

  10. jimmy says:

    AMEN OGA DOZIEX I will come to his defence , and like OGA BEEGS said those of us who had uncles and aunties who lived/ served through the terrible years of the IBB AND ABACHA YEARS CAN ONLY TESTIFY with the truth and GOD as our Witness. Nigeria has gotten a lot better .OGA DOZIEX is just a tad bit frustrated.
    Nigeria has gotten a lot better since 1979.My extended family and friends uncles and aunties who served including who one was erroneously convicted and literally escaped the firing squad within hours will testify. Nigeria is changing but change comes with time, and sometimes because we have such a high level of expectation we do not see what is really going i.e. we do not see the trees from the forests, nor should we paint everything / everybody with the same brush.
    From last posts on my letter to GEJ, I painted a picture of constructive criticism and even I am aware between GEJ AND YARADUA , They have carried on the reforms in the armed forces way beyond what was started by “I -AM-NOT- SUPPOSED- TO- BE -HERE” OBJ. (LOL)

  11. beegeagle says:

    @Oga Jimmy. Lol. Oga Doziex is not on trial so no need to come to his defence. The alternative of not pointing out implications is that our man walks straight into trouble. It is not everything which a man thinks which needs to be committed to words. That is why reticence is sometimes the expedient option.

    Keeping quiet and pretending that all of what he said was excusable or understandable under any circumstance does not mean the enforcers of the law find any of it acceptable. How does that help his cause?

    To be sure, I can only advice but not force anyone to work with what I said. Choices are free and we all know that they also have consequences.

  12. Yagazie says:

    Oga Doziex, make you cool down!! I understand your frustration and anger at the seemingly slow pace of movement as far as re-equipping our armed forces is concerned – but what you have suggested is CERTAINLY NOT the way forward. Oga beegz has eloquently addressed the issue so other than to say that I concur with my broda, I have nothing further to add. Oga Doziex, take solace in the fact that Nigeria and its actors have the continous capacity to be consistently inconsistent and to pleasantly surprise you when you least expect it. That said, Just stay calm, watch this space and monitor future developments. God Bless.

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