A 90mm gun-armed Panhard Sagaie AFV near Marte, northern Borno.

By Daniel Magnowski and Gbenga
14 February, 2014

Facing a crackdown by Nigeria’s army in cities, Islamist militants are targeting villages in the northeast, killing about 160 people this year in Borno state and signaling there’s no respite in their five-year-old insurgency.

In one of the latest assaults,suspected
members of the Boko Haram group killed 39 people on Feb. 11 when they attacked a police station, houses and mosques in Konduga county, about 38 kilometers (24 miles) southeast of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, local authorities said. Last month, 85 people died in an attack on Kawuri village that destroyed 300 houses and shops.

“Boko Haram attacks have continued at a relentless pace and there are no signs at present that security conditions will improve in the near future,” said Ben Payton, senior Africa analyst at Bath, U.K.-based risk analysis company Maplecroft.

Since President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency on Borno,Yobe and Adamawa states last May, the military has claimed to have knocked back Boko Haram, which is fighting to impose Shariah, or Islamic law, in Africa’s biggest oil producer. Boko Haram started its violent campaign after its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, died in police custody in July 2009.

Boko Haram has not carried out an attack on a high-profile metropolitan target since 2011, when it bombed the United Nations building and a church, both in Abuja, the capital. Violence has eased too in Maiduguri, a city of about 1 million people that was the birthplace of Boko Haram, residents say.

‘Relative Peace’

“The state of emergency declaration has brought about relative peace to
Maiduguri and neighboring communities, but all that is at the expense of vulnerable villages which now suffer frequent attacks from suspected Boko Haram members,” said Aisha Abubakar, a 42-year-old tailor in Maiduguri.

The U.S., which designated Boko Haram a “terrorist’’ organization in November, said that during the attack on Konduga the insurgents kidnapped young women from two schools in the area. The Nigerian government should ensure that those abducted during the raid “are safely returned to their families, and bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible,” the U.S. Embassy said today
in a statement.

Campaign Issue

The security forces’ success or failure
against Boko Haram may play a role in
determining whether Jonathan will win another presidential term in elections next year should he decide to run in them. Along with allegations of economic mismanagement, falling revenue from oil exports, and the lack of long-promised reforms in the oil industry, the failure of Jonathan’s government to quash Boko Haram’s rebellion is a prominent electoral theme.

“Jonathan’s national security credentials and performance, recently criticized by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, will be a major campaign issue,” Philippe de Pontet, Africa director at Eurasia Group, said in e-mailed comments.

The military claims to have killed at least 150 militants in three major pushes in Borno state since Dec. 20, including a Jan.9 shootout in which 38 rebels died. “You can kill 20, 30, 40 people but the country’s northern areas have not become more secure,” Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, chief Africa analyst at New York-based DaMina Advisors LLP, a frontier-market risk adviser, said in a phone interview.

Pursue Insurgents

Colonel Muhammad Dole, the military
spokesman in Borno, said the army plans to press ahead with its strategy of chasing the militants in an effort to
smash the insurgency. Security forces have “intensified combat patrols on major roads and around vulnerable towns and villages,” Dole said in a telephone interview.

Ground attacks, backed by air support,
have forced some insurgents over the
borders into Chad, Cameroon and Niger, Air Force Squadron Leader Chris Erondu said in an e-mailed statement on Feb. 5.

In Adamawa state, which borders Borno, nine soldiers were killed in a gunfight with Boko Haram members yesterday, Lagos-based The Punch newspaper reported, citing an unidentified military official.

More than 10,000 Nigerians have fled
into Cameroon and Niger, the United
Nations Refugee Agency said last month. Hundreds more are moving to the Christian-dominated south to cities such as Port Harcourt, the heart of the oil industry.

British Warning

Internationally, majority-Muslim northern Nigeria is seen as a danger zone. A Jan. 27 statement from Britain’s Foreign Office warned Britons not to visit five northeastern states, saying there is a “threat of retaliatory attacks following the declared state of emergency and
subsequent military operations.”

As the attacks spreads in the countryside, isolated villages in Borno such as Gwoza, where a roadside bomb killed at least seven people last month, are bearing the brunt of the violence. “Residents of Gwoza and other nearby villages have been living in great fear of any possible attacks by members of the Boko Haram sect,” said Mohammed Musa, a farmer who travels to Maiduguri to sell his beans. “These terrorists have continued to attack our villages killing innocent people.”


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. rka says:
    Nigerian Army has refreshed it’s website. There is an interesting looking piece of artillery? in the sliding photos on the front page. Can’t quite make out what it is.

    • rka says:

      It may be a communications antennae attached to a cylindrical pole having had a 2nd look at it.

      • Are James says:

        Range surveillance transplant vehicle. Locally designed and produced. I suspect it shoots a small rocket with a camera for a look see or maybe some electro optical means of looking at the battlefield.

    • asorockweb says:

      The Army’s website is worse than I thought.
      Can you believe that someone left the Latin content placeholders IN PLACE.

      Sorry guys, I am particular about stuff like this.

    • asorockweb says:

      Please if there is ANY high ranking NA officer reading this blog, please get that website taken down until someone inspect EVERY page.
      This is the website of a nation’s army, not the “Abiriba Self Defense League”.

      • igbi says:

        I think that website might be a fake.

      • Obix says:

        @Oga asrockweb, i thought it was a disney cartoon game page. The photo of the COAS looks like a CGI ( computer-generated imagery). You can still see some old design templates not deleted…..Looks very horrible. Many buttons are not working. Please, let them shut it down till it looks like a website of a 21st century army!

      • igbi says:

        the text is in fake latin.

      • Are James says:

        ok, ok. They will take it down soon or correct it at least. I love the colourful language you used here though. Meanwhile the website has some commendable content like T55 tank that was locally refurbished and the Range ‘Survailant’ Vehicle which mis spelling will also be corrected soon.

      • asorockweb says:

        Oga Are James, thanks for reacting promptly.
        I click on the link for the “refurbished T-55” but I didn’t see a story or article related to Tanks or the armoured corps.
        Were you referring to just the image in the slider in the home page?

        Meanwhile pleas take a look at this page:
        Who are “john Picket”, “Eric Rogers”, and “Rumiana Gigova” and what are they doing in our Army’s website?

  2. giles says:

    pls wen wil our army repent

  3. Are James says:

    Three possible explanations:
    1.The Nigerian Army website has been cloned or taken over.
    2.Somebody s using the NA website design as a template to design one for another company and has somehow turned it on while still under construction.
    3. More likely the NA is redesigning its website using another’s template and have turned it on by mistake.

    Whichever is true this website is not ready yet.

  4. doziex says:

    Hey guys, I am hoping this is the beginning of NA brass response to my constant criticism of their poor representation on the web and on you tube.
    So, I will withhold further comments for now.

    Can you guys believe, that south sudan has better tanks than nigeria. While we are still toying with vickers tanks and t55s, the UPDF is showing what the t-90 can do in southern sudan.
    Just thought I should tell ya.

  5. Are James says:

    Well, tanks are not in anymore.
    In fact I make bold to say that in the next twenty years, these venerable land platforms are going to be museum pieces. They are just too sluggish, their guns too slow to aim and fire to make much of a difference to the modern battle field. Ask, Israel, that moved hundreds of tanks into Lebanon a few years ago. They did not lose a lot of tanks but but I am still trying to remember now what advantage the tanks conferred over Hezbollah if any.
    They may have worked in South Sudan because the rebels took oil facilities and towns and presented bunched up entrenched positions for tanks to shell. However in these days of cheap armed Chinese UAVs, insurgent deployed IEDs and conventional army deployed smart mines, tanks are just too vulnerable. They also make wars too costly and can be a logistic nightmare.

    Nigeria has commendably never gone down the route of large armoured inventories the way countries like Libya and Syria did. Those inventories were completely useless against all the enemies they came against whether ithey were conventional NATO forces or fast moving Insurgent armies.
    By the way the US has the largest boneyards of unused and fairly used tanks in the world about 5000 M1 and its predecessor tanks that their allies don’t want and sanctions won’t permit selling to just any country.

    • camouflage1984 says:

      I read a report this morning on efforts made by Cameroon to stem the tide of Boko Haram and also Boko Haram threat letter to Cameroon. My fear is that what if Cameroon end up not been able to hold out against BH?

      • igbi says:

        Do you think Nigeria will let Cameroon alone to face boko haram ?
        The enemy of my enemy is my friend and the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

    • igbi says:

      I disagree, tanks accompanied by infantry and APCs makes a big difference in the battle field, it surely made one when Russia was about to invade georgia, and there is certainly a reason why Nato targetted Kaddafi Tanks from the sky before at the beginnning of the “no fly” zone.

      • camouflage1984 says:

        That’s my fear exactly, our boys being overstretched into Cameroon because Cameroon’s military does not have the man power and experience(I stand corrected) to face Boko Haram!

      • igbi says:

        Strategically: where is boko haram going to hide when Cameroon cooperates fully with Nigeria ? Apart from CAR I can’t see. Actually what you should understand is that boko haram still exists for the simple reason that Cameroon has not been cooperating, so we surely hope that is changing. And an other thing: We are fighting boko haram, right ? So how would fighting boko haram camps on Cameroonian soil overstretch us ? unless you think the terrorists have more man power than us. We don’t even have a choice, we have to help whoever sides us in the fight against boko haram. SO your question is misplaced. Completely.

      • igbi says:

        By the way it would be nice to stop underrating the cameroonian military.

    • CHYDE says:

      My brother, i dont agree with you, on the contrary tanks are now taking a new turn… going stealth, maybe you should see this: and, then have a re think

    • Kay says:

      Have a look at the effects of tanks/armour in Syria. Why are rebels constantly pleading for ATGM’s?

  6. triggah says:

    Whoever calls a tank obsolete is hugely mistaken. Tanks still have a place in modern warfare it will be faster, stronger and fires more precise and heavier shells in the near future. When units of infantry is paired with tank units, better result is acquired because of the massive firepower the tanks brings onboard. it brings massive suppresive fire and still provides armour protection and in some instance anti-helicopter capability. Tanks is the king of Ground warfare anything you do on the ground is base on what the armour threat level is… F*ck that’s why we have so much airborne platforms being configured for anti-armour role, that’s one of the reason we perform close air support missions I’m the first place. We are going to see tanks so much till they start firing laser beams at each other. Having a modern armour force keep your enemies at a distance. Imagine conducting amphibious landing without elements of armoured units present my guy that’s suicide.

  7. Tope says:

    First 53 killed, 9 Soldiers Dead, 20 girls kidnapped, now. Are says 90 killed haba! Is it a Game of Fox n Rabbit? Or its just news Sensationalism? I don’t understand wasn’t da Army keeping dem running so how come dey hv Regrouped so Quickly sometin is Very Fishy Sirs.

  8. Tope says:

    Da idiots called giving dis Contract need to be shouted on, Jesus! I will do dia Site for Free even, Using HTML5 Standard not dat Filth we r seeing make dem go look Foreign Military Websites and Use dia Templates, Its annoying using compressed pictures for Christ sake I’m dying here! And I’m sure dey will charge millions to do rubbish job n All of dem will nod head like Agama lizard after seein dis? I’m Speechless

  9. Tope says:

    Oga Beeg, From dat ur Article a Foreigner even went further to comment ” Why isn’t Nigeria’s Clueless President Goodluck Jonathan buying Drones to kill dis Men” so even da Foreigners can Call it out for us……Well me I don tire to talk, it is until dey shoot inside Aso Rock dem go ready till then……

    • giles says:

      tope do u hav a father,cos if u hav u would not call some one’s else father culless.if we want d boko haram to go away den tell d north to go do der homework.

      • igbi says:

        Perhaps you want to tell us Jonathan is your father, ok, why wouldn’t he be ?
        Let us tell you that he is the president of the FRN, and as such there are duties he is supposed to be performing and which he is not. Nigerians are dying everyday because of a clueless president and you are here telling us we shouldn’t criticize him because he is your father! need I say more ?

  10. Are James says:

    Well….when I post the truth on this blog some people will remove it.
    *sulking and making faces*

  11. Are James says:

    Interesting revelations. This proves that without good leadership everything fails, everything.
    So BH is getting air supplies?… from where? …..where is the NAF?

    “The source said that the Boko Haram insurgents travelled from the Sambisa Forest which was over 50 kilometres away from where the troops were stationed to launch the attack on them.

    ‘’They arrived Izge in two Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, among other heavy military hardware without hindrance. Although the Nigerian troops fought gallantly and killed some of the Boko Haram terrorists, including the ‘gunner’ in one of the armoured vehicles but the attackers re-grouped and came back the second time and killed the troops as well as wounding one of the officers due to lack of reinforcement.

    “Apart from the two APCs, the terrorists came with several other vehicles which enabled them to escape after inflicting such casualties on us. They were even able to carry away their dead or wounded colleagues.
    ‘’It is a known fact that the Boko Haram terrorists have their cells at Sambisa Forest, where they get logistics supply from helicopters that fly to the forest from time to time”

  12. freeegulf says:

    like i said earlier, this COIN ops is only being managed. they are just containing the vermin and keeping a lead on the whole mess. if the tri-north east states wherent nothing but huge dust bowl and desert lands, if they had crude oil, the federal govt would have been on top of the situation by now.

    the CDS is blowing hot air saying the insurgency would end by April. if really that where his exact words then he is living in la la fantasy land. personally, i think he should relocate his HQ to MDG airbase and personally oversee the campaign, especially the air force contribution to the war. he needs his fighting strips and combat medals. unfortunately, being a transport pilot, i guess this would hardly seem practical for him. unlike their fighter pilots jocks, transport pilots lack the aggressiveness and ruggedness to lead tough situations. its a standard consternation among world air forces.

    • Are James says:

      Thank you for this post.
      This man has never thrown an aircraft into roll, felt g forces as he blinks to focus on his display, hands on his stick as instruments lock on target, right thumb launching on ground targets while aircraft shoots flares automatically to confuse incoming ground to air missiles. Climbing rapidly at speed of sound drains blood out of the brain for a second till G suits do their thing. Levelling up with eyes on radar, instruments and mission computer. Sonic booms and exploding bombs a distant complement to the radio chatter.
      This is air war not glorified civil aviation that transport pilots do.

  13. Makanaky says:

    Has the Nigerian armed forces failed ? or they are failing ? Lets remove all the blame on procurement and others but look at the situation critically, in terms of leadership, ingenuity, knowledge of BH modus operandi and counter by our forces they have failed woefully.
    To the best of my knowledge our military leadership belongs to the 19th century and should be replaced by more pragmatic and innovative young offices.

  14. giles says:

    nigeria has no military.if nigeria could not defeat small biafra witout outsid help,do u tink dey can do it now,inas much we need d MI fighting machines we all so need does A-29’s from brazil.

    • igbi says:

      mr giles, I think you need to stop (a) your personal attacks on bloggers, and (b) your ethnic bigotry. Yes sir you are a bigot.

      • giles says:

        hm i see,wen u don’t hav respect for d president do u expect him to perform?,pls next tym u should first remov d stone in ur eye b4 removin d sand in lov lost no lov found

      • igbi says:

        My concern is Nigeria, not GEJ. I think yours is GEJ not Nigeria.
        My problem at this very moment with GEJ is that he didn’t fund the military well.
        And the fact that the main reason he chose Badeh as CDS is because he doesn’t go for procurement. What you should realize is that Nigeria is our country and we want it well led. If you want to defend GEJ then fine, but if to do that you have to condemn every man of our 150000 strong military (among which all those who have given their lives for this country) or start insulting people’s fathers then you have got it wrong. Give valid arguments if you want to defend him. I think you need to start seeing GEJ as a Nigerian, as the president of Nigeria and not as your kinsman. If GEJ doesn’t perform then he should face critics.

    • asorockweb says:

      You are obviously clueless about Biafra.
      Think before you type – it’s just like talking, but not like chewing gum

  15. Deway says:

    Too heavy a price to pay in one weekend!. Why? we haven’t been able to adapt quickly to BH antics and asymmetrical warfare. We haven’t been able to splash out the funds for serious intelligence, surveillance and attack aircrafts. We pay lip service to prosecution of BH sponsors just to appease a certain group of people. (BH attacking in APCs? from where??) That’s why of all people in the world, Ndume will still has the guts to speak to the press about BH. As has been rightly observed over the weekend, soldiers are poorly equipped (AK47 only), poorly supplied, inadequate in number. The current tactic of attack, disperse insurgents and withdraw has not been successful. The remote areas are left exposed. However, I wont take it away from the military that BH has been largely contained to the remote parts of Bornu and Adamawa states and very soft targets too. However, this should have been expected and planned for, I believe one of the reasons we send officers for courses both home and abroad is to have the capacity to assess past and present situations and inform the military high command on possible future implications. Right? But we’ve failed repeatedly in this area. I’m not a military man but will echo what millions have repeated over and over again, its certainly not a solution to the crises but it something to ponder about: can the boys stop patrolling in toyota hilux vehicles for goodness sake? Can the “running out of ammo situation” be a thing of the past? Can there be more troops in high risk areas with full kitting and equipment and ammo? Can the Otokar cobras and VBLs patrolling the NE be upgraded to carry grenade launchers in addition to MGs as standard? and make them standard NE patrol vehicles? Can the boys on the ground have adequate air support? These are just basic stuff really.. The idea of buying strategic equipment like hinds and Mi17 terminators in trickles needs to stop. lets show more seriousness.

    • AreJames says:

      Thank you for the post.I could also add that the army should move instructor s from infantry, desert warfare and special forces schools to Maidudguri. Full control room set up Secure communications hook up to all zones of battle including air force jets all instructors should be on hand advising the division commander. Full mock up model of the Northeast part of the state. Maps and possible escape routes of BH.Scenarios and trying to get in the mind of the enemy.
      Pot bellied generals in ad offices won’t in this.

  16. triggah says:

    Hmmm… The way things are turning now do you think with all the equipment in planet. Earth… This our military can still defeat BH? They are just doing EVERYTHING wrong. Na wa oo

    • igbi says:

      I think you need to stop your negative comments. By the way, they are not even constructive. Perhaps you are confusing beegeagle’s blog with nairaland. We have standards here.

    • Deway says:

      Oga Triggah, I’m not saying we should buy submarines or Abrams tanks to fight BH. All I’m saying is that the right things need to be done and the right assets have to be in place. Like I said, these are basic stuff, nothing big really. We already have some assets, we can do more with them (upgrade, increase lethality). There’s so much technology and assistance out there in the world, what are we waiting for??
      Increase troop protection and firepower
      Increase number of troops (numerical strength is very important whether we believe this or not. The army is already doing a lot here but still needs to do more)
      Increase intelligence gathering and ability to use it; increase surveillance of high risk areas.
      Adequate air support
      Officers really need to sit down and learn the nitty gritty of dirty warfare and COIN ops.
      Deal with anyone with links to BH, Assess source of BH funding and attack it politically, economically, militarily. I’m pretty sure some of the sponsors have businesses operating in Nigeria, Niger etc

  17. Are James says:

    @giles and @igbi
    I think for the sake of lives lost we should not let our frustrations degenerate into quarrelling.
    There is actually a confluence of objectives here which we all share – the immediate and total destruction of Boko Hiram as a fighting force and the elevation of Nigeria’s fighting forces as noble defenders of our sovereignty,national pride and an inspiration to our youth.
    The more we support the administration politically the more we should get angry when people delivering services tumour nation under perform, cause the loss of innocent lives further and embarrass the office of the president.

  18. AreJames says:

    Did people notice a statement by a local to Vanguard Newspapers that an army unit removed their men from a community after they lost 10 men. This action exposed the community completely to further attacks. I thought of this and was wondering if this was not a mutinous action by a mid level officer disgusted with th quality of his supplies and the lack of Air support. It is surely against the best traditions of the Nigerian Army to disobey orders and leave your post without seeing your relief. So the question is; has perceived bad leadership started affecting morale?.

  19. triggah says:

    The outlying villages are so spread apart and far away. There have to be CONSTANT ground patrols on APC’s or at least bullet resistance technicals by the army and the airforce should be on high alert. Sometimes I wish our army have an aviation unit to quickly disperse air assets like REAL attack helicopters. The airforce needs 24/7 surveillance, recons. I wonder if Nigerian armed force have any real precision strike capability I just wonder. Dropping 250kg bombs or straffing with rockets isn’t precision.
    Our dear SSS should employ HUMINT, ELINT, SIGNINT anything and everything should be thrown at the problem that’s how the Russians do things.

  20. gbash10 says:

    In as much as the GEJ PDP-led government is reluctant to re-arm the Nigerian armed force adequately,more citizens will be dying from the hands of Boko Haram and Fulani herds men,people will continue to complain and cry for justice either from GEJ or any other person Nigerians would elect as our new president,but I do not subscribe to military take-over! Old fashion.

  21. Are James says:

    Here is a report alluding to the very wide variation in the price of MI 17 helicopter, Apparently some are as cheap as $3.5million while some can be up to $15million. So previous assumptions that NAF’s N6.0 billion outlay was too small may for a few of the helicopters may be false.
    I believe we are getting some soon …….in fairly used condition.

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