Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff

23 February, 2014

Nigeria’s military says it has closed
hundreds of miles (kilometres) of its
northeastern border with Cameroon to
stop Islamic extremists using the country as a haven and launch pad for attacks.

Brig. Gen. Rogers Nicholas of the 23
Armored Brigade told reporters on
Saturday that he was exercising emergency powers because it is “imperative” to seal the border between
Cameroon and Nigeria’s Adamawa state against illegal crossings.He said customs and immigration officials are working with soldiers and police “to ensure that nothing crosses into Nigeria.”

Large stretches of that porous border are generally left unpatrolled.The border between Borno state and Cameroon, which Nigerian troops and a jet bomber crossed last month in pursuit of extremists, apparently remains open.The move will affect hundreds of traders
who routinely cross the border.

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:

    Okay, the new NAF badges of rank have begun to come through. Notice the innovation that is the unusual gold stars atop the gold bars? It was not always that way.

    Anyway, the three gold stars indicate that this photo was shot when the CDS, a four-star general, was still a three-star general namely, an Air Marshal.

    Moving on, I am wondering how this is going to work out given the great proximity and geographical similarity (the Mandara Mts) which exists between the northern end of the mountain at the Gwoza-Kerawa axis in Borno and the southerly stretches of the mountains around Madagali-Michika-Mubi in Adamawa State.

    Adamawa state alone boasts a string of highland frontiers with Cameroon – Mandara Mts, Adamawa Highlands, Gotel Mts, Alantika Mts etc but at this time, the most volatile reaches of the mountainous frontier remain the northernmost part of Adamawa State…the Mubi-Michika-Madagali axis which straddles the even more volatile borders in Borno.

    Will the insurgents simply not move north into nearby southern Borno and breach the border security effort from there?

    • AreJames says:

      However this goes the demand is going to be heavy for airborne ground surveillance.
      I suspect that plans have been made (finally) to commence round the clock UAV and manned flight surveillance along the border. Static border post tracking equipment may have also been rush ordered and their commissioning might be underway as we speak. This is going to hit BH supply networks very hard. I like the fact that a brigadier actually claims the decision to close the border… so now everybody knows we are moving away the silly hybrid state of emergency/civil structures model.

  2. beegeagle says:

    Again, it is also very important that these ground troops are optimally supported from the air. We appear to be taking too long to do the needful.

    In its current form, the BH insurgency kicked off with the storming of Bauchi Prisons in September 2010. That means, the War on Terror is 3.5 years old. Compared to that, the Nigerian Civil War lasted 2.5 years (July 1967-Jan 1970) and by the end of the 1968, the FMG of a 34 year old Gowon had already snapped up dozens of MiG 15, MiG 17, Il-28 and L29 jets for the war effort.

    Mind you, the SoE areas that are Borno, Adamawa and Yobe span an area nearly twice the land area of the secessionist state of Biafra yet I cannot on my fingers record the delivery of even a dozen Mi-24V/Mi-35P/Mi-171Sh Terminator combat helicopters since 2010.

    The provisioning for this war effort has been abysmal to say the least…whether “due process” or whatever else is the reason behind that, I am not really happy about that. That is what any comparative analysis would suggest and it is one good reason why the cataclysmic exertions of BH continue.

    At the start of the Emergency period, I did state that the AOR is perfectly equal to the combined land area of Sierra Leone and Liberia and that the borderline is 1,400km long. That just goes to show the enormity of the challenge we face and the ease with which BH continue to infiltrate on across one metre wide footpaths over a 1,400km stretch of borderlines…mighty easy to accomplish, I imagine.

    The FG now need to rise monumentally to the challenge of PROVISIONING. The troops MUST HAVE adequate numbers of 60mm and 81mm mortars, armed scout helicopters, UAVs for observation, Mi-17 transport helics for platoon-sized insertions of SF troops and Mi-24V/Mi-35P/Mi-35M attack helicopters. We have been extremely tardy about our provisioning and in effect, bear partial responsibility for many avoidable losses of lives. For three years now, we have highlighted the gaps existent in our rapid reaction capabilities because we do not have armed scout helics which by now should be parked on landing strips the size of a tennis court in each and every battalion HQ garrison and even company-sized FOBs in the AOR. For the love of Mike, the German Army cut back on no less than 72 units of familiar MBB Bo-105 maintained to the standards entailed in German precision and armed with 12.7mm HMGs and 68mm rockets.

    God knows that only 3 units of those helos bursting 68mm rockets over Bama last week and very few of the said 56 4×4 trucks which BH arrived in would have made it out of that town. One of such ex-German Bo-105s will not cost us more than US$500,000. We really need to wake up.

    Bangladesh have a larger population than we do but operate a much smaller budget and have a smaller economy. They are not nearly as challenged as we are. Guess what? They just signed a US$800 million contract for TWENTY FOUR Yak-130s complete with spares, armaments etc. Why do we continue to take timid steps on the procurement front or is there any time more justifiable than this for us to arm up appropriately?Na wa o.

    Finally, the Finance Minister does not need to have any oversight on procurement since she demonstrably does not possess the knowhow necessary to fund a war effort which is characterised by industrial scale losses of lives. Acquisitions should not be subjected to her endless macroeconomic theories and oversight. We are now totally fed up…for real.

    Haba, with factory refurbished and highly airworthy Mi-24 Hind and Mi-17 Hip helicopters available to be grabbed for US$3.33-4 million apiece? Come on, gentlemen, it is getting ridiculous. What kind of warped economics and/or management of funds would hinder the acquisition of such affordable assets by Nigeria of all nations?

    • ugobassey says:

      Oga Beags this statement ‘we do not have armed scout helics which by now should be parked on landing strips the size of a tennis court in each and every battalion HQ garrison and even company-sized FOBs in the AOR’ shows me the level of insight you have concerning how this war should have been fought from the unset. You are %1000 right. A combination of scout helics, 1 transport helic, 1 or 2 MBB Bo-105s stationed in every FOB (and I would go futher to suggest 1 FOB for every 3 villages for quick and rapid response) would make a whale of a difference in this un going war.

    • Ajboy says:

      Oga Beeg,

      The major issues we have now are the loss of momentum due to the dissolution of JTF, which was a result of Ihejirikas ambition (that’s another story). The truth is 7 Division is yet to attain Initial Operating Capability so it just cannot deliver. Secondly, the cohesion of the JTF was a critical strength which BH recognized, hence the upsurge of attacks since dissolution. Thirdly, the lack of SSS component reduces Intelligence as a key enabler. Underpinning these factors is the categorization of the desired effect ( do we want annihilation or are we employing a peacekeeping mindset). As it is, one might see an all out offensive with likely collateral damage in a bid to annihilate. One thing is certain: the military top brass do not lack ideas, but are operating within tight political constraints.

  3. rka says:

    Although it has been slow in coming about, if what @oga chucks said in the previous post about our service chiefs visiting the NE is true, we should be seeing equipment delivered soon and a proper onslaught can proceed to wipe out these misguided buffoons.

  4. xnur44 says:

    rka, some of us are more careful because more bits of info are better revealed only when it is already in the public domain, just like this one, e.g. this blog would have been the first to herald ‘border closure’. More less obvious steps are been taken but I guess results is what everyone is after. It shall surely come and we rightly shall analyse them in due time.
    I believe a decision has been taken at the highest level of government not to conduct overt military ops beyond our borders but that decision does not restrain the military from initiating ops as they deem fit on this side of our borders. I also believe a restructuring of tactics and strategy is responsible for the perceived lull in engaging BH intrusions. The credibility of the Nigerian Armed Forces is not in doubt, things can only get better.

    • rka says:

      @Oga Xnurr44. I have never doubted the military’s capabilities and I have always said we are not privy to what is going on. I am sure there have been political restraints hampering the military effort. It is not as if we haven’t got military chiefs trained in some of the finest institutions at home and abroad.

      I just hope that each arm of the military gets what they need and soonest and I for one, don’t believe majority of reports out there which is pure propaganda which is the effective weapon of the terrorist. Release videos, make all sorts of claims and instil fear in the populace. For added relevance, kill innocent civilians to turn the people against the government of the day and against each other.

      What the military can learn to do better is in public relations and releasing footage of what they have been doing and redacting sensitive information. This would alleviate the fears of the general public and cease the initiative from the terrorists.

    • jimmy says:

      OGA XNUR
      Much respect for your comments, as you can see I have been off the blog for a while part of it has been partly out of frustration. There are some things that have happened maybe in your CRYPTIC WAY you can tell us no this is not about shettima he can go to hell for all i care he was part of the problem from day one and he ain’t part of the solution either it is not a tribal thing.
      The recent appoint not only of GUSAU as the defence minister but more critcally last week of BRIG Jones Oladehinde Arogbofa, (RETD) to me thousands of miles away from the battlefield speaks volume. i am going to go b y the american definiton of the duties of the NSA . the office holder which is SAMBO according to CONDOLEEZA RICE he/ she is the first person to see the president in the morning, the chief of staff controls access to the president and also gives bad news to people that the president does not want to see , do these two guys being in the same age ( 62+) have a relationship we already know that gusau is the father in law to Dasuki SAMBO but more critically if these two jones and dasuki have a true “trust me i trust you relationship ” am i wrong to think this war maybe coming to an end.?

      • xnur44 says:

        NO! not if the intrigues of our democratic leaders prevail. not every one of them believe in project NIGERIA. the quality of leadership creates more policy confusion and may sink the very pillars of nationhood we all bleed to defend.

  5. peccavi says:

    Well that should have been the first step.
    You need to isolate the battlespace before you can secure it but as has been rightly said, how is this going to take place other than blocking off the major roads?
    The border is over very difficult terrain and it is almost physically impossible to close.

    • doziex says:

      Russia is the country with the largest land mass on earth.
      They use the mi-24 for border patrolling duties
      Mining is also used to channel activity towards more hospitable areas that can be governed effectively.

      I mentioned border mining on this blog in 2011. I also suggested the isolation of the battle space as a first step and a priority.
      When distance or the environment makes a thorough sealing of the border impossible, one must utilize “strategic dept” as an adjunct to border security.

      Strategic dept, means that our intelligence services, our immigration agents and even or armed forces should have a sufficient presence in our neighboring countries.
      This affords us the influence and ability to counteract anti nigerian activities in likely safe havens.
      Also having the bite to back up our bark is very essential.
      Today, many rightly see nigeria as a toothless bulldog. And I will be happy with any administration that does something about this on going trend.
      For instance, long range strike jets ala the SU-24/30/35 can hit at BH bases when we find them, but they can also threaten devastation on our enemies, and incentivise cooperative behavior from our neighbors.

    • beegeagle says:

      They should go ahead and replace him. I used to think that the man had a brain but alas he is just another common and cheap Nigerian politician.

      How does a chief security officer of a critically assailed state in the throes of a murderous insurgency allow himself to be quoted to the effect that insurgents are better equipped than fighting troops…with the seal of authority which goes with such a moronic proclamation? Our leaders cannot continue to work at cross purposes while pretending not to see disarray where it exists – not when they are the purveyors of such confusion. Dude needs to leave that place for the next twelve months since he is probably “brain dead” for now.

      Let them find an Emergency Rule Administrator, possibly a Major General who is due to retire from service by December 2015, who would not be a part of the problem by making demoralising proclamations at high decibel, all in the name of partisan politics. Expect more idiotic statements as 2015 approaches since our politicians cannot be counted to place the national interest above their narrow partisan affiliation.

      What do such useless comments steeped in banal politicking do for the morale of fighting troops? Governor Shettima does not now have access to the CDS and the NSA so as to present his ‘expert opinion’ on the war effort to them?

      Please, he should be QUICKLY eased out of that place since he obviously talks before he thinks. We already have ENOUGH of useless, two-faced politicians feathering the nest of the enemy.

      • Solorex says:

        We are in desperate times,people are dying weekly and there seems to be no end in sight ( about a year back, there was an end in sight but no more). The action of the government is not at all encouraging( procurement is not getting better,PR is not getting better and civilian losses are mounting daily) an Average citizen who is not military minded cannot see a working formula in action. it is not unusual for people to talk in anger within their sphere of understanding. I have never believed in half state of emergency- i think it is a very dumb idea;I had always thought total taking over of the state resources will help quickly control insurgency(by allowing direct control of socio-political resources of the populace). However, people have a right to their opinion(especially when they cannot see results), we cannot crucify Shettima for his unguided utterance, several other bigger blunders with worse effect on the morale of soldier and result of military efforts have been widely committed by other people.

    • peccavi says:

      I really hope not. Its a stupid move. If I was in charge of the campaign I would have an integrate civil military effort in which case it would make sense to remove all governors and have a single command structure, but as the command dysfunction between 7 Div, DSS, NAF, NAS Army HQ etc has not been resolved, I can say that unity of command is not a priority.

      Let this not be petty, egocentric politics invading security matters. We are already poorly served by political leadership without such a move

      • Solorex says:

        I once believed in Civil-military cooperation would enhance good results in this campaign,however, the opposite as happened. The purpose of a military administrator would not only be unity of command but also redirection social -political resources in a synergistic manner. There are several people trying to solve the problem to their own advantage and at times complicating issues the more. Some are not really even interested in solving the problem-yet they control peoples resources and are in power. Some are afraid to fully associate with government effort for fear of reappraisal. .

        We can’t be allocating money for bore holes,culverts ,solar street lights and sharing contract politically ( i realize that regular life in unaffected ares must continue though) when the people that will benefit from these are running out of the state due to insecurity-bet some of the state allocation will still end up with BH in one way or the other. We need financial synergy, State and LG fund to augment federal spending (30-40 MRAPs for the state Police every year),a fortifying project for all police stations, remote based camera stations transmitting via satellite.

        it becomes more difficult for us to win when the militarily is whipping then form one end and politicians are inducing them at the other.We need socio-political synergy also!

      • asorockweb says:


        When a political leader takes an action, there may be a difference between what he or she is trying to achieve and how the action is perceived.

        The removal of Shettima soon after his outburst against the carriage of the war, may be interpreted as the punishment of a whistleblower.

        Worse, it may be interpreted as an erosion of democracy by the house of assembly. If the house believes it’s an erosion of democracy and of political power, they will squash it.
        If the house squashes the removal AFTER it is announced, the attempted removal will only make things worse.

        Like peccavi noted, let’s unify the command structure first – 7 Div, DSS, NAF, NSA & Army HQ are all cooks trying to make the same soup in different kitchens.

        If it’s political acceptable to have a military governor in ALL the SoE states, let’s do it. Else, let’s take the obvious moves first –
        1) A JTF-like structure with one commander
        2) Troop strength of about 50,000 by mid-year
        3) Cross border cooperation/actions

  6. Spirit. says:

    We are at war!

    The earlier our lethargic political class realized this fact the better. Everything about us should reflect the situation; our budget, the carriage of our politicians, the deployment o our troops, access to acquisition of military hardware/training, etc should be typical of a nation that is at war as this is far from ‘police action’

    This news of closure of bother is a welcome development. Anything that will bring peace to the people of the North East is good news to me.

    The Beeg one, the FMG of Gowon era acquired that much hardware because the SAW the secessionist threat as what it truly was; A WAR. They ere patriots in those days though. It seems to me that the present government is still looking at BH issue as Police Action. If not, why on earth will BH operate for 5 hours in a village RIGHT AT THE HEART OF THE THEATER OF WAR without any kind of force military force showing up? One would think that by now, the din of NAF helicopters rotors and roar of jet engines will not allow the residents of NE to sleep for more than 30 mins at a stretch, that is what it takes! PRESENCE, BOOTS ON THE GROUND, just like the Operation Entirety’ discussed by peccavi last week!

    Again, I repeat what my commanders have been saying for more than 2 years now;

    1) Our military should take the initiative always. This requires massive intel. Whatever its going to cost, infiltrate BH.
    2) Presence of our forces everywhere. If this proofs difficult, acquire rapid deployment capability . Fast armored vehicles, and armed helicopters of the Mi 171Terminator type. Please don’t talk about competing demands, not now please.
    3) Isolate the AOR such that, BH will only resort to Car bombing and IED, they will not be able to carry out manned attacks that can will exceed 5 minutes as ‘Death (in form of NA) will descend on them from above” if they stay too long.
    4) Deploy drones, and other surveillance aircrafts to the NE so much so that it will become irritating. Let them know that ‘Big brother is watching’.
    5) Deploy soldiers on foot patrol, it does wonders to the morale of the locals. Equip each patrol team to hold out for at least 40 mins till the reinforcement arrives ( preferably helicopter bourn troops and drones)
    6) More Nigerians now have access to the internet. they will like to know that their Gov is well able to protect them. BH has shown us what they can do, both by doing and by showing on Youtube. Please sir, I am begging you,show us the stuffs our boys are made of sir, it is part of information warfare which is taught in all military schools (including ours).
    8) Please, lets look for another ‘line’, its very irritating hearing ‘ Nigeria military is well capable of handling the situation’, ‘We are on top of the situation’ especially when BH has just massacred 50 people. Let the Directorate of Military Info come up with something else.

    Above all, lets talk less and act more;

    1) “Speak SOFTLY, carry a BIG STICK, and you will go far”–West African proverb
    2) “The SUPERIOR MAN is MODEST in his speech, but EXCEED in his ACTION”–Confucius.

    Take death to Boko Haram.

  7. Solorex says:

    Policies can be made and Borders can be closed, what counts most is what is done practically with the policies on ground. We should go ahead declare a shot to kill on sight perimeter along the border areas that have been closed ( since the borders are closed,no body(except law breakers) should be within a particular vicinity of the area-this worked well in Caucasus wars and Korean partition to keep away infiltrators form both sides )., Set up several sniper outpost ( along popular routes-working wonders in North Korea),Install an alert system in several communities prone to raids,re-jig air response to achieve 10-30 minutes and artillery response (after drone spotting/surveillance) to 45 minutes. You cannot do this without procuring the right surveillance equipment and MRAPS/APCs, so the policy might end up been a waste, except it is back up by action and equipment.

  8. triggah says:

    So much new development. Closing the border is a welcome news but do we really have the capability to do that? This is meters and meters of grounds and mountains, our airforce is small our army troops over spread and too thin. How would it be done? @peccavi Replacing an under performing governor. Shouldn’t be an issue as long as it is constitution possible though right now the people are not happy with GEJ. The sealed part of the border should be actively and fiercely patrolled by ground troops and surveillance air assets. I wonder if the Mighty USA will let us utilise their real time satellite capability for watching the border region? That will help.

  9. startrek says:

    the most challenging aspect of this op is the lack of deep cover agents that will provide accurate and actionable intel. For precise strikes within or outside the borders, meanwhile it is believed in so certain quarters that the military budget is a mere stopgap as a comprehensive acquisition plan is being finalised which will come by way of extra budgetary provision… In conclusion I wish to encourage everyone on this blog to continue to proffer solutions as I assure U it is never going to waste….

    • AreJames says:

      There is a dangerous civilianization (i don’t care if this word exists or not) of our culture that has been brought about by the 4th republic to the effect that national sovereign power is being mocked. The on going state of emergency has been too made watery and ineffective with consequent high toll on human lives.
      I am talking a sitting senator travelling with a convoy in a war zone and not thanking stars that he got out safely with his life, a governor declaring that a 100 year old institition that is the NA is less armed and less motivated than 10000 ragtag militants. A full military led state of emergency will quickly correct this misconceptions.
      Total lock down and suspension of civil liberties is the way to go. Commercial.activity should feel the full effects of a regulated society, two market days a week, dusk to dawn curfews with day passes for students and emergency services and the governor remains shunted.

  10. Solorex says:

    I once believed in Civil-military cooperation would enhance good results in this campaign,however, the opposite as happened. The purpose of a military administrator would not only be unity of command but also redirection social -political resources in a synergistic manner. There are several people trying to solve the problem to their own advantage and at times complicating issues the more. Some are not really even interested in solving the problem-yet they control peoples resources and are in power. Some are afraid to fully associate with government effort for fear of reappraisal. .

    We can’t be allocating money for bore holes,culverts ,solar street lights and sharing contract politically ( i realize that regular life in unaffected ares must continue though) when the people that will benefit from these are running out of the state due to insecurity-bet some of the state allocation will still end up with BH in one way or the other. We need financial synergy, State and LG fund to augment federal spending (30-40 MRAPs for the state Police every year),a fortifying project for all police stations, remote based camera stations transmitting via satellite.

    it becomes more difficult for us to win when the militarily is whipping then form one end and politicians are inducing them at the other.We need socio-political synergy also!

  11. Tope says:

    Right now, we should have a Full Division Complementing 7 Division Immediately, Maybe 82 Division needs to be Deployed. We den have Desert Battalion and Jungle Battalion and Mountain Battalion dia Job is Border Patrol, Closure, Surveillance and Protection. Another Full Sized Division or Platoon can den do Recce at All Villages near Border I mean All Villages! This isn’t a Time to Argue! While we. Den have SF and QRF Forces as force multipliers who will rapidly deploy to hot Areas using a Net Formation u can Effectively Lock Boko Haram in a Given Latitude and Longitude Marked by Laser and finally allow Air Support via UAV or Alpha Jet to Bomb dem to Smithereens. 50-70,000 troops should be Deployed. If we wia able to deploy over 3000 troops to Mali why are we taking it Soft in our own home?

  12. gbash10 says:

    Oga startrek, I am happy to read your comment,I just hope it come to past.
    It is good that we have Gulma RPA,however,I want to say that,it is premature to deploy this drone to the NE.What we need now is either the US RQ-1MQ-1B Predators and the Isreali Hermes 900 RPAs to patrol our bouders.The US have sold 2 unit of unarmed MQ-1s to the Office of National Security Advisor in the Philipines since 2006,@Admiral Max can confirm that for us,also the US government has approve the license to sell the predator to Egypt,Morocco,Saudi Arabia,and the UAE. The Turkish Air Force has ordered 6 units of MQ-1 Predators via the USA Foreign Military Sales mechanism.
    So,if the US is not just paying lip-service to the government and people of Nigeria,they should sell up to 10 units of the RQ-1/MQ-1 Predator RPAs to our military for the prosecution of the war on terror in the NE and the N-Delta.
    Imagine a predator can stay on station at an altitude of 15000 feet above Boko Haram camp for 30 hours and sending live video feeds down to command centre and even DHQs,MoD Abuja and Aso Rock Crisis Centre,as well as taking out insurgents before they attack any target.

  13. gbash10 says:

    Please the DHQs should tell the FG about the excess military equipments the US military is conteplating to ship out of Afghanistan,especially the Humvee vehicles,MRPAs,APCs,Predator RPAs,attack,medium-/heavy-lift helicopters.These equipments are very cheap but would be very effective in CTCOIN Ops in the NE.

    • OriginalPato says:

      Yes Oga Bash, the equipment might be cheap to obtain, you should also remember that they are a nightmare to maintain.

      • AreJames says:

        I’ll bet you 90% of this war surplus material don’t have spare parts. Such was the US financial and technological investment in the two wars that completely new type of equipment were developed, manufactured, deployed and the stopped never to be produced again partly because some did not meet the field equirements or congress cut funding later. So as a maintenance and reliability man I say don’t even go near them.

  14. peccavi says:

    @ Oga AreJames: forgive my bluntness but you are so wrong in your pronouncements that wrongness shall be hereby redefined in multiples of AreJames!
    Ok on a serious note, this knee jerk type of statements are unhelpful, please tell me what a suspension of civil liberties will achieve? Are you telling me that civil liberties are the problem? Are you telling me its because of civil liberties that Boko Haram is riding around in numbers shooting things up? Or civil liberties prevent our aircraft from reaching the combat zone for 4 hours?
    The fact that a senator or Governor visit their constituencies in a combat zone IS A GOOD THING! That is democracy. That is what the boys are fighting for.
    Shekau has clearly said he is killing people because they are practising democracy, so are you then saying the best way to defeat Shekau’s lot is to give him what he wants and suspend democracy?

    Civil military cooperation does not mean spending more money on MRAPs or drones that’s covered under normal military stuff. The sole purpose would be to unify the civil and the military towards the desired effects one wants to have on the enemy. So that means prioritising roads for building or maintenance that are useful to the military, if there’s a village that people are getting killed going to the stream, give them a borehole, making sure bridges are strong enough for military vehicles, providing clinics, schools etc that brings the consent of the people i.e. the civil action has a military effect.
    As I said above we are yet to unify the military/ security aspects which is slightly more useful than a Mil Ad.
    @Triggah: there are alot of underperforming governors, what is the criteria for replacing them?

    • AreJames says:

      I rate my suggestion as Zero AreJames on your implied scale.

      The whole point of state of emergency is to achieve a suspension of democracy. It is the nature of truth to be raw and harsh sometimes so let us be truthful.
      A state of emergency is a security measure imposed on a region to restore order. We have precedents in our national history. During ‘Operation Wetie’ in western nigeria, MPs were not travelling in convoys to deliver relief materials to their constituents, there was no civilian premier of the western region at all talkless of one who would give negative appraisal reports on the performance of Nigerian armed forces. Now that situation was orders of magnitude less dangerous than what we have now.
      Suspension of civil liberties merely means you need a pass for everything and you cannot associate freely as before. There is nothing strange about that and it should have come automatically with the state of emergency.
      What we wanted to achieve in this instance was to freeze BH from supplies and information coming from their sympathizers within civil society whilst combing and surveillance revealed their camps and operating bases for bombing. Also targeted was to reduce the number civilians on the streets so that the fire fights becomes less advantageous to the insurgents who win anyway when civilians die wherever the bullets came from.

      What we have done so far is expose innocent people to unnecessary loss of life with half baked state of emergency. It is even now jjust going for debate whether or not to ban commercial motorbikes when it was clear that this measure should’ve been one of the first things to do in the first place.
      In short the existing situation has given tactical advantage to the insurgents.

      The whole talk about ‘civil military relations’ has also been bastardized as politicians and journalists use the term in its loosest possible sense.
      Tthe term is actually a military operating philosophy deployed in low intensity conflicts to win the public trust and enhance intelligence. It is part of ‘military strategy’ , something an army does in LIC to achieve advantage by winning hearts and minds in that respect it is no different from deploying hardware if you want to look at purely from the point of view of military objective. Think of ‘civil military’ relations as a kind of ‘ human software weapon’.
      What you don’t do is allow a civilian governor who should be at home cooling heels to hijack the exercise and start setting the pace for the war effort in an out of phase manner to what the military is doing when you have a state of emergency on.
      Things are changing however. One is gratified to see newspaper headlines and many observers calling what we have now a state of war that should be treated as such. Nothing could be more true.

    • jimmy says:

      Much respect for your comments and for me personally who has never had to chew dirt on account of bullets zipping by e it is tough for me to disagree with you . i will try and come at it from an angle of which i have some credibility. Shettimma is the GOV OF BORNO STATE that makes him the most powerful politician in the state. Boko haram did not start with bows and arrows without help someone somewhere gave them help for them to graduate to ieds gpmg and technicals . .
      If we are to believe him he has now become a miltary expert who can discern between miltary grade equipment and boko haram equipment, We should also believe him that it is very hard to be motivated killing SOFT TARGETS LIKE STUDENTS ARMED WITH TEXT BOOKS THAN FIGHTING NIGERIAN SOLDIERS. This is his view point most governors in NIGERIA KNOW THE chairman of every local govt in their state they know all the intelligence of things going on he will convince himself he does not know anything except THE THE MORALE OF THE Nigerian soldier and how to give goods to displaced civilians for this we should all be grateful.
      In the t.v interview courtesy of igbi we learnt how politics has hampered this issue of bh.
      OGA PECCAVI WE ARE IN A WAR THIS IS A Nigeria problem not a democratic problem a war situation problem and the sooner it is brought to an end the better. When los angeles erupted in riots and the police lost control BUSH Snr ordered troops just back from Iraq to la he did not even bother to inform the gov or the mayor before appearing on tv and the order was to shoot looters on sight.
      What is shettima going to do at this stage except be a nuisance shebi as ( you like to say) he has been there since when kilo she ( translation wetin he do?)
      memo to the other governors keeps your thugs in line if they get out of hand the f.g. will step in EHH MAKE THEM GO DEY FIGHT AM FOR COURT NOW meanwhile as time goes by.

  15. gbash10 says:

    @ Ogas Xnurr44 and Menetti,I believe both of you have had the privilage to discuss with our NAF fly-boys and top brass about our analytical discussions on the performance of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI Flanker H+ and Su-35BM Flanker E+ multirole fighter jets and their suitability for the NAF,especially if we look at their range,endurance,fire-power and payload, bringing our NE border and the Gulf of Guinea into perspective,what is their general view ?

    • xnur44 says:

      I will say this again gbash10, it will take five year to build a 4th gen. fighter wing, anything else and pilots will be falling from the sky needlessly. Remember how we lost our over glorified F-7s (there is no shortcut to competence in this business). The “combat proven” pilots i can vouch for are the gunship joystick pushers, so migration to Mi-35Ms will be seamless – i hope.

  16. peccavi says:

    Oga AreJames: the US president travels to war zones, the regional governors in Afghanistan sometimes accompany troops on operations. It is only in Nigeria where a Local government chairmans wife has special advisers and convoys that we see it as being an unusual thing.
    Can you give me a single instance where civil liberties have stopped the Nigerian Police or Army in any circumstance. I have been detained by the NPF before, did anyone tell me my rights or even my offence? You know okada is banned in Port Harcourt, parts of Lagos and other cities. There was no need for state of emergency for that.Do you honestly think the Governor went in there without telling anyone? He has military escorts everywhere he goes.
    The Governors comments were unfortunate but he is allowed to express legitimate frustration. There is obviously the silly, petty Naija politics at play but as the head of government in the state he is allowed to give an opinion. The obvious question is what sort of coordination is there between the SG and the security forces? We are falling back to the unity of command question. Again the British in Malaya, Kenya and Cyprus and the Portuguese in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau solved these problems.
    Security Coordination committees need to be set up to address the civil military aspect because this is not just a war FOR the people its a war AGAINST the people and thus the people and their elected representatives must be brought on board.
    Oga Jimmy: I bow and tremble oh, but I beg to differ. We are not at war, a war is a legal construct and can only involve two states. we are in internal conflict. It is an important legal distinction and since the battleground or the objective identified by the enemy is the replacement of democracy with theocracy then we must defend democracy doggedly irrespective of how flawed it is.
    The Governor is not a military expert but he is the highest political leader there and closer to the action than the President or even the COAS. 20 Afghan soldiers died this weekend and Karzai cancelled a foreign trip. Appearance is everything. Why has the President not landed in Maiduguri and visited wounded troops? Why is his wife not organising fund raisers for them?
    Why are the names of our fallen not announced on the news? Are they not sons of Nigeria? Didi they not die for their country? Do they not deserve honour? Na these things dey pain me and na these things dey mess up morale more than a governor saying exactly what every soldier I know is saying.
    When you treat soldiers like cattle, dont pay them their pensions, don’t give them proper treatment then the answer is not buying jet fighters, its simple things like I mentioned above.
    If you support the erosion of democratic values and civil liberties then sorry but you are doing Shekaus job for him.
    Is it civil liberties that keeps Ndume in the NASS? Or because he is powerful and connected?
    We are not fighting this war properly, if the Governor says it then let the military respond and say what they need to win. And the answer is not money or sexy toys, its men, men, and more men (and helicopters)

  17. Henry says:


  18. triggah says:

    @ Peccavi The 1999 Nigeria Constitution is
    clear on how a Governor or the
    Deputy of a state may be removed
    from office if found “guilty of gross
    misconduct in the performance of
    the functions of his office”. It provides that “a notice of any allegation in writing” shall be
    “signed by not less than one-third of the members of the House of Assembly” detailing the specific particulars of such “gross
    misconduct” with the accused Governor or Deputy giving the opportunity to respond thereto. It states further that: the speaker of the House of Assembly shall, within seven days of the receipt of the notice, cause a copy of the notice to be served on the holder of the office and on each member of the House of Assembly, and shall also cause any statement made in reply to the allegation by the holder of the office, to be served on each member of the House of Assembly.
    Also, the constitution provides that within 14 days of the presentation of the notice to the speaker of the House of Assembly that the House shall resolve by way of motion
    whether or not to investigate the said allegations. According to subsection (4) thereof, A motion of the House of Assembly that the allegation be investigated shall not
    be declared as having been passed unless it is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of the House of Assembly.

    But we all know that this is a country where nobody listens to the constitution anymore!

    • cutievik says:

      @Triggah, Mr president today in his Media chat stated “he wasn’t aware of any plot to remove the Governor”..So I guess that seals the deal The Governor stays.

    • Obix says:

      @Triggah, what does the constitution say about the president’s powers if he declares a state of emergency in a state? It was said that he didn’t fully implement it in the 3 states like OBJ did in Plateau State. Didn’t OBJ act according to the 1999 constitution?

  19. lordfej says: a futuristic looking tank. if you ask me it doesnt look like it would be easy to make repairs out in the field. i

  20. Oje says:

    When I look at Mali, Somalia, Chad, Yemen,Libya I cannot help but comment the Nigerian military for a job well done. I ask, does Boko Haram have any piece of Land varved out as its territory with a Boko Haram flag on Nigerian soil?, is the territorial integrity of Nigeria in any way threatened? No , not unless we begin to see daily bombings in Lagos and Abuja. Is the economic progress of Nigeria in jeopardy? No, as a matter of fact we Nigeria has just recently eclipsed South Africa as Africa’s biggest economy.

    When I see Boko Haram resort to “attention grabbing” desperate tactics by killing harpless village women and children and students I cannot help but shake my head in disbelif at how low these criminals are ready to stoop to grab headlines, because that’s the only thing they can do now, and the Nigerian Media is feeding the frenzy. Let’s remember that for three and a half years Nigeria has single handedly fought a kind of threat never seen before in Africa, even the U.S is still developing doctrines to tackle these new kind of threats. This is not like fighting a conventionally armed foe but a cowardly and invisible one. Boko Haram is not at war with the Nigerian government, they they are they should keep attacking the Nigerian military head on. Boko Haram is fighting a war against the Nigerian people, sad as it may and we should desist from calling it victory but cowardice and murder. Boko Haram paid propagandanist Borno governor should shut up for once. Its just unfortunate we have as president an “African” democrate in the U.S who seems to care little about Africa. Bush did more for Africa in two years than Obama has done so far. With a republican in power the war on terror will not be one sided or by words and oratory alone, Nigeria will by now have received massive financial and technical aid from America. Nigeria is Africa’s only hope at African greatness, if she fails the rest of Africa fails.

    • peccavi says:

      Oga Oje sorry but I will continue my contrarian streak with you. what do you mean by Bush did more for Africa? In what regard? This being a military blog I would presume you mean military. You understand that the Malian army that ran away was trained by a Bush era programme?
      Bush’s two wars were ill thought out, ill resourced and ended in failure. Bushes support for the Ethiopians invasion of Somalia drove out the relatively moderate ICU and brought the psychotic ICU to power.
      It was under Bush that the myth of Western invincibility was shattered by getting the US and UK tied up in unwinnable assymmetrical conflicts. Again it was under Bush that the Russians managed to score their first external military success in decades with the invasion of Georgia.
      Africans unfortunately seem to gravitate towards loud mouths who do very little. Because Obama is more cerebral and doesn’t make noise he is apparently weak.
      The destruction of Ghaddafis regime, Op Serval in Mali were all done with US support but without the baggae and issues a direct US intervention would bring. There are drone bases in Niger and Djibouti, US special forces in Uganda, I would agree in terms of the economic items and aid Obama has done less but in terms of the military he is one of the most ruthless and intelligent users of military power of recent days. I can say quite clearly on the old days he would have been termed a liberal republican more than a democrat, not that I subscribe to the silly narrative that US republicans are better at war as most of them are war dodgers in the first place

      • jimmy says:

        It took bush EIGHT YEARS to not find osama binladen it took obama less than two years to kill him.
        Malian Soldiers are regarded as the most cowardly of soldiers in Africa, they were trained specifically the ones who overthrew a legitimately elected gov by the us govt under bush.
        The flow of Military Equipment from the us to Nigeria did not begin under Bush apart from the War ships in fact during the Niger delta war THE ADMINISTRATION was known to footdrag.
        Nigeria has received more classified info and lethal aid than at any time and SPECIAL OPS and REAL TIME training not firefighting , nappy training drills than at anytime i can remember. Nigeria has had some of its officers train at AMERICA’S premier military institution WEST POINT. It just baffles me sometimes the fascination for the love of GOD! We are scheduled to have REAL time NAVAL EXERCISES with a host of NATIONS for the third straight year in a row with America on board but no OBAMA is not the one. This year sorry a few months from now we get another WARSHIP from the US virtually for free but this somehow escapes our mind. We have A Neighboring country that Obama visited after the handshakes were over realpolitik set in what did they get?
        Oh economically last week General Electric one of the largest companies in the U.S. signed an agreement with the f.g AND underwritten by one of the wealthiest Banks in Nigeria Stanbic Bank to the tune of $350 million. for the construction of some power plants that is 350mil in dollars a 1/3 of a bill and we are still talking smh.!!!

    • ugobassey says:

      Your knowledge of American politics is skewed. Republican or Democrats: if it’s not in their strategic interest, your on your own.

      • freeegulf says:

        without Bush and Colin Powell, the republic of south Sudan might still be a distant dream. yes he did drag his foot on the issue of Darfur, but for all his faults, Bush wasn’t bad for Africa as a continent.
        as for Obama, the less said the better.

  21. jimmy says:

    While were are addressing these CRUCIAL MATTERS highly motivated BH ass—- met stiff resistance as they attacked and killed more students armed with TEXT BOOKS IN YOBE

  22. peccavi says:

    My views on the Shekau video in the analysis

  23. Solorex says:

    One of the major issues we have is that we keep calling them “militants” and “terrorist”. While these designations are true, they are not reflective of the capacity and actions of BokoHaram.

    This is an organized enemy, with over a thousand foot soldiers,Anti-Aircraft Guns,hundreds of 4wd transport, RPGs, a well established training scheme to replenish lost cadres and sustenance means (ideologically,financially) for over 2 years. They may not have stable seized territory but they have established well defined areas on influence-where people respect and fear them more than the military-Gwoza/Sambisa et all. They also have a structured command system and a working strategy namely hit and run and they destroy lives and infrastructure willingly. I wonder what it takes to brand somebody a rebel around here!

    They are not Militants or terrorists only, they are “rebels” and we are not dealing with insurgency issues, we are at war! I am not aware of any country where nearly 1000 citizens have been murdered over a space of Six months by same set of people seeking for an homeland and they are not regarded as rebels!
    Refusal to designate them rebels may have been done to turn away international eye from the vent while the issue is solved underground, its doing more harm than good.

    These Guys needs to be called who they are-Rebel in terrorist form ! and this operation needs to be properly labelled-War!.

    We need to take human life serious and quite politicking with it, Declare full martial law, seize all political machinery and divert all resources to security, establish a war fund,recruit 20-30,000 extra soldiers for all arms of the Armed forces,make eager to sell allies( China/Russia comes to mind),Buy in bulk,give you military an exceedingly great unfair advantage (Morroco-Polisario,Sri lanka-Tamil,India-Kasmeri militants) over the foe, keep them at bay permanently of finish them off.

    This is what is right,but we know its wishful thinking! no body wants to preside over a civil war.At least if we cannot name it properly,we should run it properly!

    We need to make big decisions and quite faffing around.

    • peccavi says:

      Oga nomenclature is important, calling them rebels gives them an importance they do not posses. The Taliban and Iraqi AQ are still described as insurgents. Rebels gives them a legitimacy as if they are a popular mandate.
      The fact that they are resilient means nothing. It is not a war, we do not need to start panicking, I agree the armed forces need to be expanded in some way but against needs sane careful planning not to balloon to a 250,000 man force we can not feed, train or equip.
      We have not even talked about the wholescale police reform needed to cope with this

  24. drag_on says:

    Can we not have camouflaged, remotely operated cameras, (Real time,Infra-red and Night Vision )at all our remote villages,vulnerable locations and boundary access roads/dirt tracks,and have them connected to a central surveillance command? At the very least let us identify and set up a database of these murders anytime they get picked up on the cameras. They will also act as an early warning system.

  25. doziex says:

    In the last 2 years, we all made predictions, arguments and counter arguments concerning various aspects of this war.
    I think that a bit of accountability and soul searching is in order.
    These archives needs to be revisited lets see who was on point and who was far off the mark.

    This would give context to the current day analysis we continue to bring to the table.
    It would also incent bloggers to continue blogging.

  26. triggah says:

    Fighting insurgency is usually difficult and never easy because guerilla warfare is unique in all parts of the world. Nigerian armed forces are a conventional military and were trained to fight in a conventional way. We started training for COIN rather late. I believe the only country to have successfully defeated, crushed and wiped away terrorists from their country is Sri Lanka when they where fighting the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). Just give it time Nigeria would come out victorious i.e if they get their heads right!

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