By Phil Stewart and Lesley Wroughton

When Washington imposed sanctions in June 012 on Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, he dismissed it as an empty gesture. Two years later, Shekau’s skepticism appears well founded: his Islamic militant group is now the biggest security threat to Africa’s top oil producer, is richer than ever, more violent and its abductions of women and children continue with impunity.

As the United States, Nigeria and others struggle to track and choke off its funding, Reuters interviews with more than a dozen current and former U.S. officials who closely follow Boko Haram provide the most complete picture to date of how the group finances its activities.

Central to the militant group’s approach includes using hard-to-
track human couriers to move cash, relying on local funding sources and engaging in only limited financial relationships with other extremists groups. It also has reaped millions from high-profile kidnappings.

“Our suspicions are that they are surviving on very lucrative criminal activities that involve kidnappings,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in an interview.Until now, U.S. officials have declined to discuss Boko Haram’s financing in such detail.

The United States has stepped up cooperation with Nigeria to gather intelligence on Boko Haram, whose militants are killing civilians almost daily in its northeastern Nigerian stronghold. But the lack of international financial ties to the group limit the measures the United States can use to undermine it, such as financial sanctions.
The U.S. Treasury normally relies on a range of measures to track
financial transactions of terrorist groups, but Boko Haram appears
to operate largely outside the banking system.

To fund its murderous network, Boko Haram uses primarily a system of couriers to move cash around inside Nigeria and across the porous borders from neighboring African states, according to the officials interviewed by Reuters.

In designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organization last year, the Obama administration characterized the group as a violent extremist organization with links to al Qaeda. The Treasury Department said in a statement to Reuters that the United States has seen evidence that Boko Haram has received financial support from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), an offshoot of the jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden.

But that support is limited. Officials with deep knowledge of Boko
Haram’s finances say that any links with al Qaeda or its affiliates are inconsequential to Boko Haram’s overall funding. “Any financial support AQIM might still be providing Boko Haram would pale in comparison to the resources it gets from criminal activities,”said one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Assessments differ, but one U.S. estimate of financial transfers from AQIM was in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars. That
compares with the millions of dollars that Boko Haram is estimated to make through its kidnap and ransom operations.


Ransoms appear to be the main source of funding for Boko Haram’s five-year-old Islamist insurgency in Nigeria whose 170 million people are split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims,said the U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In February last year, armed men on motorcycles snatched Frenchman Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, his wife and four children,and his brother while they were on holiday near the Waza national park in Cameroon, close to the Nigerian border.Boko Haram was paid an equivalent of about $3.15 million by French and Cameroonian negotiators before the hostages were released, according to a confidential Nigerian government report later obtained by Reuters.

Figures vary on how much Boko Haram earns from kidnappings.
Some U.S. officials estimate the group is paid as much as $1million for the release of each abducted wealthy Nigerian. It is widely assumed in Nigeria that Boko Haram receives support from religious sympathizers inside the country, including some wealthy professionals and northern Nigerians who dislike the government, although little evidence has been made public to support that assertion.

Current and former U.S. and Nigerian officials say Boko Haram’s
operations do not require significant amounts of money, which
means even successful operations tracking and intercepting their
funds are unlikely to disrupt their campaign.

Boko Haram had developed “a very diversified and resilient model
of supporting itself,” said Peter Pham, a Nigeria scholar at the
Atlantic Council think-tank in Washington. “It can essentially ‘live off the land’ with very modest additional resources required,” he told a congressional hearing on June 11.


“We’re not talking about a group that is buying sophisticated
weapons of the sort that some of the jihadist groups in Syria and
other places are using. We’re talking AK-47s, a few rocket-propelled grenades, and bomb-making materials.It is a very low-cost operation,” Pham told Reuters.

That includes paying local youth just pennies a day to track and
report on Nigerian troop movements.Much of Boko Haram’s military hardware is not bought, it is stolen from the Nigerian army. In February, dozens of its fighters descended on a remote military
outpost in the Gwoza hills in northeastern Borno state, looting 200
mortar bombs,50 rocket-propelled grenades and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.Such raids have left the group well armed. In dozens of attacks in the past year Nigerian soldiers were swept aside by militants driving trucks, motor bikes and sometimes even stolen armored vehicles, firing rocket-propelled grenades.

Boko Haram’s inner leadership is security savvy, not only in the way it moves money but also in its communications,relying on face-to-face contact, since messages or calls can be intercepted,the current and former U.S. officials said.”They’re quite sophisticated in terms of shielding all of these activities from legitimate law enforcement officials in Africa and certainly our own intelligence efforts trying to get glimpses and insight into what they do,” a former U.S. military official said.

U.S. officials acknowledge that the weapons that have served
Washington so well in its financial warfare against other terrorist
groups are proving less effective against Boko Haram. “My sense is that we have applied the tools that we do have but that they are not particularly well tailored to the way that Boko Haram is financing itself,” a U.S. defense official


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. Buchi says:

    To be sincere, the entire article makes me laugh. When Boko began their rampage, the locals (Kanuri) and some other groups supported them wholeheartedly. When they killed Christians and bombed churches, these people praised them and thanked them for taking their twisted gospel of Allah (to the infidel Aruwa). Muslim groups praised them while giving us half hearted condemnations. But when they reversed gears, lol, then the tongue lashing started and the government led by an outsider as they called him became the last option…I laugh.

    I do not like to delve into politics but this article greased my mind to spill this out. Until the northern elders sit down and tell themselves the truth we may only succeed in militarily breaking BH by 56%. Their tracks are in-bound. Even women who are supposed to be fortresses for good are their paymasters(I laugh).

    All said and done the DSS and NIA must develop a choke hold strategy on their finances but must involve dangerous enlightenment using the local populace to teach families that their so called saviours are satans. We must reposition the army starting from recruitment and weaponry plus intel so also the NAF which seems to be on forced break(heartbreak for me). So also the NPF and intel agencies. It is going to be a long battle but he who perserveres must win. Our PR machine is just starting this job now hmm

    Pls where is the the 4th gen jet? I am waiting o. GEJ you must learn to take tough decisions. You may be clueless as they say but you have now toughened up…free up the cash for national defence. My able cybergenerals let us continue ringing the bell until they hear.
    Happy new month and thank you, Super Eagles.

    • Owi says: … on the front lines with the Cameroonian military confronting boko haram. Just the contrast in gear alone is astonishing.

      • jimmy says:

        Much respect for your comments but the BIR are not better armed than the NA the tavor and the FNs they were brandishing is pretty routine fare with the Dss not to mentione those cursed thin skinned trucks..Now they may look better dressed…..but I am more interested in their battle experience.

  2. Eniola says:

    Very sensible talk buchi

  3. Oje says:

    Comrades, let us be true to ourselves no matter how bitter the truth may be. The Obama appreciation is not commited to really tackling this problem, left to him he would wish it away as Nigeria is far from the top on America’s list of priorities.They are cutting down on oil imports and India recently replaced America as the biggest buyer of Nigerias Crude. Obama is just playing diplomatic niceties because of the media attention. There is truism in the saying ; THE BLACK MAN IS HIS OWN WORSE ENEMY. Never since the Carter administration has America been so disengaged in Africa as now when a black man became president.

    ……..meanwhile cash strapped Philippines just ordered 12 units of F-20 Fighter Jets from South Korea in response to China’s growing threat and territorial dispute. Can someone please tell me where the Tucanos are and when they will see action?

  4. Solorex says:

    We are in the middle of a quagmire here,political intentions have to be balanced with military strategy- even the wisest of generals or intel experts cannot get results especially when the scale of balance is been operated by Politicians-very very embittered and emboldened ones. As anybody noticed that the frequency of confrontation with Airforce as reduced( i am not suggesting anything here)? there was a time where the Airforce is confronts BH at least once every 10-14days! Why are we not making grandeur procurements-say 1000 APCs? Why are the littles ones we have made have to be so secret? Why are we inducting even the few new platforms under the cover of heavy press darkness ( madam due process once complained platforms were urgently requested and bought but not inducted)? is the Navy so open minded about their procurement and plans because it has little political effect? Why are we tolerating openly critical politicians with clear terrorist links? Why has no single BH member been sentenced to death and executed till date ( several armed robbers caught last year are already on death row today)?

    People used to say that soldier fight wars but general win them-here is the missing part “Politicians determines when , how and under what terms generals win the war fought by the soldiers”

    From where i’m standing- all effort to starve off funding is a huge joke-no single financier has been arrested,convicted or has his property confiscated.No bank manager has been charged,no terrorist cash in transit as been intercepted………If there is military intelligence presence in every market in the troubled states…..every week they would practically meet a BH member-how else can yo feed thousands of fighters without going to the market either to buy or steal?

    When they are ready the job shall be done.

  5. Oje says:

    I never knew South Korea produces high end fighter jets. China, despite years of copying and reverse engineering Russian jets are still having a hard time developing a credible indigenous jet fighters,more so with their inability to produce reliable engines because of their twisted metalurgy, but has South Korea beaten then to it. I will assume the T 50 is based on the American F-15 design as well.

  6. gbash10 says:

    @ Oje,the South Koreans are not close to the level of Chinese aerospace technology at all.The Chinese have the most advanced aerospace industry(civil and military) in South East Asia.
    The South Korean F-20/T50 Golden Eagle is a trainer/light attack fighter jet in the class of the Russian Yak-130,Italian MBB-343 and the Chinese L-15 Advanced jet trainers/light attack jets,it is not yet matured.
    So, lets give Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser,do more research into the Chinese Aerospace industry,you will be shock with what you will discover,it is believed that there is much about Chinese military technologies that even the Western Powers do not know.

  7. Martin Luther says:

    This is interesting viewing, I think he got the basic psychosocial interpretation in current day Nigeria very right with regards to the BOKOHARAM issue. His speech was very never calming as well

  8. Martin Luther says:

    see, see, see

  9. Oje says:

    Question that has been on my mind for some time. With a lack of credible interceptor what is the state of Nigeria’s air defense system.? The few i have seen cannot engage incoming fighters kilometers away and at best can only be used to provide limited cover for tactical Tank Formations and units on the ground. It is estimated that Boko are rams might have up to $200 million or more, they can buy heligundhips, fly yo Abuja and pulverise Ado Rock before a crefible response can be carried out.

    • Are James says:

      It is a conspiracy theory come alive.
      Let me just say this – this state born of evil deeds will also survive / thrive until Iraqis and Syrians of all sects fight them with the gusto and the cruel resourcefulness required otherwise it has come to stay UN or no UN.

      If we continue kid gloving national defence andvsecurity issues in Nigeria even more shocking things will come to pass. This is how they must have felt when inferior barbarian hordes started killing and raping across the Roman empire- “it just couldn’t be true. It is not logical, our great Roman army always prevails”.

      • igbi says:

        The word barbarian or germanic was the name the romans gave to any part of the world that didn’t fall under their authority. It didn’t actually meen the people were “barbarians”, but the romans hated anything which was not roman, so they hated barbarians and raided their cities and made them slaves numerous times. So don’t compare us with Rome. The word barbarian has an other meaning today, a meaning which depicts people who deserve the roman hatred for those they called barberians.
        Even in history you must bring about your conspiracy theory, why don’t you just base your thinking on facts and logics ?

  10. ifiok umoeka says:

    Ogas Oje and Ghash10, what the Filipinos ordered are the FA50s, the light MRCA version of the T50 trainer! Its not based on the F15 but the F16 (smaller though), however, it uses the F18’s F404 engine and is inferior to the falcons in every thing; T/W, range, payload, speed, etc! However, with the option of the Elta radar and lighting pod, it would be superior in sensor while it RCS is better and it has a lot more composite content! Thus it falls in the class of the Indian LCA and the Chinese/Pakistani JF17 (ie their block 1)! However, if it gets the F414 as well as the euro EJ200/220 engines, it could be encroaching on Gripen territory as the block 2/3 of the LCA and JF17 would!
    It is note worthy that they want to use this project not only to replace the F5s but as a panacea for greater strides in combat aircraft technology and achieving self sustenance! Their tech is really maturing (they are not there yet…just a little bit more time) across the board from army through navy! They practically now design and produce just about anything they need! I would say a good partner to get cozy with!

    • Are James says:

      I disagree with the notion that S. Korean aerospace technology is necessarily inferior to the Chinese. Let us remember that S. Korea and Japan have been a participants for years in the F5 and F16 programs. Indeed they have been known to reject versions of F15 saying they are not good enough. They have world beating manufacturing facilities for jet engines. Everyone one knows they lead the world in some key aspects of electronic technology. We may need to do some research into how many sub modules from this country actually go into say an F22 or F35 but I expect very many. I actually expect higher reliability from a S.Korean aircraft vs a Chinese or Pakistani one…just saying.

    • igbi says:

      If I get back to nigeria then the first thing i will do is recruit young graduates in the field of engineering. I feel that we the graduates in various fields of science are failing our country. Stop waiting for the FG to provide you with jobs, create jobs, there is no reason for us not to be making our own jets by now.

      • Are James says:

        This is the solution. Trial and error R&D backed by FG financing and patronage. No idle seminars shown on NTA or big English not going anywhere but actual workshops and labs with engineers working on real things. Nigeria is the most creative country in the world. The problem is fat cat business men are too desperate to foster their traders mentality on the gov’ts they control and the entire country. GEJ’s little support for the auto industry alone is going to work wonders in that field but somebody has to throw money into specific areas of R&D like ballistics tech, aero propulsion, mechatronics, digital technology, PLCs, et.c.
        The people that the gov’t has given monopoly economic power to in sectors like cement, oil and gas, power are not being forced to invest in R&D with all the turnover they are making. Giving tax breaks alone will spur investments in R&D but nobody is thinking that way because we are all just traders, general contractors and rent seekers.

      • bigbenjy says:

        B careful too ur soldiers are burning transport buses in Lagos,we need ur raving here so make sure dem no jam u break ur head as u sabi talk …lol

  11. ugobassey says:

    I think Abuja should temporarily relocate the 1st , 2nd and 41st divisions to the north east to assist the 7th? that would bring the troop strength to at least 50-60 thousand. why not re-assign every single attack Helos and heavy armor APCs to the area? if the genuine goal to is to rapidly bring an end to this horror going on in the north then it seems to me like the human anti-body that relocates to fight off infection, we should re-locate every personnel, hardware, equipment that are currently not doing much to that theatre and rapidly bring this to an end.

    • igbi says:

      so we shall leave the south defenceless ?
      think again, there is already mass recruitment into the armed forces going on. Your idea is quite awful. the reason the south is safe iis that the armed forces keep it safe.

      • ugobassey says:

        Defenceless from what? Oil bunkerers? we currently do not have any militant activities in Lagos, Ibadan or Calabar. Once again if the goal is to PREVENT rather than CURE, then concentrate the resources where it is needed the most: North East. Prevent futher encroachment and totally eradicate this threat or face the possibilities of this spreading futher south. Its called common sense!

      • igbi says:

        ugobassey, i am sure you are intelligent enough to know that the terrorists also want to target the south and also that mend, opc and massob do exist. I am also sure you are aware that the “oil bunkerers” you are talking about require the attention of the military to keep the economy going. i really don’t understand your level of reasonning ! Can you just process these words : “ECONOMIC NERVE” !!!!

    • jimmy says:

      First of oga ugo bassey, much respect for your comments. In the interests of keeping the high standards and I believe their was typo. Nigeria does not have a 41st division. I believe you meant the 4th.
      Anyhow the emphasis is not to flood but to place the right asests in the right place. Right now this is a war that the naf needs to play a dominant role.Regrettably this has not been the case.Also since this is also a tri country war.Even the us no longer denies this.This war will not end this year.

      • ugobassey says:

        Oga Jimmy I apologize for the error. Yes 4th division. I believe you have more info regarding our military strategy than I have but My Ogas we don’t need to be experts to know that when something becomes malignant like BH is, precision fighting in the absence of overwhelming equipment, man power, resources means nothing. Deploy your very best and destroy the threat. Lets not fight on their terms or based on some COIN handbook: Case in point; Algeria and Sri Lanka.

  12. beegeagle says:

    The NA do not have a 4 Division. That ceased to exist in 1981 when the reconfigured 82 Composite Division took its place.

    What the NA have as of now are

    1 Mechanised Infantry Division
    2 Mechanised Infantry Division
    3 Armoured Division
    82 Composite Division
    81 Division
    7 Division

    • jimmy says:

      Much respect .I am now the one who does stand corrected .I must be getting old.I was for some reason thinking of the old infamous 4th battalion.smh oga beegs thank you for saving me from myself.oga ugo nah me supposed to apologize o!

  13. Oje says:

    Oga Beeg, what is the State of the Nigerian air defense apparatus ?

  14. ugobassey says:

    To your reply Oga Igbi. The key phrase here is ‘temporal relocation’ of military assets. Get it? Try not to be a drama queen my dear lad, the so called ‘economic nerve center’ you are referring to is being looted by the powers that be…not by some foreign entity. American senators are calling for 50 thousand boots on ground to man the Arizona/ New mexico border with Mexico: 50,000! in peace time. we are currently at war with a huge porous border. The 7th division and the 3rd combined cant effectively police and contain the insurgency in one state let alone three. The alternative is recruit and train at least 3 new divisions but that would take time which we can hardly afford not to mention equipment/hardware and combat experience.

    • igbi says:

      Your idea seems to be coming from a good intention, but it is ridiculous. As I have already said, there is a mass recruitment into the armed forces going on. I get that you don’t want to lose face, but just accept that your idea belongs to the toilet. Yes we need more men, but yes we also need men in the south !!! If it was that easy don’t you think our two star generals would already have done it ?
      Peace of advice : brains don’t grow on trees, they are the result of intensive training. Expect no more reply from me, except corrections of your ill thought “strategies”.

    • igbi says:

      Can someone else correct this person ? I am tired, I have written him aleady 3 times and I explained why he was wrong, but it seems he can’t process that !

  15. JayZ says:

    In general, there are increasing signs of BH collusion with businessmen with ties to ports and the Gulf in Nigeria and Cameroon.
    Anyone have ideas if the recent Apapa explosion was BH-Ansaru? I hear yes.

  16. Deway says:

    Interesting sightings these past 2 days.
    Saw 3 Ethiopian army Ural trucks each with a ZU 23-2 mounted on them, was driving past when they were being cleaned. Then again the next day, counted 9 T-72 MBTs all layered-up with ERA bricks being transported on flatbed trucks making their way up north. Some had mud on their tracks, probably returning from an exercise.

    • Deway says:

      Sorry guys for the incomplete info. The tanks were heading to the northern highlands of Ethiopia not Nigeria. I wanted to share what I saw. They were Ethiopian military.

  17. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Ugobassey, we can’t afford it! For one, u can’t compare troops available to us with that of the US! They can source 50k troop without breaking a sweat as a lot are coming back from Afghanistan! In my opinion, our troops are spread too thin doing too much, deploy every where! I keep asking where is the MPF? What of force multipliers? If we address these two, we will free up a lot more troops! Why do soldiers have to escort politicians, business men, expertraites etc? Why are they manning roadblocks and patrolling cities? I think we ought to strengthen the MPF to do their job so more soldiers could be freed up for combat!
    We don’t need divisions in that forest, we need many small teams of highly trained, adequately equipped SF with local trackers stealthily tracking BH and reporting and a larger highly mobile light infantry types ready and able to deploy in direct action missions!

    Light Oga Igbi rightly said, BH as well as other groups will have a free hand to ferment trouble else where! That those groups a silent doesn’t mean they are dead! There is a reason those formations are based there! By the way, Biafra nearly won in June 1967 because over 90% of Nigerian troops were deployed in the Nsukka and Northern Cross River state areas leaving the entire West of Nigeria open!

    Remember, 2015 is an election year! Strategic thinking entails that we look at the larger picture

  18. Oje says:

    We need to press for freedom of information act in this country. You saw not one but nine T-72, thats numbers on a procurement scale, who is the Nigerian army invading? That said i do believe we need more boots on the ground in the North, the alternative is a bloody war of attrition that saps the morale out of our service men and woman and is a big drain on our economy. Nigeria is the only black country in world history to fight a protracted war 5 years and counting, We cannot continue down this path. The essence of war is violence, moderation is imbecility. if we do not apply America’s troop surge tactics in the 2015 election there will be not enough men to battle Boko Haram and the ensuing political upheaval that might ensue. Boko Haram will use the 2015 election to its advantage, we need to send %70 of our military might and assets to the North East now.

    • igbi says:

      70% ? i am glad you are not a general !in a country the size of nigeria and with our problems and enemies, you want us to send 70! of our troops in just one area !
      that is the reciepe for defeat. Once those seventy percent are concentrated in the northeast, who defends the rest of the nation. All the terrorists will need to do is to just cross the border from southern Cameroon or southern Benin and destroy our economy, and therefor destroy our war efforts. I am fed up of this kind of half thinking. Your proposal will surely make scessionist groups and kidnappers and oil bunkerers happy. Later some other clueless people will say the army is not being proactive, most probably the same who keep calling for the neglect of proactiveness. Some weeks ago, almost 500 people traveling to the south with more than 87 boko haram terrorists among them where intercepted by the armed forces, and now you want 70% of those soldiers to be concentrated in the north-east.

    • Deway says:

      Oga Oje, they were Ethiopian army assets not Nigerian. I dey Ethiopia.

    • Solorex says:

      Press freedom concerning these will be at the expense of certain key political gains and much needed dexterity-it will really complicate things! I keep telling people that a lot of stuffs have been bought and delivered ( several un- inducted due to political issues or inducted back door-sort of) always making reference to Her excellency, she was accused of stifling military allocation by unnecessary scrutiny-she bluntly said lots of stuff were bought but not put to use and other paid for but not delivered before the senate-she was like “yes I am not a soldier but guys what else do you want to buy after all these?” she further added that no request that as met all criteria was pending! The lack of hardware are not much an issue (again)as much as the sensitive nature of the campaign-balancing national emotion cum political implication against military expediency. We are not poor and we could create a new division in just months if we desire. Size and amour are not a real problem-with our resources we can multiply as we pleases. We could buy 40 pieces 4th gen jets if we want to in one year: BH as become an unstable variable in the mathematics of Governance and how it is managed seems to matter a lot more than how its defeated!

  19. Oje says:

    Oga ifiok umoeka, there are 350,000 paramilitary force, they already wield assault rifle with a considerable number of APC. Why not provide them with Helicopters and have them take active part in the final offensive to end this menace.

    • igbi says:

      one thing that is for sure is that the MOPOL and NSCDC could play a bigger role if the army trains and grills them and perhaps they should become new army units under the complete authority of the COAS.

  20. ifiok umoeka says:

    This American report of BH arms stolen from NA, what % is it (accepting ‘stolen’ to mean CAPTURE FROM as opposed to SOLD BY)? In my opinion, apart from the support from politicians and business men, the most significant part of BH financing came from those French ransom and it may amount to well over 40% of BH financing for the 2013/14 period that money help purchase AAAs and comm as well as hired foreign fighters! The locally sourced fund financed deals with crooked NA officers for arms, ammo, uniforms and intel, Hilux with fueling and maintenance, local spies, food, batteries for comm etc! Come to think of it, what happened to the ‘700’ hilux captured from BH sometime ago? Were the trucks tracked back to the origin? Who bought them and what was the means/mode of payment? Can the money source be tracked? Lots of questions…again!

    Incidentally, we MAY all be helping fund BH! The ‘aboki’ community and economic activities are ran and managed centrally for example in my state! They used to be known for specific articles of trade; beef and suya, yam, sugar cane, onions etc, watches, caftan materials, palm slippers/sandals, manicurist and cobblers! Now, they fix generators, sow, hawk garri, beans, rice, all kinds of fruits even those native to us, clothes, any thing they can do or sell! Worse of all, they are our guards! We patronize them because its ‘easier’ and perhaps ‘cheaper’ while they map every where in our state and position themselves strategically! And oh, they are more sincere! How myopic! They have the phone nos of high ranking security operatives and have on several occasions call the intervention of the JTF on their behalf against the natives! THEY ARE CENTRALLY BUNKED and FEED, ORGANISED and LED! And of course BBC HAUSA is there to give them their brief should it come to that! What appalls me is the narrow minded and detached approach we have with regards to security and our lack of foresight!

    • igbi says:

      I suspect the american report to be an other rubbish. The president of France said himself that most of boko haram weapons came from Libya. And that is also what our armed forces said. All this confusion coming right from washington is very annoying. What about the rports coming from cameroon about arms dealers increasing their activities in the north of cameroon. I repeat the american report is to further the american interst, which may or may not be in our inerest, in this case it is clear they want to destroy the image of our military.

      • rugged7 says:

        When i yell to high heavens that the damn yankees are not your friends, they call me anti-american…

    • igbi says:

      if they are that good then why haven’t they located the girls. Americans are good at saying things without proof like the saddams “weapons of mass destruction”, and each time they expect the world to drink their crap !

  21. ifiok umoeka says:

    Some of the trade they control doesn’t emanate from the North at all but they control them! What does it take to deal directly with the farmers of Benue, Taraba, Cross River, Kogi, Plateau States etc? They control the TRANSPORT SYSTEM so what does it take to start one? Our ‘I better pass my neibour’ narrow mindedness doesn’t allow us see pass the meager benefits as we are contented with our electric razor fence, Soundproof independent power plants and oh yes, our venerable mei gardi (what ever our ill gotten wealth can help us afford) to more important things like the collective survival of a nation, the continuance of a people! How sad!

    Of course not all northerners of hausa/fulani/kanuri extract are BH or even BH sympathetic! However may I remind us that we have capture some a while ago and I dare say that a lot may have already passed through b4 we shut the door

  22. Henry says:

    Thank you, Oga jimmy. Modern rifles are freely used in nigeria, the tavors, FN F2000, GALIL ACE, FN Minimi are widely used by Tactical units of DSS. We started using tavor-21s in 2006.

    The police use modern assault rifles, the navy, airforce, Army ( FN FNC) all use modern assault rifles.

    It is just a photo op. search beegeagle’s blog archives and see our special forces. @ Oga Owi

  23. Augustine says:

    Oje says:
    July 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm
    Oga Beeg, what is the State of the Nigerian air defense apparatus ?

    Oga Oje, Nigerian air defense is bad. Simple. Go replace your 30 year old Roland short range anti-aircraft missiles so that Chad’s powerful MiG-29 Jet Fighters will not disgrace you one day…I mean disgrace all of us together. Chad also has more modern anti-aircraft missiles than Nigeria. Fact !

  24. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Oje, it takes a lot more than wielding assault rifles, APC and copters to win a counter insurgency! U haven’t talked about the necessary training! More so, much if not most of that no is either not serviced or serviceable!

    Oga Jimmy, I mention b4 that our best units are those attached to guard our politicians and this is not across the board! However, how many times does an average soldier visit a range and fires off his rifle (in peace time) in a year? How many times is he involved in a life fire exercise whether in is squad, platoon, company much less in a combined arm operation? All the years of neglect has finally paid off! I hope we do learn.

  25. Augustine says:

    igbi says:
    July 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I suspect the american report to be an other rubbish. The president of France said himself that most of boko haram weapons came from Libya. And that is also what our armed forces said. All this confusion coming right from Washington is very annoying. it is clear they want to destroy the image of our military.


    Stop misleading people Mister Igbi, the whole world is not blind. Evidence is visible.

    Stolen or captured, Boko Haram attacks Nigeria with our own Nigerian Army Cobra APCs driven to war by the terrorists, you just like to mislead people Mister Igbi, abeg caution yourself. Nigerian army should explain how they lost several Cobra APCs to illiterate Boko Haram men who have never been to world class military academies in Europe and America like Nigerian soldiers.

    Boko Haram drives around, shows off, and fights in several Nigerian army Cobra APCs stolen or captured from the hands of Nigerian Army until the army proves otherwise.

    • igbi says:

      i am not really surprised to see you post boko haram propaganda. I guess you like promoting your guys !
      Look, we are not at the same level, you are a conspiracy theorist, i am a thinker.
      So some checkpoints lost some equipment, and to you that means most boko haram equipment comes from our army ?!
      What the hell are you doing here ?
      everybody can check the info i gave.

    • igbi says:

      Look, kid, one of your problems is that you think I am here to compete with you ! I came here long before you and I am certainly not interested in discussingwith you. But I am interested in correcting mistakes and making the discussion more helpful to Nigeria. As i can see, you are more interested in your ego. Posting boko haram propaganda ! a new low, even for you !

      • Martin Luther says:


        “Look, kid, one of your problems is that you think I am here to compete with you ! I came here long before you……”

        Some men are already dragging land in cyber space O!!!!!

        Inferiors struggle to be equals and equals struggle be superiors. This is the state of the human mind that is the basis of every revolution.

      • Augustine says:

        Wow ! Chief Igbi, you no wan be sniper on the tree top again? Surprised to see you don’t like being given a free taste of your own palm wine sir. Wishing you a happy mid-week.

  26. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Jimmy, what troubles me more is that we have to many types! Why not put 2gether a requirement, run a selection competition and settle on one or decide what require most be met and select which one best fit the purpose!

    Oga Augustine, the state of the Chadian air defense mirrors our except perhaps they were able to lay their hands on ex Ghaddafi SA24 Grinch or older Gaskin, Gecko and Gainful (which except they were part of those upgraded by Serbia are expired). If its those 80s era Stingers, forget them!

    • jimmy says:

      OGA ifiok UMOEKA
      While that may sound ideal it is not quite realistic, for all intents and purposes the AK-47 is the designated weapon of choice for the ARMED Forces however it is not practical that 40 years on we are still using the same weapon. The DSS realized this hence they don’t even use it , some SBS units don’t even use it (the AK-47), ACCURACY becomes a key in very up close combat, also do not forget modernization is on going in all branches as we speak . As Oga Henry pointed out and I have personally seen newer AK 74 with the ribbed ammo is making it’s way through the NPF and the N/A.
      I also expect to see more SNIPER RIFLES both from the East AND FROM THE WEST gradually make it’s way into the hands of our Soldiers.
      It is impractical at this stage to rely on one single carbine . In fact every AMERICAN Soldier is familiar with the ak-47.

    • Augustine says:

      Oga Ifiok I spent several hours of my time tired after work to compile and post the superior and modern missiles of Chad on this blog last month, please go find it or do your own full research, I no get energy for repitition sir.

      Chad has more modern air defence missiles than Nigeria, fact is fact, google it.

  27. igbi says:

    what we can do right now is to bring back our soldiers on UN duties and relocate them to the north-east, all the paramilitary agencies (MOPOL, NSCDC, Costums) need to be granted full military status and retrained and vetted by the armed forces. Veterans who can still contribute to the war efforts should be called back into the armed forces. Our msot brilliant minds in our universities (both professors and students should be given a military status (after appropriate vetting) and encouraged to participate in the think tank of the armed forces), it is also high time we see more nigerian created weapons and systems for the war effort, we have to make security a priority. We need national cards to know who is a citizen and who is not. We need CCTV cameras like in england to help us monitor suspect movements. We need border constructions to stop the flow of terrorists. We need a more focussed society, we need to trim the size of the politician class (they are too many) and their salaries and allowances. We need to figt corruption seriously.

  28. ifiok umoeka says:

    That the American soldier is familiar with the AK47 doesn’t mean that its he doesn’t have a common rifle! His personal rifle has grown through several upgrades to the M4 and in some cases the HK416/417! Our AK is still the type we used in the civil war except for a few AKMs! Since then, the makers have upgraded about 3/4x!
    As for the accuracy, the AK isn’t to bad in the under 300m range, its after this that things get interesting! This is because of it weight, recoil and the 7.62mm round. Its this issue and it weight that gives me wahala! There are a lot of AK inspire rifles that share the design principle though with less of it weakness! The Zastava M21 and Galil ACE come to mind

  29. ifiok umoeka says:

    More over, the average Nigerian should be distinguish a Nigerian soldier from a fair distance against a BH operative as well as deny them the use of our ammo! They shouldn’t be able to use ours while we should be able to use theirs!

  30. ifiok umoeka says:

    Meant able to distinguish

  31. peccavi says:

    Can I ask again for the umpteenth time what use a 4th gen jet is to Nigeria eithe rin the current campaign or against any other enemy.
    Understand please how airpower is used. A 4th gen jet is an expensive and exceptionally useless toy in Nigeria, the level of skill, ground based radar, integrated radar, command and control systems needed are not present.
    If you are talking about an aircraft to help against BH you need a slow, armoured aircraft with a heavy payload. preferably prop driven.
    But focussing on the article in question, the issue of BH finance again illustrates the linitations of the ‘American wonder’/ magic bullet approach.
    BH is financed through criminal activity. there is no fancy solution or evil hidden foreign sponsor, their main sources of finance are kidnapping, protection rackets, illegal taxes, robberies and taxing smugglers.
    The levers to start reducing BH finance are basic police work, basic administration, reduce the use of cash, begin tackling corruption seriously, begin addressing the mess in the fuel sector, revitalising refineries and building new refineries will reduce fuel smuggling and take a huge amount of funds from BH. Its so straight forward it wont happen

    • jimmy says:

      Lol T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

    • igbi says:

      france used Rafales against terrorists in mali. that is 5th generation jets !
      So indeed those can also serve against the terrorists. And they would also serve against conventional ennemies, and I also recall that we have been asking for both 4th generation jets and super tucano types of jets. Our air force is not at the level it deserves, that is an other reason why we need the 4th generation jets. It is worrisome that you keep calling for us not to equip. The MRAPS as well, you didn’t want !

      • Augustine says:

        @Igbi, you know very little about warfare strategy and battlefield tactics, avoid that terrain of ‘5th Generation jet fighter in COIN role’ you are struggling to tread and embarrass yourself, stick to your usual rantings sir…one clown is not bad to have around here oga sir.

      • Are James says:

        Rafael is 5th generation jet?.
        Okay so I am the President of Nigeria without the bowler hat.

      • igbi says:

        rafale is 4.5 generation.

  32. Henry says:

    Oga ifiok, basic rifle designs have virtually remained the same from 40 years ago, there has only been minimal change to rifle designs.

    Infact the M2 browing 50 caliber machine gun used in world war II is the exact same 50 caliber machine gun used by American troops in afghanistan today as we debate. It is the same 50 CAL used by british forces and the same 50 CAL used by nigerian forces.

    Nothing has changed.

    Battles from world war II – present are fought between 300 meters – under, the AK-47 is very effective between 300 meters and under. So, why change.

    Nato countries have their own 7.62 mm round, the same 7.62 AK-47 round. It is an effective, powerful and a dependable round.

    You know what our navy guys call the standard NATO 5.56 round…….. “Groundnut round”. They use the nato round in their Tavor-21s and berretta CX4 carbine, so they know.

    Even with the fancy M-4A1, the iraqi’s still lost half of their territory to an enemy they out-numbered 11: 1.

    The military, police and SSS all use modern rifles, the military only adopted the AK-47 in the 90’s, neither does the military use AK-47s manufactured 40 years ago.

    The OBJ-006, wasn’t manufactured 40 years ago.
    The chinese Type-56c wasn’t manufactured 40 years ago either.

    Your argument would have been valid if you said, the army should add accessories to the AK-47. Fore-grip, polymer (just like with the police rifle) and holographic sight to the weapon.

    • ozed says:

      Also we tend to ignore economics all the time like it doesn’t matter. When you have 120,000 men to equip, you have to use the most practical options, a functional rifle accurate up to 250,300m (which is the range for most infantry engagements), easy to maintain, almost indestructible etc.
      When as may be expected newer options become available, e.g. Tavor etc. it is expected that the smaller units change equipment first e.g. Navy, DSS, Airforce Regiment, Cameroun with its small army etc.
      If it turns out to be a wrong choice they can quickly change again to something better.

      The Nigerian Army on the other hand has to find at least a billion USD to change from AK47 to Tavor for example.
      In your view wouldn’t that be better applied for buying 4th gen jets, or importing a large number of MRAPs, or updating our air defence systems (am sure you see my drift).
      Bottom line my bro, e no easy!!!

      • Are James says:

        We bought Tavor for SFs some years back. The thing nearly scatter budget. Something like N1m per rifle, with sights, ammo and other things. As you suggested here, i would rather spend the money on combat jets.

  33. Augustine says:

    igbi says:
    July 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    i am not really surprised to see you post boko haram propaganda. I guess you like promoting your guys !
    Look, we are not at the same level, you are a conspiracy theorist, i am a thinker.
    So some checkpoints lost some equipment, and to you that means most boko haram equipment comes from our army ? !
    What the hell are you doing here?


    Great Thinker Igbi, why did you use swear language like ‘hell’ on me?…I am just an innocent Nigerian and concerned citizen speaking my mind in a democracy and in defense of Nigeria as a nation, I am not here to defend any institution and thereby jeopardize our nation in that process.

    Professor Igbi, I know you are skilled in the art of ‘proving’ your own points with ‘invisible evidences’. Well for the sake of redeeming your credibility that is close to zero level caused by your own false claims posted here, please redeem your image by posting for us CLEAR INFALLIBLE AND INDISPUTABLE PROOFS FROM CREDIBLE SOURCES OF PUBLIC INFORMATION that the Nigerian army Cobra APCs in Boko Haram’s ‘3rd Armoured Brigade’ were lost at Nigerian army checkpoints by mysterious techniques of losing half a million dollar worth of brand new equipment to illiterate terrorists.

    We are eagerly waiting for you sir, we don’t want your credibility rating to plunge from zero to minus ten. Please sir PROVE YOUR CLAIMS. Thanks Oga.

    • igbi says:

      OK, @augustin, you are an idiot. I can’t hold this info anymore.
      You are the stupidest blogger I have ever read. I have met fish smatter than you.
      And this is the last time I speak directly to you, next times I will only be correcting your illogical rantings:
      1) One APC is certainly not worth 500000 dollars
      2) I still have no proof the equipment wasn’t sold to the terrorists. The worse case being that some checkpoints lost their equipment.
      3) Learn your place idiot.

      • igbi says:

        And by sold, i mean by arms dealers, the ones who have been using northern cameroon.

    • igbi says:

      by the way given your rhetoric, i will have to see IDs before believing you are a Nigerian.

      • igbi says:

        by rhetoric I mean: bashing the Niigerian army, posting terrorist propaganda, and all.

  34. ugobassey says:

    Let me end this argument with Igbi by acknowledging that he argues for the fun of it. I can now perceive that deludes himself into thinking he is usually right; talk about delusions of self grandeur. I believe one of the ogas mentioned the US surge, that exactly was my point. I prefer to be the bigger man and bow out of this argument with you sir.

  35. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Peccavi, who says a fast jet has no use in this present campaign? Let’s take a classic case;
    ‘… a village is attacked and the platoon defending it are informed by locals by phone! The leader of the team confirms it when some of his boys running a check point a mile away confirms it and begins to take fire which they return from their fortified post. The platoon leader calls for are support. The fast 4G+ jet lift off from say Yola while a prop COIN CSA takes of from Maidugri. The 4G+ hits after burner and reaches the village and sees BH’s convoy of hilux, land cruisers and a pair of APCs. The battles is fierce as the platoon is barely holding out against an enemy 12X it size with 23mms! However, they had 2 81mms and are almost out of mortar rounds! The platoon leader establishes contact with the pilots and designates the enemy! LGBs and rockets are launched with terrific result and BH attackers are stopped in their tracks! The gun trucks and APCs are destroyed along with 19 hilux and their cargo, then the pilots informs those on the ground that they need to go for fuel! However, by this time, the props arrive just in time and continues the engagement! Them BH boys are all over the place seeking shelter in the surrounding bush! Bad news as reinforcement of 2 coys of recently trained Rangers SF are in bound by assault copters! Grab ur pop corn and soda, we are about to see some real steel…’.
    I believe that this is somewhat close to how things rolled in the land of the ‘stans. That’s why the F teens were there as well as the Apaches and A10s! Sometimes time and not payload size matters and the faster, the better!
    Moreover, who’s to say that COIN is all we require? Or would u rather that we start ordering 4Gs when we have trouble say in the Atlantic and a CAG or some Flanker from the South begins to fly recce sorties over the oil platforms there? Wouldn’t that be a new height for irresponsibility? What of if we have intel of a high profile target say in Niger? Wouldn’t it make sense that with Nigerien permission with have what can deliver a strike? Or perhaps we ask the US to dispatch him with one of their Avengers! Opps, what if it not in their interest but in the interest of both Niger and Nigeria?

  36. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Henry, the design of rifle have changed drastically in 40 years! The basic principle may be the same but a lot has changed. So pick up an AK47 and compare it with say AK108 or AN94! By the way, the AK47’s design is close to 70years old and there’s a reason the AKM,AK74, AK100series and AN94 were designed!

    Yes most combat engagement take place within that distance but there are engagements outside that envelope too, in fact lots of them and if the terrain and visibility permits, why not take it? And yes, NATO has their own 7.62mm rounds but they have long standardized the 5.56mm. To you or the said Navy guys, they may be ‘ground-nut’ rounds but to those killed by it, its not. That so called ground-nut round is more accurate, longer ranged and more can be carried! Our issue has been our doctrine and training! While for us body shots are enough, others emphasize head shots where possible and they train for it, something the Soviets b4 the Russians appreciated enough to introduce the 5.45mm an even smaller size!
    As for the age of the AK we use, I wasn’t talking about the date of manufacture but age of the design! If the OBJ-006 is manufactured to a 1948 design, it will perform like a 1948 design period! As for the accessories, they are just that, accessories! Its not the optics per se that determines accuracy but the recoil, balance, trigger and round! The optics is to assist one in taking advantage of the effective range which is beyond what the normal sight can deliver!

    • ozed says:

      When infantry combat goes outside 300m, use your gpmgs, they can hit targets as far as 600-800m away, after than use your motars etc.
      Otherwise we would soon be asking for infantry weapons to hit targets at 2,000m.

      I am not a soldier, but note that without a scope very few soldiers can hit a moving target outside 400-500m under battle field conditions, with rounds whizzing past you, no luxury of taking cool aim, holding your breath and squeezing the trigger slowly, the target partially obscured by smoke etc.
      As a result, a large percentage of those rounds exchanged at 400-500m actually miss their targets and constitute a waste of ammo.

      Also ask your self in how many vegetation scenarios can you have 300m UN-obstructed view of the enemy, apart from the desert, this is very rare even in the savannah, the shrubs and thorn bushes ensure your straight line sight in most cases is not up to 200m (except you are on high ground), and note that once the first shot rings out, the enemy hits the dirt and is hidden by the grass.

      in summary, the benefits of a longer range of engagement for a rifle is fleeting and minimal when considered on the scale of equipping an army and the costs involved.

  37. ifiok umoeka says:

    Good morning gentlemen

  38. igbi says:

    rafales are 4th generation, I would like to thank the usual imbeciles for amplifying the mistake I made. After calling for each parcel of land to be manned by soldiers and after posting terrorist propaganda why not continu the sensless rhetoric of a clueless idot.

  39. Are James says:

    This option of total cover that you are poo pooing is what the Nigerian military is actually seriously considering. This is the Sri Lanka way we were talking about.

    • igbi says:

      Read what i wrote: “After calling for each parcel of land to be manned by soldiers”.
      that is not what the army is aiming to as a strategy. You would need an army bigger than the populations of china and india added together for that.

  40. igbi says:

    Actually Rafale is generation 4.5.

  41. peccavi says:

    Oga Ifiok Umoek: fast jet, be it 3rd, 4th or 5th gen has a use in all conflict but in this particular context you have to do a cost benefit analysis, hence why I started with a question. The enemy has already adapted to air support by hugging the belt, it can be seen from the Giwa Barracks video that the enemy is not panicked by airpower, reports from others shows the enemy simply waits out the air strike to move. Again similar to the early days of the civil war, when Biafra had air superiority, The Federal forces would just go firm. again in my own experience, the Taliban knew flight times and likely avenues of approach and would either disengage or hide in bunkers if aircraft were on station. there is one incident from Sangin I saw the video of, where at least 3 JDAMs were dropped on a compound and the bastard kept sniping (he must have had a serious headache sha!)
    The way to counter this is to use different tactics and aircraft that can loiter around forcing the enemy to either move or get destroyed by manoeuvring ground forces. If a pick up is driving around the streets of Maiduguri, a jet would need to slow to a stall to hit it with is cannon much less bombing it.
    The use of fast jet in COIN is by no means excluded but what you need is an aircraft that can fly slow enough to engage small fast moving targets, carry a wide ranging payload from bombs, to rockets to cannons, can land on rough or short ruunways thus can be rapidly refuelled and rearmed close to the front and returned to the fight, not big expensive fancy jets that fly to fast to be effective and need to take off from special airbases.
    The use of French jets in Mali is an interesting example, their role was mainly destroying point targets, fuel dumps, ammo dumps command centres etc, to do this the French used extensive Intelligence Prep of the Battlespace, when used in a tactical or CAS role they again had laser designators etc ensuring that the problem of speed was dealt with.
    In Congo Zimbabwe used their Hawks the way we used Alphajets in SL, to support troops in contact, for air ambushes and deep strikes, they also used tem in an air to air role.
    The biggest avantage and difference they had is they had Zim SAS acting as FAC calling in air strikes, greatly improving accuracy, they also had built on the Rhodesian experience and combined it with the ZANLA etc experience and refined the Rhodesian fireforce tactic to use aircraft in a fairly brilliant an aggressive way. Most importantly all aspects of their forces rigorously trained together
    None of this comes overnight In my opinion for COIN 2 Tucanos or Pucaras or AT6s etc are better than 4 Alphajets, Hawks or Yaks and better than 8 F16s or Mig29s. Only an opinion sha

    • igbi says:

      Point of correction : “The enemy has already adapted to air support by hugging the belt, it can be seen from the Giwa Barracks video that the enemy is not panicked by airpower,”
      The video ends few seconds after the arrival of air power, that shows that the enemy is very panicked by air power contradicting your claim.

      • peccavi says:

        I disagree. The aircraft is apparent for a while by sound at least, there is no panic, it doesn’t mean they do not immediately start trying to either take cover or move but there is no panic, which shows they are confident in their counter measures.

      • igbi says:

        I would need confirmation for that. But on my part the only part in which I “see” a jet is a few seconds before the homo-terrorists stop filming. The fact still remains that the combination of air power and ground forces decimated the terrorists. But I have heard in many interviews that insurgents try to learn the routine of conventional forces and adapt to that. Terrorists being a sort of insurgent group do that as well. And in the case of boko haram, you can even see them wearing kaki which looks a lot like ours, (they go to the point of impersonating our soldiers). I think we should take all these into consideration and use it aigainst them.

  42. Oje says:

    Oga ifiok umoeka, no use threading that path or trying to make sense on why acquisition for the past 10 years have been nothing but a waste of resource. When one complains how tragic our latest Super Tucano acquisition i we have people here saying things like for our currently military posture it is the best because of its slow speed bladabladabla and how buying a 4th gen fighter is a waste of fund and does not need our present military requirement. There are reports that a large chunk of anti aircraft guns and systems from the fall of the Libyan regime found its way into the hands of Boko Haram. How effective will our propeller jet fighter be against projectiles firing at super sonic speed, high calibre and of course men willing to die fighting. Imagine suicide bombers manning anti aircraft guns, its gonna be a Turkey shoot.

    We enjoy making excuses for the ineptitude of our current military posture. A quater of a billion was spent buying Mig -21 Clones,13 years later and 5 years into an insurgency we are going turbo prop with no aerial refueling capability hence seriously handicapped by range, low speed making them vulnerable to anti aircraft funs and of course thin skinned making even one round impacting potentially very dangerous, add to that the N1.6 billion unit price yet people see it as a step in the right direction for a country with a defense budget in excess of $6 billion.

  43. Oje says:

    Oga peccavi,,. ”cost benefit” at the cost of how many human lives? war is a deadly game of attrition and waste, we can relax saving cost and prolonging the war or do what is right no matter the cost and end this war quickly,, we are not in the league of those who should be cost saving.

    Nigeria GDP: $550 Billion (More than the GDP of the 16 West African countries combined)
    Oil production 2.2 million a day : That’s in excess of $100 Billion annual revenue from crude sales every year.
    Foreign Reserve : $40 Billion USD
    Oil Reserves : $39.2 Billion Barrels (worth $4.5 Thrillion)
    Security Status : At war

    We spend less than %1.5 of our GDP on defence,, is this a country? yet everyday people are dying, why? The only edge we can have against Boko are Rams at this stage is quite fighting their prefred method of attrition and going high tech with exceptionally good intelligence networking, they cannot replicate that or compensate for it with more men or more militia type weapons.

    • ozed says:

      Oga Oje,

      I am sure you are not implying that economic constraints are not a factor? How long do you think the war effort would last if the civil economy shut down?

      Wouldn’t you have effectively given Boko haram what they want without them firing a shot?

      We must find a way to win this war without spending the an unsustainable portion of the budget on it.

  44. rka says:

    Boko Haram: Britain Must Give More Help To Nigeria print
    Published on July 3, 2014 by admin pmnews ·
    By Gordon Brown

    “It’s not only the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls that need our help, but every girl that the terrorists are denying an education
    Today (yesterday), when Nigeria’s most prominent female leader, finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, addresses UK members of parliament, she will reveal that the search for the 200 schoolgirls – kidnapped 10 weeks ago simply because they wanted an education – is being stepped up with a greater and better-equipped Nigerian army presence to take on the terrorist group Boko Haram in Borno and other northern states. In a debate in the House of Commons, I will ask Britain, the US and other allies to convert generalised offers of help into more practical support with greater air cover, military surveillance and helicopter back-up, to hunt down the terrorists who abducted the girls.”

    I would like to know how the army is better equipped. Is it just about the MRAPS or is there something else Mrs Okonjo-Iweala would like to tell us?

    • Henry says:

      @rka, you and I, cannot deny that we’ve seen a better equipped nigerian army. The photos shared by @siriusblack further buttresses madam minister’s argument.

      • rka says:

        @Henry, whilst the MRAPS and a slightly increased firepower is a welcome addition, far more needs to be done. NA needs to be way more heavily armed than BH with more stand-off weapons and the ability to be able to take out columns of BH fighters without air-support when cornered.

        There ought to be more close collaboration with the air-force and the Minister’s attention should be directed towards bi/tri service operations (a lot more helicopters, surveillance equipment, NVG capable equipment, FACs to guide air assets to deliver LGB which increases precision etc).

        There wouldn’t be questions asked if the military was more open and we don’t have to rely on snippets from the likes of Sirius Black, which really isn’t ideal when conducting operations.

        There should be official photos and every non-official photo screened to ensure operations are not compromised inadvertently.

        I will be the first to jump up and down when the above is in place. I mean, we don’t even know what 4th gen aircraft we are expecting, which follows we don’t know whether things are being put in place to ensure the successful integration of these platforms regarding appropriate data-link systems etc so they are put to good use.

        I will continue to wait and see how things evolve.

  45. peccavi says:

    Sorry Oga Oje, I defer to your superior knowledge of close air support. Because fast jets never get shot down? Or slow/ slower prop driven aircraft did not successfully attack heavily defended targets in WW2 or other conflict since then? Or that the most sought after aircraft in Afghanistan and Iraq is not the 3rd o 44tth gen, F16s, F15s, F18, Tornados, Eurofghters or B1s but te A10 followed by the Harrier. I wonder what they both had in common?
    Or maybe the Brazilians and Argentinians both of whom were fighting insurgencies against lightly armed mobile troops did not develop these aircraft for exactly that purpose.
    But by all means lets buy 4th, 5th or even 6th gen jets because our problem is not money but how to spend it. Don’t under an circumstances try to understand the nature of the problem or the appropriate solution

    • igbi says:

      I think you tend to confuse the armed forces of Nigeria with the seventh division. You can argue that the seventh division doesn’t need 4th generation jets, (you would be tottally wrong, but you can argue), but you can certainly not say that for the rest of the armed forces. We will not continue the more than 20 years of neglect of our air power.
      I can still recall france bombing malian terrorists and their allies (boko haram) with 4.5 generation jets.

      • ozed says:

        The problem with ultra high tech jets, 4.5 or 5th generation is that our track record shows we cannot fight them sustainably probably because we lack the basic technological prowess to maintain them in-country. My view is that we need a well balanced mix of high and medium tech solutions.

        At least one or two squadrons of competitive (relative to our perceived threats) interceptors and interdiction aircraft, together with more numerous medium tech aircraft e.g. Alphas and Tucanos etc. to give us the number to face the more probabe threats like Boko haram etc.

      • igbi says:

        Perhaps we should catch up with the technological prowess then. I disagree with the notion that we can afford to be living in the stone age at this turbulent times and with the entire world arming up. 4th generation jets use 80’s technology, if we can’t handle that then who the hell are we ?
        There are too much qualified Nigerians for us to say we can not handle technology.
        I do not believe in those excuses. It is time to get things right.

      • peccavi says:

        Igbi, let me help you
        “The use of fast jet in COIN is by no means excluded but what you need is an aircraft that can fly slow enough to engage small fast moving targets, carry a wide ranging payload from bombs, to rockets to cannons, can land on rough or short ruunways thus can be rapidly refuelled and rearmed close to the front and returned to the fight, not big expensive fancy jets that fly to fast to be effective and need to take off from special airbases.
        The use of French jets in Mali is an interesting example, their role was mainly destroying point targets, fuel dumps, ammo dumps command centres etc, to do this the French used extensive Intelligence Prep of the Battlespace, when used in a tactical or CAS role they again had laser designators etc ensuring that the problem of speed was dealt with.”

        Just in case in your rush to tell me what I think you missed that part

      • igbi says:

        Peccavi, you have just given the reasons why we need both the fast and the slow, thanks for your halp, I think it also helps you understand both are needed.

      • igbi says:

        By the way Peccavi, thanks for the quote, indeed I didn’t read your entire write-up.

  46. Bharat says:

    Let me share a article in favor of members who are arguing in favor of turbo-props.

    ” Air power on the cheap”

    • peccavi says:

      Unfortunately I’ve reached my limit of free articles on the Economist site and I’m not ready to resubscribe, could you cut and paste it please

      • Bharat says:

        “Air power on the cheap”


        ” JET fighters may be sexy in a Tom Cruise-ish sort of way, but for guerilla warfare—in which the enemy rarely has an air force of his own with which to dogfight—they are often not the tool for the job. Pilotless drones can help fill the gap. Sometimes there is no substitute for having a pilot on the scene, however, so modern air forces are starting to turn to a technology from the yesteryear of flying: the turboprop.

        So-called light-attack turboprops are cheap both to build and to fly. A fighter jet can cost $80m. By contrast the 208B Caravan, a light-attack turboprop made by Cessna, costs barely $2m. It also costs as little as $500 a hour to run when it is in the air, compared with $10,000 or more for a fighter jet. And, unlike jets, turboprops can use roads and fields for takeoff and landing.

        Nor is it only jets that light-attack turboprops can outperform. Armed drones have drawbacks, too. The Reaper, made by General Atomics, can cost $10m or more, depending on its bells and whistles. On top of that, a single drone can require a team of more than 20 people on the ground to support it, plus satellite communications. A manned turboprop can bomb an insurgent for a third of the cost of using a drone, according to Pat Sullivan, the head of government sales at Cessna. And there are strategic considerations, too. Many countries’ armed forces rely on allies such as America for the expertise and satellite networks needed to run drones. Such allies can let you down in a pinch. Piloted light-attack planes offer complete operational independence—and, being lower-tech than many drones, are less subject to restrictions on exports in the first place.

        They are also better, in many ways, than helicopters. To land a chopper safely in the dirt requires sophisticated laser scanners to detect obstacles hidden by dust thrown up by the downdraught of the rotors. On top of this, such dust makes helicopter maintenance even more difficult than it is already. Maintaining turboprops, by contrast, is easy. According to Robyn Read, an air-power strategist at the Air Force Research Institute near Montgomery, Alabama, they can be “flown and maintained by plumbers”. Thrush Aircraft, a firm based in Albany, Georgia, is even more expansive. It claims that the Vigilante, an armed version of its cropdusting plane that costs $1m, can be disassembled in the field with little more than a pocket screwdriver.

        Turboprops are also hard to shoot down. Air Tractor, another firm that makes cropdusters, branched out into warplanes last year. One reason was that a fleet of 16 unarmed versions of its aircraft had been used by America’s State Department to dust South American drug plantations with herbicide—an activity that tends to provoke a hostile response from the ground. Despite the planes’ having been hit by more than 200 rounds, though, neither an aircraft nor a pilot has been lost.

        In part, this is because of the robust mechanics of turboprops and in part because Air Tractor’s fuel tanks have rubber membranes which close around bullet holes to slow leaks. Add extra fuel tanks, which let the plane stay aloft for ten hours, six 225kg precision-guided bombs and more than 2,000kg of missiles, rockets and ammunition for two 50-calibre machineguns, and you have the AT-802U, a formidable yet reasonably cheap (at $5m) warplane.

        Light-attack aircraft also now sport much of the electronics used by fighter jets. The MX-15, an imaging device made by L-3 WESCAM, a Canadian company, allows a pilot to read a vehicle’s license plate from a distance of 10km. It is carried by both the AT-802U and the AT-6, a top-of-the-range light-attack plane made by Hawker Beechcraft.

        Not surprisingly, then, many countries with small defence budgets are investing in turboprops. Places that now fly them, or are expected to do so, include Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and Venezuela. And the United States. For the biggest military establishment in the world, too, recognises the value of this new old technology. The American air force plans to buy more than 100 turboprops and the navy is now evaluating the Super Tucano, made by Embraer, a Brazilian firm.

        In aerial combat, then, low tech may be the new high tech. And there is one other advantage that the turboprop has over the jet, at least according to Mr Read—who flew turboprops on combat missions in Cambodia during the 1970s. It is that you can use a loudspeaker to talk to potential targets before deciding whether to attack them. As Winston Churchill so memorably put it: “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.””


  47. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Ozed, wouldn’t know how u got by ur $1bn ($8333 haba) figure but say u get 30000 @ $3000, that would be $90m!
    That said, I never for once mentioned the tavor, rather I’ve mentioned the Galil ACE and the Zastava M21 as well as the AK 100 series and AN94 (say @ $1000 with the AK104 going for $250 and the AN94 expensive @ $2900?)
    I’m not against accessories, but better platforms will maximize utility of the optics!
    Moreover, that area is not all grassland! Some are plains and desert that’s why I said ‘…where terrain and visibility allows’!
    Finally, my argument has been two fold, a change of our standard issue to something better and secondly a change to clearly distinguish btw our troops and BH for obvious reasons!
    By the way, how much do u think the economy will last if this war continues perpetually? Ask the USSR and in recent time the US what those decade long COIN ops did to their economy!

  48. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Peccavi, much respect! As for the 4G+, as for cost benefit, the sooner we get this over with, the cheaper! I mentioned that we need both fast and slow movers! That the tucanos can operate from small rugged strips doesn’t account for the need to secure that base! This need will still need to be accounted for. As such, with the distance from target and the speed of the tucanos vis the time critical nature of CAS, we need something that can show up before and not after the distressed unit is wiped out! Thus a fast jet is needed to buy time 4 the loitering jet/prop to arrive on station. I may not have been in Iraq or Afghanistan but I have read accounts of how some 15/16 show up fast buying time for A10/apache to arrive on station! Interestingly, u mentioned the Zim SAS as FAC! That’s one of the roles I’ve thought of concerning our Airforce commandos (apart from SAR of downed pilots). I mentioned it in a post not too long ago and was shot down! The same with training 2gether!

    With laser designation, the speed of the delivering platform is irrelevant! That’s why I’ve been clamoring for the cirit integrated in all our platforms from the A109s to 4G+ when they arrive! Never advocated cannon strafing! Not with those S60s and co! The Sudanese Airforce Mig 29 that was brought down by rebels fell to AAA!

  49. Augustine says:

    igbi says:
    July 3, 2014 at 9:06 am

    OK, @augustine, you are an idiot. I can’t hold this info anymore.
    You are the stupidest blogger I have ever read. I have met fish smarter than you.
    Learn your place, idiot.


    Thank you sir.

    • ozed says:


      I really think you need to go easy on the name calling and abuse.
      It comes across as very dis-tasteful.

      I will admit that a number of people can be irritating in their comments and postings, but i think we should never allow ourselves descend to naked name calling and abusive language.

      Lets leave that to the Nairalanders.

      I take God beg una. This forum is still one of the sanest places in cyberspace to discuss defsec matters and we should keep it that way.

      • igbi says:

        I am sorry, I crossed the line. As I have said, I would no longer talk directly to the guy, I shall adress ideas only. I will not respond tohis childish provocations.

      • ugobassey says:

        it doesn’t matter if other people’s comments are ‘irritating’ we should not allow ourselves to be lowered to the levels dolts by calling people names. I don’t blog a lot here but I read other people’s blog and I must say that this guy with the name Igbi uses derogatory language a lot when he addresses other people. Its wrong, childish and unprofessional. I would like to believe every one here is a patriot not just those that ‘think’ they know military matters more than others. I believe Oga Beegs leads by example on this blog and that is the least that should be expected of all of us. We can disagree without insulting others and that seems to be the hallmark of Nigerians generally. You wonder why we don’t get along in our own country.

  50. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Beegz, good morning sir! Pls may I respectfully request that u lend ur voice to this Igbi/Augustine feud! U know what this blog stand for and that’s why I for one I’m not on nairalnd (no offense meant)! Pls sir do something!

  51. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Bharat, that article failed to tell us what caliber of weapons the air tractor took the heat from! Like I said, both types have their place in our arsenal and not one to the exclusion of the other!

    • Bharat says:

      I also have no idea of the caliber of weapon used @Oga ifiok umoeka.
      But, here is a brief about the tech. mentioned.

      • Solorex says:

        In Military Aircraft, the technology goes further- the tanks are usually multi chambered with lots of interconnection valves that will not allow transition of fire from one chamber to another ( the valves are pressure/sensor controlled and sort of self closing or sealing). There is also foam fill/Nitro inerting systems(halon & co) technology that can prevent explosion in case of gapping damage due to large calibre ammo. There is also a layers of protective sandwiches around the tank itself designed to prevent easy structural compromise.

  52. ifiok umoeka says:

    Actually, I was thinking in the direction of effects of say 23mm on the airframe! Except with standoff precision weapons, an air tractor will be at grave risk conducting CAS in a theatre with even 14.5mm! Its the likes of the SU 25 and A10 that can survive 23mm hits!

  53. drag_on says:

    The Nigerian Government should make sure our C130s’ are not fitted with these counterfeit chips if they are capable of carrying it.

    Mar 30, 2014, 09.44PM IST
    WASHINGTON: India’s newly-acquired American C-130J Super Hercules plane that crashed last week near Gwalior has been under intense scrutiny in the United States and Canada after a Senate investigation concluded that counterfeit parts in the aircraft’s display systems could cause it to “lose data or even go blank altogether” in midflight, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

    A 2011-2012 investigation by the US Senate armed services committee eventually traced the counterfeit electronic parts used in the C-130J, C-27J, and many other US military systems to a company in Shenzhen, China, called Hong Dark Electronic Trade Company. Hong Dark sold the parts at issue to Global IC Trading Group, an independent distributor in the US, which in turn sold it to L-3 Communications Display Systems, which in turn supplied it to Lockheed Martin, the US military’s prime contractor for the C-130J.
    more here:

    • rka says:

      I don’t think we need to worry @drag-on because our refurbished C-130Hs don’t have digitized displays. I think to were restored to their previous “glory” with analogue displays.

  54. Tobey says:

    Its like Nairaland was hit with a Virus or something of that nature…SiriusBlack’s page has been completely wiped off…I just hope he continues the good work he had going on there since Olukolade’s crew don’t kno ‘shit’ about PR…

  55. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Beegz, u seem to be a bit busy! Could something be around the corner?

  56. ifiok umoeka says:

    @ oga Drag_on and Rka, thank God

  57. ugobassey says:

    On this Igbi issue:
    it doesn’t matter if other people’s comments are ‘irritating’ we should not allow ourselves to be lowered to the levels dolts by calling people names. I don’t blog a lot here but I read other people’s blog and I must say that this guy with the name Igbi uses derogatory language a lot when he addresses other people. Its wrong, childish and unprofessional. I would like to believe every one here is a patriot not just those that ‘think’ they know military matters more than others. I believe Oga Beegs leads by example on this blog and that is the least that should be expected of all of us. We can disagree without insulting others and that seems to be the hallmark of Nigerians generally. You wonder why we don’t get along in our own country.

  58. peccavi says:

    Thanks Oga Bharat

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