LAGOS, Aug. 24 (Xinhua)

Nigerian troops will soon launch a massive military offensive to end insurgency in the northeast region of the West African country, Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah has said.

Minimah disclosed this in the southeast city of Port Harcourt on a two-day visit to army formations and units on Sunday. Minimah said under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan, the army had witnessed significant improvement in personnel welfare and institutional capacity to confront the nation’s security challenges.

Nigeria grapples with security challenges, part of which is the insurgency of Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of people, including women and children,since 2009. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer, with a mostly Christian south and a predominately Muslim north.


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. Triggah says:

    The long awaited push. Maybe the new fighting equipments have finally arrived, we’ll see how it goes.

    The best DEFENCE is a good OFFENCE.

  2. beegeagle says:

    May I humbly suggest that the offensive not be commenced with vigour until the air assault and mobility assets of the NAF are primed and ready. And the deliveries need to be fast-tracked. There is still way too much projection steeped in non-immediate timelines. We saw the Iraqis land fighter jets in ONE WEEK.

    It is easy for people to speak loosely about the ebb and flow of this conflict but the fact remains that the major extenuating circumstances remain the spatial dimensions of the AOR, the isolation of outposts and FOBs and extended supply lines.

    Let us be specific at this point. MAIDUGURI is situated roughly in the geographical centre of Borno State. The land area of BORNO is comparable in size to all of Sierra Leone or about three times the size of the land area of Rwanda.

    From the deep southern end of Borno near SHANI to Maiduguri, it is a road distance of 245km while from Maiduguri to BAGA in the northern flank of that state, it is 267km. In other words, between the towns of SHANI and BAGA inside Borno State, travellers are constrained to travel 512 KILOMETRES (320 miles) by road. In real terms, that it would be like travelling between ABUJA and WARRI or LAGOS and IHIALA.

    If we want to be candid to ourselves, chasing around insurgents over mountain tracks and desert routes in such an AOR is less than ideal and the imperative for rapid deployment is that Nigeria ramp up air mobility assets in consequential numbers. We need usable infusions of rugged mobility airframes such as the Mi-17 in twelves…not in meaningless pairs.

    The numbers of Nigerians who have needlessly lost their lives to this conflict while we play the scrooge and pinch the kobo is now unjustifiable. There is no higher ideal or a more defensible national priority to be pursued at this time than knocking the forces into the right shape for them to fully and finally force this insurgency into terminal decline.

    Good morning, gentlemen.

    • peccavi says:

      I agree and to some extent would add a very serious qualifier based exactly on your point about the size of Borno/ It is difficult to understand the scale just looking at the map but the AO is huge and if we are to prosecute and win this war we do not just need the cool air assets (even though I would not suggest anything less than 8 AH and 8 ground attack aircraft is heresy and honestly that’s the minimum)

      The key /to a sustained campaign is logistics, just as important as artillery and troops are earthmovers and construction crews. As a town is taken the roads leading up to it need to be strengthened and reinforced to all weather standard able to take a tank transporter bridges must be strengthened and in areas widened, alternative crossing point for rapid tactical bringing ops should be prepped.
      FOBs must be built on the roads and strengthened with all weather, concrete or mud and log bunkers.

      All weather emergency landing strips for C130s and G222s should be developed, some stretches of road should be straightened specifically for this purpose, emergency Helipads prepared as well.
      Without a sustainable and robust logistic effort to sustain garrisons after areas are cleared, we will be back to square one.

    • asorockweb says:

      Thanks for pointing out the difficulties associated with logistics.

      Even on this blog, we talk a lot about the failings of the armed forces but not enough about the challenges: we have not identified the problems that need solving.

      The offensive should start as soon as possible for the following reasons:
      1) BH has taken a few towns along the border. That means that they control border crossings. Cameroon is not trust worthy in any way shape or form.

      2)The growth potential of an insurgency group that controls towns is much higher than a group that is stuck in the wilderness. Accommodation is much easier, so is food, water and external communications.

      3) the longer they hold the towns, the more bubby-trapped the towns will become.

      4) A large offensive now has the potential to decimated the BH ranks. BH has gathered their strength in one location. Imagine if we can actually launch an offensive with 4 brigades

      5) Because ISIL has declared a caliphate in northern Iraq, BH’s declaration of a similar caliphate in northern Nigeria is a huge recruitment tool – Islamists in other parts of Nigeria that may have shunned BH for their atrocities may now think that “it was for a good cause, the end justifies the means”

      Other things of note:
      In the latest BH video, I saw a twin 14.5mm HMG system on a technical. Is that from Cameroon’s army or maybe Libya? – I know we don’t mount that system.

      Also, I hope NAF retained it’s cluster bombs – now is the time to use them.

  3. beegeagle says:

    It is befuddling that, if only to inspire confidence, nobody has deemed it fit to itemise what has been acquired. What has military secrecy got to do with that? Is that not why stories of an ill-equipped military have gained currency and seemingly put the narrative beyond attempts at painting any picture different from this widely-held notion?

    When people talk of BH firepower without realising that at the lowest end, the NA Corps of Artillery are able to throw 218 units of M56-2/Oto Melara 105mm artillery (which represents just one of five different calibres of artillery in the inventory), is that not a function of the cryptic veil of secrecy thrown over the most mundane military details about Nigeria? Or do BH own ballistic missiles?

    There needs to be a paradigm shift in our info management style. It plays into the hands of rumour mongers and BH propagandists. It is up to the Nigerian military to take the initiative away from them. Right now, our people are merely being admonished to support a war effort which they know scant little about and that is why the attempts at galvanising popular support are yielding indifferent results. Not every Nigerian is patriotic as a matter of duty. Many people out there need to see, in order that they might believe that the military enjoy a clear advantage over the insurgents and only then would they lend their support. Fact of the matter.

  4. Oje says:

    I notice Chinese media are hardly sensational and negative, even towards Africans. No Western Media wil report it wit a caption like that. A CNN version will end like this. NIGERIAN ARMY EFFORT TO TAKE BACK VILLAGE REPELLED BY BOKO HARAM FIGHTERS. Then they will show u a map of Africa Showing Nigeria as Niger Republic…

  5. beegeagle says:

    If you check through the archives of this blog, several hundred news reports posted were XINHUA articles. They give you the news and leave it at that. Perhaps the VOA reports are a third are numerous. They were balanced until Heather Murdock who does not know whether she is a journalist or an activist, arrived from Ethiopia where she was kicked out from with her boatload of nonsense.

    Well, there are probably fewer than five BBC news reports posted here. That is because they give you the news and add their unsolicited and disgusting footnotes to suit the particular interest being advanced at that time. I do not know why they continue to lie to themselves about being balanced, engaging in wholesale acts of defamation and offering jaundiced analyses while hiding behind their ruse of a mantra namely, “live the story”. More like, spin the story.

  6. Augustine says:

    Oga Beegeagle, perfect and on point. We need the new NAF air power before a final army and air force offensive on Boko Haram. America launched about 100 air strikes on ISIS in one week, and we had videos shown to us, about 100 units of ISIS vehicles, armour, artillery, Toyotas with powerful 14.5mm and 23mm anti-aircraft guns, etc, destroyed into burnt charcoal by US Navy/US Marines F-18 Jet fighters with guided missiles, unguided rockets, and laser guided bombs using Jet fighter air to ground radar and precision targeting pods. That is what we call an air force in year 2014.

    If NAF destroyed 100 Boko Haram vehicles in 10 days like the USAF combat aircraft has done last week, the Bokos will become crippled sitting ducks for our army to eat for dinner.

    Nigeria needs over 50 fully operational armed combat/assault helicopters…Mi-35 and Mi-171 plus over 10 light battlefield observation and intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance aircraft…Cessna, Diamond, Beechcraft, to track, trap, and kill almost very Boko Haram fighter that moves around with a gun on foot or in a vehicle, while Nigerian army hits them with overwhelming force in ground battles all over North East, then picks them off on when we put them into disarray and mop up every Boko Fighter until they have so few members left that even MOPOL will become a terror to them.

    Nigerian army also needs one personal role radio with at least 500 meter short range for every soldier, plus perfect and seamless communication between Nigerian army and air force 24 hours a day. Every Nigerian army company size troops needs a long range radio to communicate with base and a satellite phone in case they get cut off from the main force. Nigerian army Signals Corp should wake up.

    Also, plan for medical evacuation of our wounded from battlefield to field hospitals at FOB.

    All forward bases should be well guarded-secured, and ALL supply lines/routes perfected, Nigerian army Logistics and transport corp, wake up and feed our soldiers on every front-line with extra extra ammunition.

    All operations must be well planned by the best and most intelligent army officers. Also, we need to garrison every land we capture. Then, all rookies, fresh untested soldiers should only be used in garrison role and base sentry/guards platoon, not in spearheading important operations. All combat operations needs to be rehearsed before D-Day execution, all middle level officers must be carefully selected to get the most combat skilled and intelligent.

    All army vehicles should be tested and proved to be in good working condition and reliability before deployment. All weapons should be tested by live firing. Random ordinance test should be done to discard expired ammunition into ‘garbage’ out of service.

    Then the war will be over with a final full scale offensive in Sri Lanka model.

    Next? Close all borders with Cameroon, Chad, Niger Republique. Build a fence along all easily motor-able areas of all these borders. Militarize all those borders like Kashmir region Pakistan-India. Move all Nigerian villages at least 50 km away from the borders, deeper into Nigerian territory., thus creating a buffer zone.

    Cameroon is busy using Nigeria’s head overseas and diverting our investment potentials to Cameroon, they present themselves as alternative to a war ravaged Nigeria, the new adverts of Great Cameroon, business destination fantastic in West Africa is all over Television in North America and Europe, they are painting us black and grabbing huge investment trade missions that were meant for Nigeria and sucking them up into Cameroon.

    The videos, wow ! I kept quiet and laughed. I don’t believe them until DHQ confirms. Nigerian soldiers running from Bokos, I see about 3 men and as usual no face or ID tag/corp emblem, they used uniforms looking Nigerian, running slowly like pregnant women, Bokos firing at them close range and missing target, hitting the rocks beside them. Army base looted? I did not see anything in that cave that says it is a Nigerian armoury, no names no signs.

    Abeg me I no dey swallow propaganda evidence that the smallest lawyer will defeat in court because it has no proof of identity. Until Nigerian army confirms, I call those videos Boko Haram movie actors propaganda.

    Meanwhile, weapons for final offensive will arrive. Unconfirmed reports says NAF hit some Boko APC and we won’t see some familiar ones again, but I have NO SINGLE CONFIRMATION from government or photos. I just noticed I have not seen those shiny Cobra APCs for some time now.

    List of Nigeria’s new weapon purchases should be published or at least shown in photos if army wants to hide numbers for now….but after the war, public must know how all the money voted for this war was spent, every kobo must be accounted for publicly for all Nigerians to know, every equipment purchased must be disclosed with prices paid, so that journalists will not call anybody a thief, get it?

    • AreJames says:

      Thank you.

    • rugged7 says:

      Oga Augustine,
      Letz not deceive ourselves, naija soja pick race sha.
      But that is not the issue. Beating a tactical retreat for me is not the problem. After all, they will live to fight another day with better weapons and better aircover.
      I must say again, i am disappointed by the inability of the airforce to provide proficient air cover for FOBs.
      And Oga Kolade should learn to control the narrative better. Weda nija soja run or e no run, those moronic cameroonians should not be mouthing off on BBC. Oga kolade should be giving them the warning of their lives if they open their yap 2 wide…
      Abeg, make i ask….How long does it take to prepare for an offensive?
      2 much talk and 2 little action from our rednecks.
      D mata don tire person sef.

      • Augustine says:

        Oga mi Rugged7, I salute you. Fact is that Soldiers all over the world have been picking race since the time of David vs Goliath, nothing new, retreat can be tactical, not always a defeat, soldiers need to regroup also, and may need to fall back to maintain force cohesion.

        Yet, take that Boko Haram video to court and you will hear…case dismissed for lack of reliable evidence, exhibit showed 3 unknown soldiers said to be an ‘Army’.

        I have been to court many times, but never in jail. Boko Haram will not film it’s own ammunition depot cave hideout and sell it to me as Nigerian army armoury that has no single object with Nigerian name, flag, army emblem, box shipment consignment numbers etc written or seen…Abegiiii !!! Until DHQ confirms, only then will I believe.

    • Augustine says:

      If NAF Super Tucano COIN fighter aircraft can join this final big offensive, okay, but if not, let us depend mostly on helicopter gunships in large numbers, split across the whole NE region.

      Why can’t we buy 18 units of second hand Brazilian Super Tucano aircraft as emergency measure till our brand new are ready? Their 6 hours flight endurance beats any attack helicopter range. Imagine a Tucano airborne for 4 hours closely supporting Nigerian soldiers on battlefield, blowing up Boko Harams heavy equipment and vehicles or even fortifications….Wow !

      Abi NAF pilot dey fear to fly a modern 4th generation aircraft? No Tucano here in almost one year of noise making and purchase interest published !

  7. beegeagle says:


    ABUJA, Aug. 25 (Xinhua)

    Scores of people were killed early Monday in an attack by suspected members of Boko Haram, a sect which seeks to enshrine Islamic Sharia law in Nigeria, sources said.

    Insurgents hit Gamboru/Ngala, a community in northeastern Nigeria’s state of Borno which shares border with Cameroon, and opened fire on the residents, said a military source who pleaded for anonymity. The source said Boko Haram fighters stormed the community in the early hours of Monday, shooting sporadically.

    A survivor, Abdulfatah Ibrahim, said many of the residents fled to a
    neighboring Cameroonian community for refuge, as the attackers threw explosives into their houses. “I was in the mosque when the shooting started. First, we fled to the bush for safety. More than 70 people fled to Cameroon,” he told Xinhua via phone call. Analysts said, with the latest attack, Boko Haram members had annexed another town in the northeastern state.

    Local media on Sunday reported that Boko Haram was increasingly expanding its control in the Nigerian northeast region, after taking over Gwoza, another border town.

    Hundreds of residents were killed three months ago in previous attacks in Gamboru, forcing thousands of people of that community to flee to Cameroon.

  8. Tobey says:

    Suicide! “Massive” offensive across a 60,000sqkm front with 50-70thousand troops is a recipe for abyssmal defeat…what if the troops get bogged down? Going into a fortified position without adequate aerial recon and gunship support? This just confirms by belief that our Generals are getting desperate…Our generals should study France’s operation Serval extensively….Highly mobile units backed by gunships hunted down terrorist enclaves and killed them in large numbers..while at night, Mirages hit AQIM camps with precision munitions….”Massive Offensive”? Sounds like Vehrmacht language to me…if we head into Sambisa, entire battalions will be isolated, cut off and obliterated…what if we lose 40percent of our infantry battalions to the offensive? We can just expect an insurgent invasion right in the heart of Maiduguri itself.

    • jimmy says:

      At this stage the troops should not get bogged down , they have had enough time to study the area the enemy is operating in. If they get bogged down they literally should “unbog” themselves no one is coming to their aid this is something they need to do themselves, they have to move forward or not move at all . The Armed forces are playing on the patience of the civilian populace they need to prosecute this war to the maximum and I mean maximum extent any officer from second LT. to MAJ . GEN should quietly put in his papers if they are thinking of failure. They need to plan for success.
      They need to head into SAMBISA forests AND should expect to GET ISOLATED , EXPECT TO GET AMBUSHED, HECK EVEN EXPECT CASUALTIES AND TO EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. This is what soldiers are trained for : They are not babies, they are grown men and if they do not want to fight now is the time to put in your papers, the time for babying is gone.

    • igbi says:

      @Tobe, i hope you don’t expect the generals to splash their strategies on the internet ?
      You seem to focus on the word “massive” and conclude with that single word that our generals are desperate ! and as well it is difficult to understand your logics. It seems that you are saying that we should send as few soldiers as possible. I really can’t understand you ! And let me hint to you that massif also means massive air cover. And exactly what makes you think the troops will not be highly mobile ? are you just imaginning that our soldiers are going to be trecking all the way. And let me also tell you this: Nigerian troops were on ground in mali during serval.

  9. jimmy says:

    No major offensive can last or is unsustainable if the importance of logistics is not taken into CONSIDERATION
    1) The enemy has to be cut of from its rear end for all boko haram’s bluster and it is bluster Nigerian troops MUST MOVE FROM THE BORDER POSTS OF ngala biu bama, damboa and encircle bh so they cannot ecape wheter it is in BORNO state or in Adamawa state over the mountains into Cameroon.
    OGA P, for this campaign to end please do not encourage the F.G. they do not need anymore encouragement 16 air assets is not enough to prosecute this war
    The desperatley needs to manage this war on a four STEP LEVEL
    HELIO GUNSHIPS disembarking NA+ SF+ airforce SF behind ENEMY LINES
    This offensive operation will cover at the very minimum three states simultaneously for this war to succeed it is extremely important that NA & NAF commanders have each others numbers on speed dial and the CAS and COAS like a tag team know what the other is thinking.
    I am going to be optimistic and i am going to believe the chief of army that the reorganization has already started and that incompetent army battalion commanders who have lost their bottle have been transferred to defence attach assignments or have been reassigned outside the corridors of operations for this war to come to an end this year this level of incompetent mid level officers who have shown themselves incapable of leading the fight have to be removed THIS IS A MUST, this is not a witch hunt this is just fact. ” A BLIND MAN CANNOT LEAD ME ACROSS THE STREET”

  10. igbi says:

    Isn’t it amazing that all this keeps happening at the border with cameroon ?
    I think we have reasons to doubt the cooperation of cameroon.

    • drag_on says:

      That’s why the idea of the troops “fleeing” in Cameroon could easily have been an attempt at out flanking and encircling,to cut off the escape route.Who knows.

      • AreJames says:

        The story goes that it started as an ordered retreat from the rather large and expending field of battle at Gamboru Ngala to permit air strikes to be used against the Boko Haram fighters. If true, then we need precision strike capability like yesterday. Anyway I think some heavy strikes were made against BH but our troops had unfortunately over shot into Cameroun.

  11. Martin Luther says:

    I done the fear to sleep o, ask me y?

    Well because I may wake to up another heinous news in the front dailies

  12. Martin Luther says:

    I think the dailies would kill me 1st

  13. Martin Luther says:

    Nigeria problem be say:

    I dey find money

    U dey find money

    Soja dey find money

    Police dey find money

    Politician dey find money

    BH dey find money

    Militant dey find money

    Everybody dey find money

    Money, money, money, money, money

    But after we get this money, we need to run go spend am for jand

    We get the money but we no get homes

    I dey stay high-end neighborhood

    Na everyday I dey secure my family

    Fear no let us spend d money


    It would provide shelter, education, security, healthcare, infrastructure collectively

    Right now, I provide my own water, immediate security and health care thru a private HMO

    Electricity powered by Gen at list b/4 the change of power companies at list 10hours a day average

    Now it is about 4 hours

    The Gov. schools are ………., I can not send my kids there at the kind of quality they provide

    The trip from Abuja to Lokoja used to be 3 hours plus a distance of about 200km

    well now is about 2hours

    Benin Lagos used to be 8 hours to 1 day a distance of about 300km (this was just less than 4years ago

    It is now 3hours

    So you see what I am saying is with all Nigeria’s petro dollars nothing has been happening for a very long time say like 20 years now.

    if you remember the current minister was said to have cried when she visited the Benin Sagamu express way, this was about 10yrs ago I think


  14. beegeagle says:

    I would like to see two outstanding battlefield commanders of the ECOMOG era, then Majors Kaya Musa Tanko and Adamu Jalingo return to frontline command in Borno State as brigade commanders. Both men are now Brigadier Generals I hear. They are well known in Freetown.

    Somehow, it looks like our ground troops are ignorant of the antecedents of the NA while too much of IS Ops has probably eroded the martial qualities of some of our troops. They need to be led to the light by pure warrior types.

    Where are our men of blood and thunder cast in the hue of Generals Joshua Dogonyaro, Tunji Olurin, Tim Shelpidi, Abdu One Mohammed, UJ Uwuigbe, David Ndefo, Abu Ahmadu, Maxwell Khobe and Colonel Buhari Musa? Where are all the gutsy and hrroic junior commanders of yore…ECOMOG era Officers Commanding who are today’s Colonels and Brigadier Generals?

    Even with major setbacks entailed in opposed crossings, Murtala Muhammed fought three major battles for Onitsha in six months? Benjamin Adekunle fought three battles for the control of Port Harcourt in less than six months? ECOMOG fought two grand battles pitting tens of thousands of combatants in one year? Those are cities so there has to be a timeline for the clearout of Gwoza and anywhere else. The swift counterattack to reclaim Damboa comes closest to the essence of the NA which we have known until now.

    TRACK ECOMOG’s Major TANKO here:

  15. Kay says:

    It’s sad that after 5 years or so fighting this demon spawns, WE JUST REALISED we don’t have the type of weapons suited to this war. Even mere bloggers here had been advocating this basic ‘force multipliers’ years before this incident. If it was an oil rich area,I daresay we would have seen a very different response from the army/government. Live for the moment.

    Now we hear of offensives but as far as eyes can see or ears can hear, only limited tranches of weapons have been integrated into the army. The greatest importance regardless regardless remains the training and personnel. Weapons won’t fight wars themselves but rather humans. Offensives should be done with the least amount of casualties in mind. Government should realise that after investing in a soldier’s training and after garnering valuable experience, then loses his life on a battlefield because of poor measures or tactics is a colossal loss to the nation. (operation serval in Mali has only 9 French soldiers dead)

  16. peccavi says:

    Oga Jimmy, I said a minimum. But let that not be an excuse to not go ahead, even without AH or support helicopters we can still go forth.

  17. jimmy says:

    Okay I apologise my mind skipped that word my bad. The COAS with the president being back will sooner or later order the retaking of Gwoza it will have to be fortified with Battalion + STRENGTH with orders to stay put.
    I am going to pick your brain on Gwoza very soon OGA P

    • igbi says:

      This time we have to use our victory as a testimony against the boko haram friendly media. We have to use it to shame them.

  18. beegeagle says:

    This is the same NAF whose outgone CASs always made very empty boasts about their readiness to defend Nigeria yet they cannot even stay airborne and independently harass insurgents at the muster points or flatten captured armoured vehicles and technicals on transit. Air support for ground operations sef, comma dey.

  19. COLONEL NGR says:

    Oga beeg, they make those promises to boost the ego of the political class. Infact, the NA headquarters boost of battle tested Maj.Gens who have seen action and fought boko haram. I believe they know what to do but are hampered by funds and the antics of the political class. The military dont have the freedom they need to deal with issues. It was easier in liberia and sierria leone because it was a military government. Civilians dont believe in war till it gets to their doorsteps. Let boko haram capture a part of abuja and you will see the fury of the NA let loose just because the politicians will now be willing to deal with them.

    Maj Gen illiiyasu abbah dealt with boko haram in kano, Maj. Gen T.C Ude ensured that they had no foothold in kaduna. Combine these guys with the officers you mentioned above, i think we have the officers to lead this offensive when its time. I still see the political class as the main culprit in this game.

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