The roots of the ethnic cleavages which started to rip through the army after independence had some of their origins in colonial recruiting practices, with line infantry and the artillery being raised from the North, but during the expansion of the force during the Second World War
a large proportion of more educated southerners being brought in to take up posts that required more technical training. Like in Ghana
, there was significant pressure to "Nigerianize" the armed forces, with, for example, two officers being promoted to Brigadier as a concession to public opinion on the occasion of the last British commander arriving in Lagos. From a force of 8,000 in five infantry battalions and supporting units,
strength rose to around 120,000 in three divisions by the end of the Nigerian Civil War
In terms of doctrine, the task of the Federal Nigerian army did not fundamentally change: its task remained to close with and defeat an organized enemy.
The rapid expansion saw a severe decline in troop quality.
The Nigerian expansion process led to an extreme shortage of commissioned officers, with newly created lieutenant-colonels commanding brigades, and platoons and companies often commanded by sergeants and warrant officers. This resulted in tentative command-and-control
and in rudimentary staff work.
One result of the weak direction was that the Federals' three divisions fought independently, and competed for men and material. Writing in a 1984 study, Major Michael Stafford of the US Marine Corps noted that "Inexperienced, poorly trained and ineptly led soldiers manifested their lack of professionalism and indiscipline by massacres of innocent civilians and a failure to effectively execute infantry tactics."
Among the results was the 1967 Asaba massacre
The influence of individual personalities is generally greater in the armies of developing states, as they tend to have weaker institutional frameworks. Key personalities involved in Nigeria included then-Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo
. Obasanjo is particularly important due to his efforts to reorganize his command, 3 Division
, during the civil war to improve its logistics and administration. The reorganization he instituted made the Division capable of carrying out the offensive that ended the civil war.
The US intelligence community concluded in November 1970 that "..The Nigerian Civil War
ended with relatively little rancor. The Igbos are accepted as fellow citizens in many parts of Nigeria, but not in some areas of former Biafra
where they were once dominant. Igboland is an overpopulated, economically depressed area where massive unemployment is likely to continue for many years.[check quotation syntax]
The US analysts said that "..Nigeria is still very much a tribal society..." where local and tribal alliances count more than "national attachment. General Yakubu Gowon
, head of the Federal Military Government (FMG) is the accepted national leader and his popularity has grown since the end of the war. The FMG is neither very efficient nor dynamic, but the recent announcement that it intends to retain power for six more years has generated little opposition so far. The Nigerian Army, vastly expanded during the war, is both the main support to the FMG and the chief threat to it. The troops are poorly trained and disciplined and some of the officers are turning to conspiracies and plotting. We think Gowon will have great difficulty in staying in office through the period which he said is necessary before the turnover of power to civilians. His sudden removal would dim the prospects for Nigerian stability."
The Nigerian Army fought the Civil War significantly under-resourced; Obasanjo's memoirs chronicle the lack of any stocks of extra equipment for mobilisation and the "haphazard and unreliable system of procurement and provisioning" which lasted for the entire period of the war.
Arms embargoes imposed by several Western countries made the situation more difficult.
At the end of the Civil War, the three divisions of the Army were reorganised into four divisions, with each controlling territories running from North to South in order to deemphasise the former regional structure. Each division thus had access to the sea thereby making triservice cooperation and logistic support easier. This deployment formula was later abandoned in favour of the present assignment of sectors to the divisions. Thus 1 Division with HQ at Kaduna is allocated the North West sector; 2 Division with HQ at Ibadan South West sector, 3 Division with HQ at Jos North East sector and 82 Division with HQ at Enugu South East sector.
Its formations include the 1 Division
, headquartered in Kaduna
in the north-west, and 2 Division
in the South-West, which includes 32 Artillery Brigade at Abeokuta
2nd Division also possibly includes 4 Brigade at Benin City
, with 19 Battalion at Okitipupa
and 195 Battalion at Agenebode
. 52 Signal Regiment may be the divisional signals unit. 3 Division
's headquarters is at Rukuba Cantonment, Jos
, in the North-East, and includes 21 Armoured Brigade Maiduguri
, 23 Brigade Yola
, and 33 Artillery Brigades. 81st Division
(Amphibious) HQ in Lagos, which includes the 9 Brigade, based at Ikeja Cantonment
in northern Lagos, 82nd Division
(Airborne and Amphibious) HQ in Enugu
in the South-East, which includes the 2 Brigade at Port Harcourt, 13 Brigade at Calabar and the 34th Artillery Brigade at Obinze
. The Composite Division at Enugu was formed in 1964 as 4 Division, in 1975 became Lagos Garrison Organization; in 1981 became 4 Composite Division; became a Composite Division in May 2002.
3rd Armoured Division was responsible in 1983 for the security of areas bordering Chad
Lagos and Abuja have garrison commands, with the Lagos garrison as large as a division. 81st Division was previously the youngest division, formed on 26 May 2002 when the Lagos Garrison Command (as it then was) was upgraded to divisional status. The Division, therefore, inherited the security roles hitherto performed by the defunct Lagos Garrison Command.
However a later undated article in a Nigerian online newspaper says the 81st Division was later again renamed the Lagos Garrison Command. In the 1980s, the Army's brigades included the 7th Infantry Brigade in Sokoto. There are also Divisional Artillery Brigades, among which are the 32 and 34 Artillery Brigades,
ordnance corps units as well as Combat Engineer Regiments, and many other service support units spread across the country.
The 7th Division
(also known as JTF-RO) was established in August 2013 for the war against Boko Haram
. The creation of the new division brought to six the number of divisions. The 7th division is headquartered in Maiduguri.
The division includes a combat motorcycle unit as part of its 25th Task Force Brigade.
The purpose of this unit is stated as securing roads in Yobe and serving as a force multiplier in combat operations.
Training and Doctrine Command formed in 1981, and is located at Minna
. It supervises the Army's schools, including the Depot. The Army sponsors the Nigerian Military School
Divisions of Nigeria
The Nigerian Army is governed by the Nigerian Army Council (NAC). The Nigerian Army is functionally organized into combat arms, which are infantry and armored; the combat support arms, which are artillery, engineers, and signals; the combat support services comprise the Nigerian Army Medical Corps
supply and transport, ordinance and finance. Others include the military police, intelligence, physical training, chaplains, public relations and band
. Training and Doctrine Command
(TRADOC) located in Minna is responsible for doctrinal, training and combat development, and supervises training centers. There are 17 Corps Training Schools and the Nigerian Army College of Logistics
The Nigerian Army said its newly created the 6th Division in Port Harcourt was established to organize and improve its internal security operations in four states of the Niger Delta. The Division will cover the Army's 2 Brigade Akwa Ibom; 16 Brigade Bayelsa and 63rd Brigade in Delta, respectively, with divisional headquarters in Port Harcourt. This arrangement will help to curtail activities of militants, banditry, inter-communal clashes, illegal bunkering, kidnapping, robberies, Niger Delta Avengers and pipeline vandalism prevalent in the area. Insecurity in these states negatively impacts on the national economy resulting from sabotage by criminal entities within the region.
Current formations include:
The government and military chiefs, working with the National Assembly, civil society and international partners, need to do much more: implement comprehensive defense sector reform, including clear identification of security challenges; a new defense and security policy and structure to address them; and drastic improvement in leadership, oversight, administration and accountability across the sector.
It currently has over 6,000 officers and 150,000 soldiers.
The following are installations owned by the Nigerian Army:
Military forces abroad
The anti-colonial policy statement did not deter Nigeria under Generals Ibrahim Babangida
in 1990 and Sani Abacha
in 1997 from sending peacekeeping troops as part of ECOMOG
under the auspices of ECOWAS into Liberia and later into Sierra Leone
when civil wars broke out in those countries. President Olusegun Obasanjo
in August 2003 committed Nigerian troops once again into Liberia,
at the urging of the United States, to provide an interim presence until the UN's force UNMIL
arrived. Charles Taylor
was subsequently eased out of power by U.S. pressure
and exiled to Nigeria.
In October 2004, Nigerian troops were deployed into Darfur
, Sudan to spearhead an African Union
force to protect civilians there.
Chiefs of the Nigerian Army
Despite a disproportionate emphasis on the materiel and sophistication of the Nigerian Armed Forces, and despite possessing some formidable hardware, the Army has been hamstrung by technical deficiency and an exceptionally poor standard of maintenance.
Its overabundance of foreign suppliers, including Austria
, the former Soviet Union
, the United States
and the United Kingdom
, has also complicated logistics. Calculating the size and scope of replacement inventories alone is impossible given the menagerie of equipment in use.
The Nigerian Army maintains at least eighty-two different weapon systems and 194 types of ammunition, of sixty-two different categories, from fourteen manufacturers.
- ^ The Military Balance 2020. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated. 14 February 2020. p. 493. ISBN 9780367466398. |first= missing |last= (help)
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- ^ Gutteridge, Military in African Politics, 1969, 97.
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Last edited on 8 April 2021, at 07:28
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