Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

20 August

Gunmen ambushed cattle traders travelling from BUNI YADI to GOMBE along DAMATURU- BIU Road around 4.45pm in the vicinity of AZARE, 5km from BUNI GARI with small arms and IEDs killing 2 and wounding 3. The ambush was initiated with small arms fire, with fleeing travellers then caught up in the IED explosion

5 suspected Boko Haram members surrendered in BENISHEIKH, KAGA LGA, BORNO State, stating their families were in AUNO, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State, whom they took the soldiers to meet

22 August

Gunmen infiltrated KIJIMATARI Village, MONGUNO LGA, BORNO State around 2.00am murdering 6 people including the Village Head with bladed weapons

Gunmen attacked NGURU-BARKIN DUTSE, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State around 9.00pm burning 14 houses and a newly renovated hospital before being repelled by MOPOL and hunters. Gunmen then attacked KUBU Village burning 4 houses

23 August

A male PBIED detonated outside a roadside eatery in MUNA Garage, MAIDUGURI, BORNO State around 1.45pm where a NPF SARS APC was parked killing himself and the vehicle driver, wounding 7 civilians and 4 service personnel and damaging the APC. A second suspect male allegedly attempted to snatch a weapon from a policeman but was shot and killed in the attempt another civilian was killed in the crossfire and 2 wounded

Gunmen ambushed a convoy of sand heading to BAMA protected by soldiers and vigilantes travelling from KONDUGA to KAWURI in the vicinity of MELERI Village, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State around 11.00am, with a driver and 4 vigilantes killed and 2 soldiers wounded.

Gunmen attacked ABACHARI, KOTE, UDA LAWANTI and WOKILLI villages, NGANZAI LGA, BORNO State around 9.30pm killing up to 15 people with small arms and bladed weapons and wounding 2, looting grain and livestock and burning several houses.

Gunmen attacked KIJIMATARI Villages in GUZAMALA LGA, BORNO State around 2.00am killing 7 and wounding 6 and then attacking MALLAM MODURI around 3.00am killing 5 and wounding several

24 August

Gunmen mounted on motorcycles attacked KUDA and KALIYARI Villages, NGANZAI LGA killing 16 people, stealing livestock and foodstuffs and burning the villages, soldiers rapidly counter attacked repelling the attackers

25 August

CJTF ambushed suspected gunmen in GUBIO LGA, BORNO State killing 3 and capturing an automatic weapon and ammunition

26 August

IDPs in GUBIO IDP Camp, MAIDUGURI, protested during the monthly relief distribution by the International Medical Corp, throwing stones at the staff and damaging 5 Lexus jeeps

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

23 August

The KADUNA State Government Security Council issued a warning about images and messages purportedly of deceased victims in KAJURU LGA, stating anyone undertaking reprisal attacks will be dealt with

24 August

An NAF Air Beetle Training Aircraft crashed in the permanent site of the NDA, KADUNA, KADUNA State around 4.25pm killing the pilot Group Captain Adamu Gabriel OCHAI, a senior instructor.

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

20 August

2 gunmen shot and killed the Principal Special Assistant to the BENUE State Governor, Tavershima ADYOROUGH and wounded his wife at his home in BPIC Quarters, NYIMAN, MAKURDI, BENUE State early in the morning

22 August

Police in GUWA BABANGIDA, GURARA LGA, NIGER State paraded 26 suspects arrested on charges of rape, armed robbery, unlawful possession of prohibited fire arms in LAMBATA, PAIKORO LGA, NIGER State. The suspects were arrested between 08 and 22 August, with 4 x AK 47, 4 x double barrel shotguns, 3 x locally made pistols, assorted ammunition, charms, cutlasses, mobile phones, watches military style uniforms and sundry personal items recovered

The CDS Gen Bamidele SHAFA Coordinator Op Safe Corridor described the DDR strategy to the National Stakeholders Forum on Reintegration in the North East in ABUJA, FCT, stating that there are 96 former fighters who would go through a 16 week DDR programme in GOMBE State, whilst 565 women and children would undergo a 12 week rehabilitation programme

Gunmen abducted a former Minister for Labour and Productivity Hussaini Zanwa AKWANGA and his houseboy ALI from AKWANGA’s farm along WAMBA Road in KURMIN TAGWAYE Village, AKWANGA, LGA, NASARAWA State. The kidnappers had reportedly contacted the victim’s family to demand a ransom

23 August

The NASARAWA State Police Command arrested 5 suspects in relation to the abduction of Hussaini Zanwa AKWANGA. The AKWANGA family claim the kidnappers have requested N8m, whilst the family has offered N5m

24 August

Hussaini Zanwa AKWANGA was released by his abductors around 6.00pm allegedly for an undisclosed ransom

Situation External Forces

10 August

Camerounian security forces released 18 Boko Haram suspects from a BIR base in SALAK, MAROUA, EXTREME NORD Region

22 August

RUSSIA signed military cooperation agreements with NIGERIA at the Russian Army 2017 International Military- Technical Forum outside MOSCOW, RUSSIA, for Nigerian personnel to be trained at Russian military institutes focussing on exchange of peace keeping experiences, fighting piracy and terrorism and joint training. The Nigerian Minister of Defence Mansur DAN ALI expressed an interest in MiG air craft, Yak 130s, Kalashnikov rifles, avionics, MRAPS, artillery pieces and armoured vehicles. A military cooperation deal with NIGER Republic was signed to promote further cooperation in the fight against international terrorism

23 August

2 x PBIEDs detonated in AMCHIDE, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region at night killing themselves, 4 vigilantes and wounding 6 others

A PBIED detonated in MOGODE, TCHEKODE Quarters, MAYO TSANAGA Department in the morning. 2 x PBIEDs detonated in MOZOGO, MAYO TSANAGA Department. Another PBIED is thought to be at

A PBIED detonated at night in CHERIYE Village, 5km from KORDO, between KOLOFATA and MONT GREYA, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 3 other people and wounding 5

24 August

Gunmen attacked GAKARA, KOLOFATA Arrondissement, MAYO SAVA Department with small arms around midnight, killing up to 15 people, abducting 8 others and burning up to 30 houses

25 August

Gunmen attacked ZAMGA, MAYO TSANAGA Department, EXTREME NORD Region at night killing 3 and burning houses

Up to 400 men from the villages between MADINA and BOULO, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, conducted a search for suspected Boko Haram infiltrators from NIGERIA in the vicinity of LAWAN SALE, GOURGOUM and DEIMA Villages

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

12 August

The NDLEA arrested a suspected Chadian drug dealer who was arrested in JIMETA-YOLA Modern Market, YOLA, ADAMAWA State whilst attempting to procure a vehicle to help him transport 186kg of Tramadol to CHAD via CAMEROUN

14 August

Gunmen attacked MUDUVU Village, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State at night burning houses, livestock, churches and shops and looting foodstuffs

15 August

MCCC Theatre Commander Maj Gen Ibrahim ATTATHIRU launched a new force of 3 Mobile Strike Teams (MSTs) at MAIMALARI Military Cantonment, MAIDUGURI, BORNO State with 2,000 troops specially trained at the Army School of Special Forces, BUNI YADI, YOBE State to conduct long range patrols and ambushes in order to defend main supply routes and rural villages mounted on APCs and MRAPs

Social media reports state that villagers from DAWASHI GARI, KUKUWA LGA (?), BORNO State have fled to an island in Lake CHAD after Boko Haram came to their village the previous night to demand N1m in 8 days

3 x female PBIEDs infiltrated MANDARARI Village, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State around 5.00pm. the first detonated outside an IDP camp whilst the other two detonated in the weekly market, killing up to 27 people and wounding up to 83

Gunmen attacked NYIBANGO Village, BELBEL Ward, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State early in the morning burning houses, livestock, churches and shops

Gunmen attacked BITU, BAKIN DUTSE and GADAMAYO Villages, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State around 11.00pm attempting to steal foodstuffs and livestock but were repelled by soldiers and local hunters, who killed a suspected enemy commander who’s was wearing a vest taken from a slain hunter. They also captured 2 x AK 47 and 1 x teargas canister

Gunmen killed 3 farmers by decapitation and abducted 1 other in MOLAI, JERE LGA, BORNO State whilst they were on their farms

16 August

The KEBBI State Governor Atiku BAGUDU claimed that 42 farmers from ALIERO Town, ALIERO LGA, KEBBI State had been murdered by Boko Haram the previous week in BORNO State the previous week

Elements of 8 TF Div ambushed enemy forces heading towards Lake CHAD in the vicinity of MAZA Village, MARTE LGA, BORNO State around 9.00pm killing 10 and capturing 10 x bicycles, 11 x carts containing foodstuffs and 2 x cows.

Elements of 8 TF Div conducted clearance operations in the vicinity of DANARI and MOWO Villages, MONGUNO LGA, BORNO State recovering 50 cattle

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

16 August

Members of the Islamic Movement of NIGERIA (IMN) demonstrated in KADUNA, KADUNA State, demanding the release of their leader Ibraheem EL ZAKZAKY. Several thousand marched from Leventis Roundabout to Ori Akpata Junction by Kano Road via Ahmadu Bello Way. Speakers stated that it was 612 days since he had been detained and 250 days since the Federal High Court had ordered his release

5 x gunmen mounted in 2 vehicles mounted a series of robberies in SABON GARI, KANO, KANO State targeting a petrol station on Court Road, Ken Village Hotel and then an ATM in Tower Hotel on Igbo/ Aba Road, around 11.00am shooting and killing a security guard at a private residence opposite the hotel but were intercepted by the Police who arrested 2 suspects after a 4 hour firefight, 3 others were reportedly wounded. Police state the robbers reportedly came from EBONYI State. 1 x AK 47 and a vehicle were recovered an innocent civilian wounded by a stray bullet

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

11 August

Elements of BENUE State Police Commands’ Op Zenda raided a suspected hideout of the wanted criminal Terwase AKWAZA (aka GANA) around 3.00am on the TARABA/ BENUE border, they engaged a lookout in a firefight, fatally wounding him and capturing rifle, 115 rounds of ammunition, 10 x shotgun cartridges, assorted charms, 2 x military style shorts and other items. Other gang members reportedly fled

12 August

Suspected Fulani gunmen attacked a bus containing political activists in the vicinity of OBAJANA, LOKOJA, KOGI State around 4.00am as it travelled from LAGOS to ABUJA

14 August

A mob in ANGWAN AFFI, AKWANGA, AKWANGA LGA, NASARAWA State attacked and fatally wounded a soldier after the motorcycle he was riding on collided with a hawker resulting in an altercation. Police have arrested 2 people who allegedly took the victim to hospital.

16 August

Gunmen robbed a shop in MUNGUNA Village, BOKKOS LGA, PLATEAU State around 7.00pm shooting 2 men dead

17 August

A communal clash between the Bette people of OBUDU LGA, CROSS RIVERS State and the Tivs of VANDEIKYA LGA, BENUE State over a disputed piece of land for rice plantation near the River AYA resulted in one man wounded

19 August

Gunmen mounted on motorcycles and cars attacked a businessman’s house in MALUMFASHI LGA, KATSINA State around 11.30pm abducting his 11 year old daughter Nana ABUBAKAR and stealing a car. A policeman and 2 suspects were wounded and the latter arrested

Situation External Forces

14 August

Gunmen attacked GLO, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region but were defeated by locals retreating into DOUGOUM, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, losing 3 enemy killed, 2 x AK 47s, 1 x dane gun and webbing captured

15 August

The Malian Ambassador to the UN Issa KONFOUROU told the UN Security Council that the terror attack in BURKINA FASO, underscored the importance and urgency of deploying the G5 Sahel Force and appealed for funds, logistic support and military equipment

17 August

Gunmen attacked MOSKOTA, MAYO TSANAGA Department, EXTREME NORD Region at night killing 1 man and abducting 6 of his children

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

06 August

Elements of 28 TF Bde ambushed suspected enemy forces in the vicinity of KAFIN HAUSA, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State killing 1 enemy and capturing 1 x AK 47 and magazine

Troops from the Army Mobile Strike Team graduated from the Army Special Forces School, BUNI YADI, GUJBA LGA, YOBE State. The Minister of Defence Mansur DAN ALI attended and stated that the NSCDC and police would begin training in BAMA LGA, BORNO State

Boko Haram ISWAP released a 6 minute video in which their leader Abu Musab AL BARNAWI criticised SHEKAU, stating he had violated the teachings of Mohammed YUSUF and would be defeated in a few months

07 August


Elements of 22 Bde supported by CJTF vigilantes conducted an ambush between BULABIRIN and MONGOLE Villages, DIKWA LGA, BORNO State killing 6 enemy and wounding several others, capturing 6 x bicycles, 3 x dane guns and 1 x machete

NAF ISR platforms identified a potential target in the vicinity of PARISU, BORNO State in SAMBISA Forest- a zinc roofed structure under a tree

08 August

The NAF tasked an Alphajet and F 7Ni to strike the target identified in the vicinity of PARISU with bombs and rockets. The target was reported destroyed

The COAS awarded Gallantry Medals (type unspecified) to 2 x officers and 63 x Other Ranks of 151 TF Bn, 21 Bde for defeating 2 x enemy ambushes on 10 July 2017

The COAS visited 202 Bn positions in AWULARI, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State along BAMA Road, where he witnessed 304 Artillery Regt test firing their weapons and then joined them on a waterborne patrol on ALAU Dam in an armed boat accompanied by the Theatre Commander Maj Gen Ibrahim ATTAHIRU, Chief of Training and Operations, Maj Gen David AHMADU, GOC 7 Div, Brig Gen Ibrahim Manu YUSUF

09 August

Elements of 233 Bn, 27 TF Bde detained 2 suspected Boko Haram members in SASAWA Village, TARMUWA LGA, YOBE State who claimed to have fled from FUTCHUMARAM, GEIDAM LGA, YOBE State

The Army stated that elements of 159 Bn, 27 TF Bde immunized 1,227 children in 13 villages in YUNUSARI LGA, YOBE State

Gunmen attacked GHUMBILI Village, MADAGALI LGA around 11.00pm burning up to 60 houses, looting food stuffs and killing at least 1 person in the 4 hour attack and displacing locals to GULAK

The Acting Corps Commander Medical Brig Gen Clifford WANDA visited 7 Div Medical Services and Hospital, MAIMALARI Cantonment, MAIDUGURI, BORNO State

10 August

29 Bn were returned from duty Op Lafiya Dole to rejoin 6 Div, PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS State

Troops conducted intelligence led raids on up to 30 properties in and around MAIDUGURI. A source had reportedly claimed senior Boko Haram members had infiltrated POMPOMARI Bye Pass the city leading to raids in JIDDARI POLO, MUNA Garage, JAKANA

11 August

The BORNO State Government donated N500,000.00 to the families of 21 oil workers and 12 x CJTF Vigilantes and to the families of 12 other people killed in JIDDARI POLO

12 August

Gunmen attacked AMARWA Village, KONDUGA LGA with small arms around 11.00pm killing 4 and wounding up to 12 people, burning the village and looting food stuffs

The Army issued a statement reassuring the UN of their safety following the raid on a UN registered building in MAIDUGURI on 10 August

Boko Haram released a 36 minute mainly Arabic language video featuring SHEKAU flanked by 2 fighters in a room mocking Presidents BUHARI and JONATHAN as well as the COAS.

The BORNO State Commissioner of Agriculture stated that gunmen had murdered 2 tractor drivers working on a farm in JERE LGA, BORNO State ‘in the past few days’

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

07 August

The Village Head of BIJEJE, GORONYO LGA, SOKOTO State was murdered with bladed weapons as he headed to morning prayers at the mosque

08 August

The SOKOTO State Police Command arrested 3 suspected murderers of the BIJEJE, GORONYO LGA, SOKOTO State Village Head

The NAF inducted 5 x Super Mushshak Trainer Aircraft into 401 Flying Training School, KADUNA, KADUNA State

10 August

Gunmen robbed a bureau de change operator in AWAIKITI Village, GUDU LGA, SOKOTO State near the border with NIGER Republic killing his neighbour when he raised the alarm

The NSCDC stated it had deployed up to 80 armed personnel to join Op Safe Haven in Southern KADUNA

11 August

The KANO State Government donated 29 vehicles to 3 Mechanised Bde, NDLEA and other agencies in the state

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

06 August

Vigilantes in TELLA Village, GASSOL LGA, TARABA State detained 5 suspected kidnappers. An irate mob attacked the police station, extracting them, of whom 4 were beaten, murdered and their bodies dumped in nearby river. 1 of the suspected kidnappers escaped and was detained by the Police.

08 August

The ECWA Pastor Jen MOSES abducted along JERE-BWARI Road on 04 August was released by his captors around 10.00pm for an alleged ransom of N2.5m. His abductors who allegedly beat him in order to extract more money, were 7 Fulani boys under the ages of 20

09 August

Farmers in AKPAGODOGBO Village, OTURKPO LGA, BENUE State reportedly pursued away herdsmen around 4.00pm after their cattle ate their crops. The herdsmen allegedly attacked the farmers at night leaving 7 dead and several properties including a police station damaged

Gunmen attacked a Mobil Filling Station in KEFFI, NASARAWA State abducting the owner Alhaji Yaro TALLE and fatally wounding an employee. The kidnappers reportedly demanded a N30m ransom

11 August

Maj Gen Rogers NICHOLAS handed over command of Operation Safe Haven to Maj Gen Anthony ATOLAGBE in JOS, PALTEAU State

Situation External Forces

08 August

A 17 years old suspected female PBIED and 2 escorts were detained by vigilantes in ZELEVET, MAYO MOSKOTA Arrondissement, MAYO TSANAGA Department, EXTREME NORD Region

Explosives were discovered inside a DVD player in KOLOFATA, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region

Camerounian Customs intercepted a truck carrying 600,000 Tramadol tablets concealed in 12 boxes of 500 packages disguised as food stuffs in TAIFARA, MAYO TSANAGA Department, EXTREME NORD Region allegedly bound for Boko Haram in NIGERIA

09 August

3 x female PBIEDs detonated between DJAKANA and KALGUIWA, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region when challenged by a vigilante, who was wounded in the blast

Gunmen abducted 2 people in the morning from MADAKAR Village, MOSKOTA Arrondissement, MAYO TSANAGA Department

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

31 July

The CDS Gen OLONISAKIN, COAS Lt Gen BURATAI and CAS AM arrived in MAIDUGURI around 11.00am as per the Acting Presidents instructions
Gunmen hijacked a truckload of firewood and abducted the loggers in the vicinity of AISA-WULOMARI Village, MAGUMERI LGA, BORNO State. The 3 loggers were murdered by decapitation and their bodies, truck and cargo left by the road

01 August

Gunmen mounted on motorcycles attacked MILDO Village, 6 to 7 km from GULAK, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State via CHAKWA Village around midnight with small arms and bladed weapons beheading 7 people, wounding 10 and burning 2 houses, they were repelled after an hour by soldiers and hunters. Locals claim the insurgents are in the bush in the vicinity of nearby DABU Village.

The NIGERIA Customs Service BORNO/ YOBE Area Command Comptroller stated that only 2 out of 13 border stations in his area of operations were functional
The DORON BAGA Fish Market in BAGA, KUKAWA LGA, BORNO State was reopened by KUKUWA LGA Caretaker Chairman Habib KEKENO

The casualty figures from the NNPC ambush have been reassessed to 19 soldiers, 33 CJTF and 17 civilians killed

Media reports show a 29 minute video allegedly showing life under Boko Haram rule in the SAMBISA Forest, unlike previous Boko Haram videos it features vistas of everyday life

02 August

The COAS Lt Gen BURATAI visited 3 Div AO and the Emir of DAMATURU Alhaji Shehu HASHIMI II IBN AL AMIN EL KANEMI II

03 August

A female PBIED detonated near a checkpoint in MOLAI, JERE LGA, BORNO State around 11.22pm killing only herself

04 August

The COAS Lt Gen BURATAI met with elements of 27 TF Bde in BUNI YADI, XX LGA, YOBE State and visited the Army Special Force School

Suspected male and female PBIEDs attempted to infiltrate MOLAI General Hospital via an adjacent residential building in MOLAI, MAIDUGURI, BORNO State around 5.15am but were intercepted by 2 x guard dogs, causing one of their devices to reportedly detonate prematurely killing only the dogs and the attackers

3 x suspected PBIEDs (1 x males, 2 x female) attempted to infiltrate USMANTI, MAFA LGA, BORNO State around 9.30pm, the male was shot by a soldier, detonating his device killing the attackers and wounding 2 x CJTF vigilantes

05 August

Troops from FOB MAINOK, KAGA LGA, BORNO State ambushed enemy forces approaching ALAGARNO Forest along a track, killing 2 x enemy and recovering 2 x motorcycles, jerrycans and ground guinea corn

Elements of 151 Bn, 21 Bde conducted a route clearance operation recovering multiple IEDs connected to each other along BANKI Junction-BAMA Road. The devices were made safe

Elements of 151 Bn, 21 Bde ambushed enemy forces along MIYANTI-BANKI Junction killing 12 suspected enemy and capturing 18 x bicycles, 30 x bags of flour, 1 x bag of groundnut, 2 x bags of salt, 2 x baskets of kola nut, 5 x torches, 1 x carton of mixed juice sachets, 4 x rolls of brocade cloth, 2 x packets of sweets, 1 x carton of soap, 5 x packets of cold patch, 2 x packets of Maggi cubes, 2 x pairs of bathroom slippers, 2 x packets of yeast, 4 x packets of Vedan, 2 x rolls of sewing thread, 4 x kegs of herbicide, 14 x packets of insecticide, 1 x keg of groundnut oil, 1 x bag of pepper and N4,000.00 in cash.

Gunmen ambushed elements of 81 TF Bn, 22 Bde conducting clearance patrols along DUKIE-MADA Road near GULUMBA GANA Village, BAMA LGA, BORNO State with IEDs and small arms, troops cleared the ambush, with 1 vehicle detonating a device killing 2 x soldiers and wounding 4

Elements of 22 Bde Garrison patrolling to ABDIRI Village, DIKWA LGA, BORNO State found a suspected enemy IED making facility capturing 9 x complete IED cylinders, which were destroyed in situ along with IED making materials

Gunmen attacked DUGURI Island, KUKUWA LGA, BORNO State on Lake CHAD killing 12 fishermen from BAGA and fatally wounding 2 others. 1 fisherman was not killed and compelled to take the corpses of the 12 dead back to BAGA as a warning to others. The gunmen then attacked DABAR WANZAM Island killing 17 people.

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

31 July

The NAF stated it had begun Special Forces training at NAF Regiment Training Centre, KADUNA, KADUNA State for 450 personnel in batches of 150. The 9 week course is to be conducted by an Israeli PMC Four Troop

02 August

KADUNA State Police attempted to free some abductees along the KADUNA-ABUJA Road engaging suspected kidnappers in a firefight killing 1 and arresting 4. Some others escaped

03 August

Elements of Op Absolute Sanity announced they had conducted a series of raids on suspected kidnappers and bandit hideouts, arresting up to 40 suspects and rescuing 3 abductees along KADUNA-ABUJA Road. A wide assortment of weapons were recovered as well as electronics, jewellery

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

03 August

The NSCDC NASARAWA State Command stated it had trained over 400 personnel in weapons handling this year in collaboration with 177 Guards Bn

04 August

Up to 7 suspected Fulani gunmen ambushed a vehicle travelling to ABUJA, FCT from JOS, PLATEAU State, between JERE and BWARI shooting and wounding the driver and abducting Jen MOSES, Education Director with the ECWA Church around 8.00pm. The kidnappers allegedly demanded N100m ransom

Acting President Yemi OSIBANJO announced the setting up of a 7 member Judicial Commission to advise on preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations led by Appeal Court Judge, Justice Biobele GEORGEWILL

05 August

Gunmen mounted in 2 x motorcycles and a pick up truck attacked ATONGO, KATSINA ALA LGA, BENUE State killing a man and wounding several others

Situation External Forces

31 July

German Defence Minister Ursula VON DER LEVEN and French Defence Minister Florence PARLY visited Nigerien President Issoufou MAHAMADOU in NIAMEY, NIGER Republic and pledged support for the G5 Sahel initiative

French Defence Minister Florence PARLY visited MNJTF HQ in N’DJAMENA, CHAD meeting MNJTF Deputy Commander Gen Moussa Mahamat DJOUI

01 August

The Senior Police Advisor at the US Embassy Michael Bonner met the NSCDC BORNO State Commandant Ibrahim ABDULLAHI and stated that the US will provide training and technical support to NSCDC personnel deploying to BORNO State. The training will include post bomb blast investigation

02 August

The US State Departments’ Defence Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress that it planned to authorise the sale of 12 x Embraer A 29 Super Tucano Light Ground Attack Aircraft to NIGERIA by the Sierra Nevada Corporation. The US Congress has 30 days to review the $593m proposal

05 August

2 x PBIED detonated in WAZA, LOGONE ET CHARI Department wounding 5

1 x PBIED detonated in OURO-KESSOUM, near AMCHIDE, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 8 and wounding 4 people

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

23 July

A male PBIED infiltrated DALORI IDP Camp 2, JERE LGA, BORNO State around 10.15pm, detonating and killing 4 people and wounding 17. A suspected female PBIED was challenged and then shot by elements of 251 Bn as she attempted to climb over the wall of DALORI 2 camp, the subsequent detonation of her device damaged the perimeter wall. A third female PBIED detonated outside the fence of DALORI 1 camp near UNIMAIDs Gate 3 around 7.45am when she was challenged, wounding a vigilante.

Gunmen mounted on motorcycles attacked DAGU near KILIKASHA, ASKIRA UBA LGA, BORNO State killing 3 vigilantes and 2 herdsmen and stealing 120 cattle

Gunmen blocked the DAMATURU-BIU Road in the vicinity of DAMATURU and MIRGA forcing travellers to divert via GOMBE

24 July

A male PBIED attempted to infiltrate UNIMAID around 4.00am but was spotted by security and detonated when challenged near the BOT Building killing only himself

Gunmen attacked farmers on their fields in the vicinity of JEKETE, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State around 10.00am killing at least 10 and abducting others including 6 women

Elements of 233 Bn, 27 TF Bde supported by CJTF vigilantes arrested 4 suspected Boko Haram members in KURNARI Village and NAYINAWA ON the outskirts of DAMATURU, YOBE State, including a father and his 15 year old son. The suspects stated they were fleeing from enemy camps in TALALA and BUK, DAMBOA LGA

25 July

Several hundred gunmen ambushed an 11 vehicle convoy of geologists from a NNPC subsidiary and the University of MAIDUGURI heading from BORNO YESU, MAGUMERI LGA to MAIDUGURI in the vicinity of JIBI Village, MAGUMERI LGA, BORNO State with small arms, RPGs and crew served weapons, killing at least 5 UNIMAID staff and 5 soldiers and 11 vigilantes. 6 UNIMAID staff were reported missing and at least 2 x vehicles captured. 3 out of the 11 vehicles returned to MAIDUGURI.

Elements of 5 Bde from GUBIO and others from MAGUMERI with air support conducted a rapid counter attack, resulting in further heavy casualties, with at least 16 vigilantes were killed, 12 soldiers and 5 UNIMAID staff. Troops recovered the 2 x captured gun trucks, 1 x Toyota Buffalo, 4 x RPG rounds, 6 x AK 47, 1 x GPMG, 1 x AAA gun barrel, 4 x dane guns, 1 x Motorola radio, 1 x GPS receiver, 3 x shovels, 3 x food coolers, 213 x 7.62mm (NATO) rounds, 1255 x 14.5mm(?) rounds, 4 x boxes of 12.7mm rounds, 1 x AK 47 magazine, 2 x bows, 13 x arrows and 2 x LLG (40mm?) bombs. Other items included 8 x tyres, 2 x tyre rims, 1 x pump, 2 x wheel jacks, 1 x battery, 5 x reflective vests, 4 x jerrycans of petrol, 1 x digger, assorted drugs and tools

The COAS Lt Gen TY BURATAI approved 6,199 special promotions for soldiers serving on Op Lafiya Dole. 3,502 Privates, 1,290 Lance Corporals, 707 Corporals, 371 Sergeants and 329 Staff Sergeants were promoted the next rank up

26 July

A General Court Martial sitting in 7 Div Garrison, POMPOMARI, MAIDUGURI sentenced 2 x Troopers to 23 years in jail for unlawful possession of Fire Arms, they were arrested at JUMPUTU Motor Park, JIMETA, ADAMAWA State with 5 x AK 47 magazines and 20, 136 x 7.62mm (AK) rounds. Another Corporal was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for illegal possession of ammunition after he was arrested with 2,800 x 7.62mm (AK) rounds hidden in a poultry farm near TIPPER GARAGE, MAIDUGURI.

4 x female PBIEDs attempted to attack MANDIRARI Village, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State at night. They were challenged by CJTF vigilantes, one detonated killing herself and 2 of her companions, the 4th removed her device and fled. 3 vigilantes were wounded

27 July

The corpses of 12 x soldiers, 5 x UNIMAID staff, 13 x vigilantes and 5 x NNPC drivers were recovered by the military from the area around the NNPC Convoy ambush. In an official statement they stated they had rescued the abducted UNIMAID/ NNPC consultants and recovered the corpses of 9 x soldiers and 1 civilian

28 July

Boko Haram ISWAP released a 3 minute 26 second video showing 3 of the 4 missing NNPC contractors. The 4th had allegedly died from his wounds. The captives confirmed their identities and implored various personalities to intercede for their safe release and asked for a reduction in violence.

Gunmen attacked AZUR, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State around 8.30am with small arms killing 3 vigilantes and 2 villagers, wounding 9 people, burning houses and stealing livestock

29 July

A female PBIED detonated in 24 Housing Estate, an accommodation block for returned IDPs in DIKWA, DIKWA LGA, BORNO State around 8.30pm killing 14 people and wounding 24 others

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

23 July

KANO State Police Command conducted an intelligence led raid on a suspected Boko Haram hideout in GAYAWA, UNGOGO LGA, the suspects resisted with small arms and IEDs wounding 4 x policemen, 1 fatally. 5 suspects were fatally wounded and captured they were named as Abba MUHAMMAD (20 years old from NIGER Republic), Usman A. BUHARI (23 years old from BORNO State), Illiasu ABDULLAHI (46 years old from GEZAWA LGA, KANO State, Aisha YAU (25 years old from KWANU HUDU, NASARAWA LGA, KANO State) and Ladidi YUNUSA (27 years old from KWANU HUDU, NASARAWA LGA, KANO State). Police recovered 1 x AK 47, 3 x NAF style uniforms, 1 x set of military style boots, 4 x magazines, 47 x rounds of ammunition, 1 x laptop, 1 x iPad, masks 1 suspect alleged to be a former NAF member escaped and is at large

An NPF Special Tactical Force and SARS patrol team came across an armed robbers who reportedly targeted traders from the weekly market in CHIRANCHI LGA, KATSINA State in progress along KANO-KATSINA Road, between LAMBA and DAN SIRI Village, BICHI LGA, KANO State around 9.00pm, resulting in a 15 minute firefight which concluded when the suspects were fatally wounded. Police recovered 2 x AK 47, 1 x locally made pistol, 2 x AK 47 magazines, 47 x 7.62mm (AK) rounds, 3 x cartridges and 1 x cutlass

25 July

The Minister of Interior Abdulrahman DAMBAZAU, visited KADUNA State, with the Inspector General of Police and Commandant of the NSCDC on a fact finding mission to research the abductions and crime on the KADUNA -ABUJA Road. Villagers in RIJANA stated that up to 18 people in the village had been killed for passing on information about the kidnappers. He also visited KAJURU LGA

26 July

The NPF has replaced all the Policemen in all Divisions, stations and outposts deployed as part of OP Absolute Sanity along ABUJA-KADUNA Road from ZUBA Division in the FCT to KADUNA and ZARIA, KADUNA State via NIGER State

29 July

The NAF has deployed an armed EC 135 helicopter along with Force Protection and support elements to NAF FOB KAFANCHAN

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

23 July

Elements of 33 Bde on Op Forest Kunama 2 conducted an intelligence led operation in which they arrested a suspected armed robber along BAUCHI-GOMBE Road

ABUJA Police Command stated it had arrested a suspected Boko Haram member in GWAKO, GWAGWALADA Area Council, following a tip off, around 11.30am. The suspect Seth YAKUBU from OBI LGA, NASARAWA State allegedly confessed membership of Boko Haram stating he left MAIDUGURI on 21 July 2017

24 July

Elements of SARS in KOGI State arrested 2 suspects who made threats to kidnap a State House of Assembly member by phone if he didn’t pay a N3m ransom. The suspects were arrested in OMADENI Village, DEKINA LGA after Police went to make a dummy ransom payment recovering 1 x locally made single barrel pistol, 1 x live cartridge and 13 x cowries

Fulani settlements in HAINARE Village, SARDAUNA LGA, TARABA State were attacked and burnt down, cattle and other items were stolen

25 July

KOGI State Police announced they have arrested a former OKENE LGA Councillor and 4 others on suspicion of several kidnappings in KOGI, NIGER and ABUJA including the abduction of the current Governors Yahaya BELLOs mother in May 2014. Also recovered were 2 x AK 47s, 20 x live cartridges, 1 x military style T shirt, 2 x military style trousers, 2 x military style caps, 1 x Beretta 9mm, 2 x plastic guns, 3 x knives and 1 x axe

 26 July

The NAF deployed an EC 135 helicopter armed with a 12.7mm HMG door gun to TAKUM, TARABA State to aid internal security operation on MAMBILLA Plateau. The NAF stated it would deploy another helicopter to its new FOB in KAFANCHAN, KADUNA State

27 July

NASARAWA State Commissioner of Police Abubakar SADIQ-BELLO stated that 3 suspected militants had handed in 3 x FMC rifles, 1 x AK 47 and 64 x rounds of ammunition at the expiration of a 30 day ultimatum to hand in weapons by the State Government

Situation External Forces

24 July

Gunmen attacked TCHEBE TCHEBE, MAYO MOSKOTA Arrondissement, MAYO TSANAGA Department at night killing the Vigilante commander in his home

Gunmen attacked MNJTF positions in GLOUDJAN, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 1 soldier and wounding 2 others

26 July

Gunmen attacked a Gendarme post in the vicinity of SAGME, FOTOKOL Arrondissement, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region at dawn killing 2 Gendarmes and wounding several others. The attackers withdrew to NIGERIA via a river

28 July

Media reports state that the US AFRICOM is investigating allegations that its personnel were present at a Camerounian base in SALAK where Amnesty International alleges torture took place

4 x PBIEDs detonated in MEME, MAYO SAVA Department, killing themselves and 1 other person

30 July

The AU Peace and Security Council began a 3 day trip to the Lake CHAD Basin countries led by NIGERIA’s Permanent Representative to the AU Ambassador Bankole ADEOYE

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Situation North East (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States)

16 July

MSF stated it had deployed 1,600 Nigerian personnel and 130 expatriates to BORNO State to provide emergency support in various locations such as MAIDUGURI, PULKA, GWOZA, MONGUNO, DAMASAK, BENISHEIK, DIKWA, BANKI, NGALA, RANN and BAMA

16 July

GOC 8 TF DIv Brig Gen Stevenson OLABANJI visited 118 TF Bn in GUDUMBALI Village, GUZAMALA LGA, BORNO State where he stated that a Boko Haram base on Lake CHAD islands had been identified and would be struck soon

2 x suspected female PBIEDs detonated when they were shot and killed when refused to respond to challenges as they tried to cross MAIDUGURIs defensive trench via MAMANTI Ward, MOLAI, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State around 10.15pm

17 July

A female PBIED detonated when she was challenged by CJTF vigilantes as she tried to enter a mosque in LONDON CIKI Area of MAIDUGURI, BORNO State around 5.30am killing up to 8 people and wounding 18. She was allegedly being pursued from another area by suspicious local people

Boko Haram released a 4.35 minute video showing 10 women allegedly captured during the ambush on the Police Convoy. The ladies spoke in Hausa and all appear to be civil servants of some sort, the women state they had been well treated by Boko Haram, and given food, water and medical treatment and expressed gratitude to them, complaining that the Nigerian Government had failed to acknowledge them

Margi elders led by Madu BUKAR from ASKIRA UBA LGA held a press conference in MAIDUGURI to ask the Nigerian Government to secure the release of 14 of their women abducted from the 20 June Police Convoy ambush. The elders stated the women were mourners and were relatives of the deceased policewoman

A female PBIED attempted to infiltrate MAIDUGURI via CIMARI and NO MANS LAND, MAFA LGA, BORNO State through 251 Bn positions around 1.49am, she was shot as she tried to flee after being challenged, detonating and killing only herself

4 x suspected Boko Haram members surrendered to elements of 120 TF Bn in GONIRI, GUJBA LGA, YOBE State, one of whom identified himself as Konto FANAMI Amir of KAFA Camp that operates along AJIGIN-TALALA-MUNGUSUM axis

18 July

Elements of 120 TF Bn, 27 TF Bde intercepted 8 women and 22 children in GONIRI, GUJBA LGA, YOBE State around 10.25am who stated they had fled Boko Haram in KAFA and ABAGAJIRI Villages, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State

Elements of 120 TF Bn, 27 TF Bde intercepted 7 women and children in KAMUYA, BIU LGA, BORNO State who stated they had escaped from Boko Haram in GOROPCHA Village, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State

A suspected PBIED approached the forward positions of elements of 251 Bn, 7 Div in DALA Village, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State around 10.00pm upon refusing to obey challenges and warning shots he was shot and killed

Reports of explosions in MAIDUGURI, BORNO State between 10.45pm and 11.00pm, with 4 simultaneous explosions first and 2 others 15 minutes later, were explained as an artillery barrage from friendly positions

21 July

The COAS Lt Gen TY BURATAI gave MCCC Commander Maj Gen Ibrahim ATTAHIRU 40 days to capture Abubakar SHEKAU ‘dead or alive’.  The consequences of failure or likelihood of success were not clarified

Gunmen attacked a FOB in NGALA, NGALA LGA, BORNO State but were repelled losing 8 killed and one wounded and captured, along with 3 x AK 47s, 2 x AK 47 magazines, 2 x FN magazines and 3 x PKM link belts

Media reports state that local people claim that most of GWOZA LGA, BORNO State is under enemy control except for PULKA and GWOZA, with the enemy concentrated in the MANDARA Mountains

DHQ released the report into the bombing of RANN IDP Camp stating that the camp was not marked on NAF maps

22 July

Gunmen attacked DAGU Village, HONG LGA, ADAMAWA State near ASKIRA UBA, BORNO State ambushed  at night but were resisted by local hunters who lost 4 killed including their commander

Elements of 151 Bn, 21 Bde ambushed enemy fighters in the vicinity of MAYANTI Village, BAMA LGA, BORNO State whilst patrolling along MAYANTI-BANKI Junction Road, killing 1 enemy, wounding others and capturing 10 x bicycles, 9 x sachets of yeast, 2 x bags of groundnut, 1 x packet of Maggi, 1 x carton of detergent, 23 x bottles of groundnut oil, palm oil, 1 x wristwatch, 50 x sachets of salt, 16 x torchlights, 29 x packs of cold patch, N2,266.00 and assorted drugs

12 suspected Boko Haram members surrendered to elements of 27 TF Bde in BUNI GARI, GUJBA LGA, YOBE State. The youngest was 13 and oldest 50. The suspects claim to be members of Mamman NURs faction who escaped from enemy camps in the vicinity of BUK, DAMBOA LGA

3 x suspected female PBIEDs were shot and killed by elements of 103Bn in KAWURI, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State as they tried to infiltrate friendly positions

4 suspected Boko Haram members surrendered to elements of 27 TF Bde with their families, they stated they had fled enemy camps in the vicinity of KAFE, NJUBULLA and BUK, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State

Elements of 27 TF Bde captured a suspected Boko Haram member in BUNGAI, GUJBA LGA, YOBE State around 6.00pm who stated that he had escaped the enemy camp with 3 others

Elements of 159 Bn detained a Chadian national with a Nigerian registered Toyota Hilux crossing to CHAD from NIGERIA with spare parts on suspicion of smuggling for Boko Haram

Situation North West (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States)

11 July

Young Kadara men killed a Fulani man they alleged was a notorious bandit in BANONO Village, KAJURU LGA, KADUNA State as he was trying to escape

16 July

Fulani herdsmen attacked UNGWAN UKA, KAJURU LGA, KADUNA State to avenge the murder of their kinsman by Kadara youths killing 5 who they alleged were involved.

KANO State Police arrested a 22 year old man from ANAMBRA State on suspicion of transporting 25 x cartons of Tramadol valued at N17.2m concealed in plasma TVs

17 July

Kadara youths attacked Fulani settlements in KAJURU LGA, in retaliation for the attack on UNGUWAN UKA killing 12 people and burning them. Police deployed to the area ending the attack, but it was resumed when they went out on patrol with another attack on Fulani encampments with 10 killed

Situation North Centre (Abuja FCT, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States)

16 July

Abducted lawyer Rabiah Ozavize OVOSI and her driver were released in KOGI State in the evening after the kidnappers made contact in the morning to demand an undisclosed ransom

17 July

KOGI State Police Command stated it had arrested 9 suspected kidnappers and rescued a victim in OKENE, ANKPA, LOKOJA and other locations in the state between 25 May and 13 July

19 July

Gunmen abducted a man from his house in SURULERE QUARTERS, KABBA LGA, KOGI State, a police patrol intercepted them as they were fleeing, rescuing the victim from the car boot and tracing 2 of the kidnappers through an abandoned phone

Elements of Op Safe Haven arrested a suspected improvised firearm manufacturer, who stated he had started improvising weapons after dropping out of a Government Technical College

The Acting President Yomi OSINBANJO condemned the abduction of women from the police convoy and ordered the security forces to recover them

Women from KALTUNGO Town, KALTUNGO LGA, GOMBE State blocked the GOMBE-YOLA Federal Highway in protest over the arrest of their husbands, who were allegedly detained following the death of a policeman during a conflict between KALTUNGO, BILLIRI and SHONGOM LGAs

22 July

43 surrendered Boko Haram fighters were flown by NAF C-130 to GOMBE State to be inducted into Op Safe Corridor

Situation External Forces

17 July

Gunmen attacked ZENEME, MAYO TSANAGA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing a civilian

20 July

Amnesty International released a report alleging that Camerounian security forces tortured suspected Boko Haram members, documenting 101 alleged cases over 20 different sites between 2013 and 2017. The report claimed the main sites for the alleged abuses were a BIR camp in SALAK near MAROUA and a DGRE facility in YAOUNDE

21 July

1 x PBIED detonated in DABANGA, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing himself and a vigilante and wounding 4 others

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The Trouble with Nigeria: The 10 Original Sins

Recently I was asked to explain the dysfunction in Nigeria, my answer referenced Chinua Achebe’s 1983 book, ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’ in which he stated that ‘The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership’.

This analysis is as accurate today as it was in 1983 but still begs the question, at what point did Nigeria deviate from its trajectory as a potential African superpower?

I will attempt to identify what I consider to be 10 points in Nigerian history at which things went wrong. Chronologically I believe these to be;

  1. Royal Niger Company
  2. Direct/ Indirect Rule
  3. Amalgamation
  4. Independence
  5. 1966 Coups
  6. Aburi Conference
  7. Murtala and the patronage coup
  8. Abacha
  9. 1999 Constitution and election
  10. 3rdTerm Agenda

Royal Niger Company: Nigeria as we know it today exists solely due to the incursion of European traders onto the coast of Nigeria and the formation of several trading companies which became the Royal Niger Company. It is an unknown unknown as to what nation states would have emerged from what became Nigeria but the primary driver for unifying the disparate tribes was to get exclusive trading rights and then protect that exclusivity. Nigeria was not formed due to local political activity, ethnic or linguistic homogeneity, or the development or expansion of an indigenous geo political or economic interests but to serve the predatory economic needs of a foreign power.

Direct/ Indirect Rule: in 1900, the British Government ‘bought’ Southern Nigeria from the Royal Niger Company designating it, the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Lagos Colony. The northern Hausa/ Fulani and Kanuri Kingdoms and Middle Belt states were attacked and rapidly defeated, with organised resistance ending by 1905. This became the Northern Nigeria Protectorate.

The Northern Emirates were allowed to retain their administrative structures, enforce local and colonial law and collect taxes, with limited concessions such as accepting indirect British rule and ending slave raiding and trading, a state of affairs agreeable to the northern elite as it maintained their privilege and positions. In many ways, British rule aided the Northern elite as it removed the constant internecine warfare, relieved them of the cost of governance and brought added firepower to defend their interests.

The South and Middle Belt were under direct rule of Colonial administrators, with a Native Authority and Chiefs created where there were none previously.

This difference in methods of colonial rule was the beginning of the dichotomy of Nigerian politics. The destruction of the Southern nations states where they existed such as the Yoruba and Bini Kingdoms and the defeat of the autonomous Eastern and Middle Belt societies actually allowed these cultures to better assimilate and absorb innovations such as western Education and administration and thus enter lower positions within the colonial administrations and trading companies and gradually work their way up the ranks.

Amalgamation: the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 was undertaken to make running the colony easier and make the more profitable elements subsidise the less profitable.

The Southern Protectorates with agricultural and mineral produce and access to the coast not only defrayed the cost of colonial administration but produced a profit to the Treasury from tax revenue. The Northern Protectorate on the other hand produced less revenue and subsisted on grants from Britain.

However whilst the amalgamation unified administration overall it did not harmonise the local systems of government.

The Norths preservation of their existing aristocratic structures and administration were advantageous to the ruling class but disadvantageous to the Region in comparison to the south, as the unified administration allowed the better educated Southerners take up positions in the Northern Native Authority, railways and British trading companies. These immediate benefits of education spurred Southerners to gain higher education and thus form the basis of the Nigerian professional class as well as the majority of the officer corps of the post war military.

The North was unable to reap these benefits at the same rate due to the continued resistance of the Northern elite to western influences meaning that the pool of educated Northerners was infinitely smaller and mostly from minority Christian/ pagan tribes from the Middle Belt.

Amalgamation thus not only allowed the British to use the South to subsidise the North but gave Southerners an opportunity to fill vacancies in the North, further disadvantaging the Northern peoples but keeping the Northern elite to keep control.

Independence: it is the opinion of the author that the Nigerian independence movement suffered from several fundamental problems. The first being that independence was driven purely by the elite in general and a few well educated southerners in particular. Activists such as Herbert Macauley, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and co argued eloquently for Nigerian independence, with little or no mass mobilisation.

At the risk of revisionism, it can be argued that the British could have comfortably ruled Nigeria well beyond 1960 without a massive breakdown in public order. Whilst Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa can recall numerous independence related massacres, Nigeria’s major uprising was the 1945 General Strike.

To compound my heresy, I would argue this was because the colonial administration (despite its inherent injustices) was actually an efficient system of government and provided people with their basic needs, security and a form of law and order.

Thus, the drive for independence wasn’t motivated by a desire to right an insidious wrong (such as apartheid) but by the (no less legitimate) desire for self rule, self determination and self respect.

Whilst these are laudable ideals, they generally were elite preoccupations, that little affected the local farmer, trader or hunter.

Nigeria at this time consisted of a tiny sliver of well educated professionals, a small middle class of administrators, technicians, teachers and nurses and a huge mass of uneducated peasants whose realities did not necessarily extend beyond their villages.

The crux of this was that independence for the masses was articulated in the most basic and parochial terms with little understanding or sensitisation as to the roles and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy much less the roles of leaders who in the south merely became a new version of warrant chiefs whilst in the North the politicians were in many cases literally the old Emirs, Princes and Sultans or their surrogates.

The lack of popular understanding or impetus for independence notwithstanding there was also a significant lack of unity amongst the elite as to the timing and nature of independence. Whilst the Southern politicians were aggressively fighting for self rule and independence, the Northern elite were extremely antagonistic to the idea. Under British indirect rule the structures of the old Northern Emirates remained intact under the protection of British guns.

Introducing a democratic political system thus risked creating a competing ruling class, which might not have the religious and historical legitimacy but would have control of finances and security.

Another consideration was that as part of the Northern elites’ conservatism there had been a strong resistance to Western education making the Northern Region in general (and the core Islamic north in particular) singularly unprepared for administering or functioning in a modern state requiring clerks, teachers, doctors, nurses and engineers.

These factors led the Northern elite to resist self rule and independence as vehemently as they could, acquiescing only with great reluctance and having extracted significant concessions from the other regions.

The other Regions also had difficulties with self rule that should have been warning signs as to what was to come. The corruption of the Warrant Chiefs in Igboland was the cause of the Aba Women’s riots in 1929, the most serious post amalgamation insurrection in the colony The high handedness of the Eastern Region government led the Southern Cameroons (an Anglophone enclave) to seek self rule from the Eastern Region and eventually opt to join the Francophone Republic of Cameroun.

Rivalry between the Western and Eastern Region political parties (Action Group and NCNC respectively) led each party to compete with and undermine each other, rather than presenting a united front to the British or even the Northern Region. 

Western Region crisis: at Independence, there were 3 major parties, which were nominally national parties but in fact represented each Region; NPC (North), NCNC (East) and Action Group (West). Each ruled their respective Regions but nationally the NPC was in coalition with the NCNC, leaving the Action Group (AG) as the opposition in the national parliament.

The Action Group (AG) split into factions in 1962 with the Regional Premier Chief Akintola (supported by NPC) against the Party Leader Chief Awolowo. A fight in Parliament, allowed Awolowo to convince the Prime Minister Tafewa Balewa to impose a State of Emergency on the Western Region and thus depose Akintola and replace him with a Federal Administrator. Akintola was restored at the end of the year and in 1963 Awolowo imprisoned on treason charges.

In 1965 elections in the West were blatantly rigged by Akintola’s new party; NNDP, whom the NPC promptly allied with, leaving NCNC to form a coalition with the remnants of the AG, the blatant rigging and imprisonment of Awolowo led to a complete breakdown in law and order in the Western Region with daily political violence.

This crisis was purely driven by the personal ambition of the elite rather than ideology or policy.

The willingness to abuse the legal process to achieve political aims such as removing rivals from position as Awolowo did with the State of Emergency to remove Akintola or electoral malpractices to win the subsequent election made the crisis violent and protracted.

The other Regional parties added fuel to the fire with the Eastern Region supporting the creation of the Mid Western Region out of the Western Region in order to weaken the AG and the north supporting the Akintola faction to undermine Awolowo and then promptly leaving their alliance with the NCNC once Akintola had rigged his way to power.

The political violence abruptly ended on January 15th, 1966.

1966 Coups: the Western Region crisis led to the 15th January 1966 coup which led to the 29th July 1966 coup which led to the Civil War. The leaders of the first coup exasperated by the political malaise, corruption and stagnation decided to remove the political class. Allegedly one of their objectives was to release Awolowo from prison to assume leadership of the country but they were generally unclear about their post coup plan. 22 people were killed in the coup mainly from the Northern political elite before the coup was defeated by the Army GOC Gen Aguiyi-Ironsi, who then cheerfully took advantage of the political vacuum to further the removal of the despised civilian politicians and become Head of State.

Whilst Aguiyi-Ironsi appears to have not been personally ambitious but motivated by the same disdain for politicians as the coupists, his ham fisted administration and Igbo ethnicity (like many of the January coup leaders), allowed the remaining Northern political elite to create a narrative of the January coup as an attempt by the Igbos to take over the country allowing them to dominate not just business and government but politics as well.

This narrative was aided by British expatriate workers in the North who had filled the positions that Nigerians occupied in the South who feared that they would lose their lucrative posts to qualified southerners.

Whilst the January coup had a naïve if idealistic objective to replace the existing corrupt political class, with a narrow target group of politicians and a few military officers, the July coup was purely about revenge on the alleged perpetrators, which for the July coupists was not just the actual coupists but the entire Igbo tribe, thus the coup devolved into the murder of Igbo military men and then escalated to Igbo civilians. This utterly senseless pogrom shattered the unity of Nigeria irreversibly, visiting the sins of the elite upon the innocent masses.

The pogroms continued until there was no one left to kill as Igbos fled back to the East, whilst the coup leaders angled to secede the North from the rest of Nigeria until they were dissuaded by the British and American diplomats, Northern Judges and civil servants.

Aburi Conference: subsequent to the coups and pogroms, the displacement of surviving Easterners led to a stand off between the new Federal Military Government and the Military Governor of the Eastern Region, Lt Col Ojukwu. To resolve their issues, they met on neutral ground in Aburi, Ghana to find a resolution in January 1967.

The Governors of the 4 other Regions, the head Of State Lt Col Gowon, Commander of the Navy and Inspector General of the Police represented the Federal Military Government whilst Ojukwu represented the Eastern Region on another.

Unfortunately, only the Eastern Region appeared to understand the import of the conference coming well prepared with a clear plan unlike the Federal Military Government for whom the priority was simply ending the stand off with no vision beyond that.

In addition, Ojukwu, was an ambitious, well educated, sophisticated and politically savvy individual who due to his father (Nigeria’s first self made millionaire), had grown up around the British and Nigerian elite, been to British public school and Oxford. Gowon by contrast was a shy fellow, son of teachers/ missionaries, a Christian Angas (a minority tribe in the then Northern Region in present day Plateau State), leading a country in which Muslim Northern soldiers had just murdered thousands of their fellow citizens.

After an initially frosty start the environment was warm, friendly and collegial with the former friends and colleagues dispensing with formality to discuss and interact in a manner reminiscent of an Army mess, in this environment, Ojukwu’s preparation and skills paid off allowing him to achieve almost all his goals (which in hindsight were not actually unreasonable).

He got a guarantee renouncing the use of force in resolving the crisis (a key objective for the militarily weak East), an agreement to devolve Nigeria into a loose Confederation with more or less autonomous Regions (except for defence and foreign policy) and the country as a whole ruled by a Supreme Military Council made up of the Regional Governors, chaired by a titular Head of State.

Unfortunately, the Eastern success allowed hostile parties such as the Northern elites to portray the Accords as another Eastern plot leading the Federal Military Government to renege on them a few weeks later.

This unfortunate act of bad faith broke down the last hope for an end to the bloodshed and a negotiated end to the crisis and began a chain of events that led directly to the civil war. 

Murtala and the patronage coups: Lt Col Murtala Mohammed had been one of the key leaders of the July 1966 coup and a candidate for post coup Head of State. He was vociferously anti Igbo and pro Northern secession, however the coup plotters settled on Gowon, as a less polarising figure. Murtala took this with exceedingly bad grace seeking to undermine Gowon at every turn. The coup plotters caution was justified when during the war when Murtala distinguished himself by murdering the male inhabitants of the Mid Western town of Asaba and then decimating his Division in repeated frontal assaults over the River Niger to capture the city of Onitsha. When he finally realised this course of action might be inadvisable he embarked on a slow and costly but successful land advance to the city. At the moment of victory, he then lost his entire logistics element in a fairly lucky ambush to Biafran rear guard forces, ending his short career as a Division Commander to become Inspector of Signals.

Whilst it is easy to sneer at Murtala’s poor combat record it must also be noted that he was only 29 years old and a Signals Captain by trade who only commissioned in 1961, who had been force promoted to Lt Col in 1966 by Gen Aguiyi-Ironsi (whose murder he subsequently planned), however many of his contemporaries on both sides were similarly young and inexperienced.

After the war Murtala rose to Brigadier and added Federal Commissioner of Communications to his portfolio.

Senior officers who had been part of the July 1966 coup and were civil war veterans became deeply dissatisfied with Gowons regime, feeling excluded from powerful political positions and the patronage they attracted and began plotting to overthrow him. Although Murtala was allegedly not one of the conspirators (as he himself already held a powerful position attracting patronage) he did not dissuade them when approached, effectively hedging his bets.

This paid off when the plotters overthrew Gowon whilst he was at an OAU conference in Uganda in 1975, they selected Murtala as their Head of State with Brigadiers Obasanjo and Danjuma as his deputies. Murtala adopted a radical style of leadership, eschewing security and purging the civil service. He was assassinated in February 1976 in an attempted coup by another set of the same group of officers who had been part of the same inner circle of July 1966 coup plotters/ Civil War veterans who had overthrown Gowon, who were dissatisfied with their share.

The two importants factor about the Murtala coup and the one that killed him were the motivations of the perpetrators. The January 1966 coup was based on an idealistic desire to eradicate corrupt politicians. The July 1966 coup was based on a desire to avenge the deaths of the Northern elite, however the 1975 and 1976 coups took place explicitly to gain access to positions of power in order to gain wealth and patronage.

The second significant factor is that this was in essence a palace coup by the same fellows who overthrew Ironsi in 1966. In 1983, elements of the same group overthrew the civilian government of Shehu Shagari, with Gen Buhari chosen as the figure head until he was overthrown in 1985 by a clique headed by Gen Babangida, who handed over to an interim Head of State in 1993 who was promptly overthrown by Gen Abacha.

Thus far since July 1966, the alumni of that coup have produced 5 Heads of State out of 13 since July 1966 (Gowon, Buhari (twice), Murtala, Babangida and Abacha), 2 Governors and 2 Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory, Ministers of Defence as well as other portfolios. Obasanjo, a Yoruba Civil War veteran has been Head of State twice. They have all also become stupendously wealthy.

Abacha: Sani Abacha was a Kanuri from present day Borno State was born in 1943, commissioned in 1963 and participated in virtually every coup in Nigeria, remaining in the background until 1993 when he eventually stopped being coup plotter and took power himself.

Whilst the July 1966 alumni had successfully cornered the levers of power for themselves thus far Abacha’s rule was different in that the resources of the state were almost uniquely dedicated to corrupt practices beyond precedent and with little shame. The total amount stolen by Abacha in his 5 years in power is conservatively estimated at $5bn.

Abacha’s criminality and his efforts to eradicate dissent saw the final collapse of Nigeria’s few remaining institutions, those that could not be co-opted like universities were shut down, Nigerian refineries were permanently shut for ‘maintenance’ necessitating the import of ‘subsidised’ petroleum products, the Ajaokuta Steel Mill was refinanced in a curious deal through shell companies linked to Abacha and so on.

His regime was marked by standard repression such as suppression of the media, detention of opponents (real and imagined), fake coup plots and a fairly transparent self succession plan as part of his transition to civilian rule, the economy collapsed and professionals fled abroad.

Abacha died in office in 1998, his regime marked the high water mark of the July 1966 groups overt grip on power, his avarice and wholesale predation of the country enriched his family beyond human logic but completely destroyed the remnants of the state and created a predatory ‘business plan’ of the destruction of state assets and institutions for profit via asset stripping and refinancing deals that pertains to date.

1999 Constitution and election: Upon the death of Abacha in June 1998, his deputy Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar took over and as part of his transition to civilian rule promulgated a new constitution, roughly based on the 1979 constitution (the same one used the last time the military handed over power to civilians). The constitution was drafted in 2 months by the Justice Niki Tobi Constitution Debate Coordinating Committee without public consultation. The constitution fails to address many of the issues that have caused crisis in Nigeria such as state of origin, state rights, law and order, the place of religion in government, concentrates more power to the centre and reduced the independence of the police, judiciary, electoral commission and other parastatals.

The 1999 constitution presented a missed opportunity for the political elite to take advantage of the transition programme to address many of the clearly highlighted issues that had bedevilled Nigeria in its then 39 years of independence.

The subsequent election saw civil war veteran Olusegun Obasanjo elected, with the blessing of the now subdued (but still influential) July 1966 coupists.

3rd Term Agenda: Obasanjo was elected with the legitimacy of having previously handed over to a civilian government in 1979 (after he succeeded Murtala) and having been a political prisoner under Abacha. He brought in several well respected figures such as former World Bank Vice President Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, neutered the military, brought about a human rights panel and began pursuing debt relief. Despite these and other positive steps his administration also saw an outpouring of religious and ethnic violence, in which the state either stood on the side lines (such as in the Sharia riots in the north), or acted with disproportionate force (as in Odi or Zaki Biam in 1999).

However despite all of these Obasanjo was re-elected in 2003, at which point a campaign (never officially championed or endorsed by himself) to amend the constitution to allow him to run for a third term began.

The campaign was ultimately unsuccessful but consumed Obasanjos time and political capital as well as patronage (allegedly to the tune of N10bn), leaving his second term with no headline achievements unlike his first.

More importantly Obasanjo squandered the opportunity to entrench in Nigeria’s polity the peaceful and willing transfer of power and entrench democratic norms.

It was not until 2015 that Nigeria got its first peaceful transfer of power from one party to the next after Goodluck Jonathan had again followed the elite tradition of squandering public good will and public funds. His victorious opponent was Gen Buhari (retired) a July 1966 coupist and veteran of the Civil War.


Nigeria is an artificial country with huge landmass and widely different people in temperament, history and culture.

A country created and united solely to make it an easier economic proposition for foreign traders and administrators has fundamentally flawed foundations.

With 2 systems of government one which reflected modern civil administration and the other which reflected regressive feudalism, it is clear in hindsight that it might have been prudent to stagger independence and ensure it had popular universal support and understanding within each Region. Referenda would have allowed pro independence Regions to go it alone, whilst unwilling Regions could remain under Colonial rule, until they were ready to join the others or go it alone themselves.

But even post independence there were opportunities to arrest the rot, the Western Region crisis could have been resolved by each camp developing sound and innovative policies and putting them to the electorate and competing legitimately, instead one faction used state power to remove another whilst the other simply rigged its way to victory.

The first coup could have been executed without bloodshed, the second coup in particular could have simply captured the Head of State and forced him to try the coup plotters without the mass murders.

The Aburi Accords remains one of the few instances in which Nigerians genuinely discussed the best way forward to function as a country and could have averted the war.

The European traders and colonial government had unashamedly predatory and exploitative motivations for their actions. Yet at the same time they were clear headed enough to understand that their control of resources depended not just on military force (which whilst heavily armed, well trained and well disciplined was always vastly outnumbered) but by a tacit contract with the masses of public works, a reasonably fair and understandable justice system and opportunities for advancement.

Nigeria’s political class at independence were corrupt and rapacious and used tribal, religious and Regional biases to gain power and then abused state power and rigged elections to maintain it.

It could be argued that due to their privileged positions (educated southerners and aristocratic northerners) and lack of dramatic grievance (ala apartheid) this group did not fundamentally see themselves as liberating their people but simply supplanting the exploitative position of the dominant class.

However they themselves were rapidly supplanted by the military, with the July 1966 group of coup plotters essentially becoming the new ruling class except for a few brief interludes but without the education and erudition of the independence politicians, the skill, altruism and competence of the British or even the business acumen of the European traders.

This group can be said to bear a large share of the responsibility for Nigeria’s seemingly intractable dysfunction from the senseless murders of 1966, to the civil war and the system of corruption that decimated Nigeria’s economy and institutions, as well as the next generation of politicians they birthed for whom patronage, corruption and greed are their only discernible characteristic. Even the few who have been hailed as reformers or ‘doers’ are tainted by multiple allegations of corruption.

As Chinua Achebe wrote in 1983; ‘The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership’.

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