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Nigerian Military Brass Push For Joint Operations Against Terror Groups

Nigerian top military officers want more collaboration among the services to end the myriad of insecurity challenges facing the country.

Nigerian top military officers are pushing for joint operations, to strengthen responses to the protracted micro-wars and escalation in activities of terror and criminal groups across the country.

HumAngle understands that the new military service chiefs appointed by Nigerian  President Muhammadu Buhari in January are pushing for more joint inclined military operations. 

Oladayo Amao, the country’s Chief of the Air Staff recently stated that the Nigerian Air Force and other sister services have agreed to subordinate themselves to the Defence Headquarters (DHQ).

“The DHQ is responsible for the command and control of the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria which also means that all ongoing joint operations and Joint Task Forces are directly subordinated to the DHQ, and their commanders report directly to the CDS (Chief of Defence Staff),” Amao said. 

The military is currently involved in major operations in at least five geopolitical zones — Northeast, Northwest, North-central, Southwest and South-south —  against a wide range of terror and criminal groups. 

In the Northeast, the military continues to battle  Boko Haram and its splinter Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) that have a stronghold in the region and foisting insurgency. 

The violence in the region has led to the death of an estimated 37,000 people and displaced over 2.5 million in the Lake Chad Basin. 

In February, Abraham Adole, an Air Force Officer was appointed as the new Deputy Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole Major, he will be working with General Farouq Yahaya.

In the Northwest, the Nigerian Army-led Sahel Sanity and Defence headquarters’ Hadarin Daji continues to target armed groups terrorising rural communities and commuters. Attacks by terror groups have led to the deaths of over 8,000 people since 2011 and displaced over 200,000, some into neighbouring Niger Republic.

HumAngle understands that there is uncertainty about the future of the Nigerian Army led Operation Sahel Sanity slated to end on March 27.

The operation was launched on July 6, 2020, with headquarters at the Special Army Super Camp IV, Faskari, Katsina State.

In the oil-rich South-south and Southwest regions, troops of Operations Delta Safe and Awatse sustain operation against militants, pirates and oil thieves, with the Navy also conducting maritime operations in the same areas. Additionally, in the North-central zone, troops of Operation Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke are conducting peace support operations and operations against terror groups, notably Darul Salam in Nasarawa and Kogi states.

This new posture of the military, if successful, is expected to improve the integration of ground and air forces in furtherance of the military’s mandate.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Education from the University of Abuja.

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