BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY
What could be regarded as the nucleus of the
NA started in 1863 when the Imperial Governor of Lagos, Lt Glover
of the Royal Navy gathered 18 Northern Nigerians to mount punitive
expeditions to protect British trade routes around Lagos exness.
This small force metamorphosed into the Hausa
Constabulary and later formed part of the West African Frontier
Force (WAFF). The visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Nigerian in a
1956 led to the renaming of the Northern and Southern Regiments
to the Queen’s Own Nigerian Regiment (QONR). When later
in that same year, Britain granted military autonomy to her dependencies,
the QONR was re-designated the Nigerian Military Force (NMF),
and at independence in 1960, the name changed to the Royal Nigerian
Army. The present designation, Nigerian Army (NA), came into use
when Nigeria assumed a Republic status in 1963.
Even after Nigeria had become a Republic, the
Nigerian Military was still structured to implement British oriented
doctrines. Though small and mainly used for ceremonial duties,
after independence, the NA was nonetheless a disciplined force.
The coups-de-tat and counter coups of 1966 which culminated into
the Nigerian Civil War, led the military to politics exness thailand.
The NA has continued to expand in response to
its mandate, growing from a force of six battalions before the
Civil War to five divisions. Training has continued to improve
from the simple to the complex both in content and methodology.
There are now indigenous training institutions including 17 Corps
Schools. The roles of the NA have also fundamentally changed from
protection of trade routes to national defence and fulfillment
of international obligations in furtherance of national objectives.
CONSITITUTIONAL ROLES OF THE NIGERIAN
The roles of a country’s Armed Forces
are entrenched in her Constitution exness th. The defence of the territorial
integrity and other core interests of the nation form the major
substance of such roles. Section 217 of the Nigerian Constitution
(1999) specifies Nigerian Armed Forces roles to include;
Defend Nigeria from external aggression.
Maintain its territorial integrity and secure its borders from
violation by land, sea or air.
Suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authorities to restore
order when called upon to do so by the President but subject to
such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National
Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by an act of
the National Assembly.
NIGERIA’S DEFENCE POLICY
A Defence organization seeks to provide appropriate
capabilities to deal with anticipated risks and threats to the
nation. The application and employment of the armed forces of
a nation are usually specified in her defence policy. Nigeria’s
Defence Policy focuses
on the following objectives.
a. Preservation and protection of our core values.
b. The development of credible defence strategy to deal with internal
and external threats in furtherance of our fundamental national
c. Strengthening of our national character by eliminating social
d. Protection of human values, social justice, individual liberty
e. Effective policy coordination and management of national emergencies
using national resources and implementation of plans to deal with
unforeseen national calamities.
f. Collective security within the sub-region.
g. Assistance to the UN and other sub-regional and regional peacekeeping/peace
It is based on these objectives that the NA is
task organized to meet the laid down requirements in accordance
with the assigned mission.
ORGANIZATION OF THE NA
The NA is organized as follows:
a. Office of the Chief of Army Staff. The Office of the COAS is
at the apex of the NA structure. The Army exists under its command
to train and fight all forms of aggression.
b. Department of Army Policy and Plans. The Department
of Army Policy and Plans (DAPP) is at the centre of the General
Staff activities of the Army Headquarters. DAPP is both the “Think
tank “ and the coordinator of all AHQ principal staff branches.
At the Head of the branch is the Chief of Policy and Plans (Army)
c. Department of Army Operations. The Department
of Army Operations (DAOPs) is the hub on which all operations
and all training activities of NA revolve. It is responsible for
the planning of training and directing of military operations
by continuous assessment and evaluation of possible threat areas
in context of the overall national defence policy. The branch
is headed by the Chief of Operations (Army) COPs (A).
d. Department of Army Administration. The Administrative
Department deals with the administration, welfare, discipline
, employment, and development of all human resources in the NA.
It also controls some minor directorates and units. The executive
head of the branch is the Chief of Administration (Army) COA (A).
e. Department of Army Logistics. The Department
of Logistics is responsible for all NA Logistics matters. It also
supervises all quartering services in the NA. The Chief of Logistics
(Army) COLOG (A) heads the Logistics branch.
f. Department of Army Standards and Evaluation. The Department of Army standard and Evaluation. (DASE) is the
newest staff branch of the AHQ. The Department is responsible
for making impartial and objective inquiries into the combat readiness,
discipline, efficiency, economy, morale, training and safety measures
throughout the NA. The Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation
(CASE) heads the branch.
g. Departments of Military Secretary (Army). The
Military Secretary’s Department is responsible for commissions,
promotions, conversions, appointments, inter-corps transfer, extension
of service and retirements in accordance with the terms and conditions
of Service (TACOS) for the NA officers as may be directed by the
COAS or Army Council. At the head of the branch is the Military
Secretary (Army) MS (A).
h. Army Headquarters Garrison. The Army Headquarters
Garrison (AHQ GAR) is responsible for the overall administration
of AHQ and its Directorates in the Federal Capital Territory and
Lagos area. It also coordinates all AHQ training activities.
i. Training and Doctrine Command. The NA Training
and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is responsible for conducting research
into manpower development and using training institutions to satisfy
vital educational and training needs of the NA.
The Combat Arms of the NA comprise the infantry
and the armour. It is organized into three infantry-heavy divisions
with headquarters in Kaduna, Ibadan, and Lagos. A composite division
with headquarters in Enugu and an armour-heavy division with its
headquarters in Jos. The Brigade of Guards in Abuja is charged
with the responsibilities of providing security for the Presidency,
ceremonial duties and security of the Federal Capital Territory.
The organization of NA Divisions took cognizance of the threat
analysis and each division has been tasked to meet specifically
identified/perceived threat areas. The task organizations of the
divisions are such that they can react to threats not exceeding
an identified minimum unit expected of the divisions.
Each of the five fighting divisions of the NA
less 81 Div has two brigades with affiliated brigade and equipped
in accordance with the terrain in which they are expected to operate.
Their equipment ranges from medium and light armored vehicles,
self-propelled artillery guns and ground to air missiles delivery
systems. The organizational structure therefore, ensures that
the NA can react promptly either in an offensive or defensive
situation without losing its efficiency level.
COMBAT SUPPORT ARMS
The NA Divisions are supported by Combat Support
Arms namely; artillery, engineers and signals. The type of support
they provide and the sizes of the supported formation determine
the size and composition of each support arm.
Artillery. The NA Artillery
is divided into field and air defence artillery based on the roles
they perform. The artillery acquires targets, coordinates all
fire power resources available and delivers such firepower in
the battlefield so that the enemy can neither interfere with our
operations from air and ground nor develop its own resources effectively.
Combat Engineers. The roles
of the NA Combat Engineers are to help the NA to live, move and
fight whilst doing everything possible to hinder the movement
of the enemy. The Combat Engineers are generally task organized
to support the field formations they provide combat support for
field Commander’s tactical plan. When not so employed, they
undertake construction task throughout the the theatre of operations.
SIGNALS. The NA Signal provides
good, reliable and secure
Combat communication, which are very essential in the field for
effective command. Control and intelligence of the battle. Their
relevance has become even more significant with the need for
Spectrum dominance in modern battlefield.
COMBAT SUPPORT SERVICES
The five fighting divisions of the NA are maintained both in
Peace and wartime by the Combat Support Services. The
Combat Support Services includes:
Supply and Transport. The NA Corps of Supply
and Transport (NACST) is tasked to provide transport support and
combat supplies for the NA. The Corps also provides catering services
for the Army. As part of the transport support, the NACST provides
boat services in areas where the Nigerian Navy (NN) cannot operate.
It also provides fire-fighting services for the Army.
NA Medical Corps. The NA Medical Corps (NAMC) is responsible for
providing good health care delivery system for the NA in peace
and wartime. The NAMC is essentially responsible for the prompt
evacuation of the wounded and sick personnel and for the sustenance
of good health and high morale amongst the troops.
NA Ordnance Corps. The NA ordnance Corps (NAOC) has the responsibilities
for the supply of materiel, which are ordnance stores, ammunition
and vehicles, repair and modification of general stores and equipment.
It also provides specialist services such as printing. Laundry
and the savage of metal and stores amongst others.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The NA Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers (NAEME) is responsible for the inspection, recovery,
repair and modification of all equipment in Service.