Why Boko Haram Soldiers have superior firepower than Nigeria Army.

Fresh indications have emerged that military troops deployed to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East are using outdated weapons and equipment, including failing Shilka guns procured during the administration of late Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who was the President of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983.

This development, according to top military officers who spoke to Sunday PUNCH on condition of anonymity, has exposed Nigerian troops at the battlefront to attacks by the terrorists, especially ISWAP fighters, who are said to have more sophisticated weapons. They noted that it was also responsible for the heavy casualties the country had suffered in the anti-insurgency war in recent times, noting that there were times the Shagari-era weapons failed during operations.


The top military officers explained that Shilka, an artillery gun mounted on fighting vehicles, being used by the Nigerian troops at the battlefront are outdated but that they were refurbished and deployed for the operation. They noted that such refurbished arms could not withstand the modern ones used by the insurgents and that there were times they packed up during operations.

One of the officers said, “The Shilka guns were acquired under Shagari’s government. We have many of them but they are outdated, so they were refurbished, even though a lot of their components are missing. However, they were deployed in the North-East for the anti-insurgency war like that, hence they fail during battles.

“Recently, Boko Haram even stole one from the troops. So, while we are battling with the refurbished Shilka, ISWAP fighters deploy the latest technology to attack us, and you know the President said a week ago at an ECOWAS meeting that how the terrorists deploy more sophisticated weapons is a matter of concern.”


Another officer, who is currently engaged in operations in one of the toughest operational zones in the North-East, also told Sunday PUNCH that apart from Shilka, they used to have in their inventory Tank 72, also known as T-72, which was made in Russia and manufactured in 1971 but sold out in 1972. T-72 are Soviet-era tanks.

He added,

“They were procured by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration towards the 2015 elections and they were used to capture lost territories, but unfortunately, the tanks came without spare parts.

“From time to time, we cannibalised one to fix another until they broke down and they were withdrawn from operations because there were no spare parts. What we have now is called Vickers MBT (Vickers Main Battle Tanks).

“They are even older than the T-72. So, as I’m talking to you, Shilka is what we have and the outdated guns we were supplied with and that is why the insurgents seem to be having the upper hand. The equipment is really outdated.”

In a similar revelation, another top military officer at the battlefront told Sunday PUNCH on the condition of anonymity that the attacks on soldiers had increased in recent times because the insurgents were now using the weapons and equipment they once stole from the military.

He noted that superior weapons and equipment, like Armoured Personnel Carrier and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, popularly known as MRAP, which is both bullet- and bomb-proof, were urgently needed by the troops.

Meanwhile, the sources explained further that beyond using drones, the insurgents were now using night vision goggles, thermal detectors and other modern equipment to attack the Nigerian troops.

The Nigerian Army had in November 2018 pointed out that Boko Haram’s attacks on troops had revealed that the insurgents were using drones and foreign fighters.

Also, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State said in July while welcoming the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, that Boko Haram had higher expertise and better technological weapons than the military.

He said, “The capacity of the military has to be re-examined in terms of technological warfare. Otherwise, this thing will never end. Boko Haram now uses drones to monitor the operations of the military. Without providing the proper and up-to-date technological capacity to the military, this thing will never end.”

In affirmation of the observation by the military and the governor, one of the sources said, “The ISWAP is highly advanced in technology and in training and that is obvious in the way they attack us. They fly drones; they use night vision goggles and thermal detectors, and they are very innovative.

“Thermal detectors are optic detectors that work as a result of heat emitted by any living thing that breath out carbon dioxide.

“No matter where you are hiding, you will be easily detected. We don’t have night vision goggles, not to even talk of thermal detectors,” one of them said.

“In fact, if I can, I will call them magicians, yet we keep fighting them with the obsolete equipment we are supplied with and that is why we are losing men. I can tell you that we have not been supplied with fresh equipment in a long while. Those terrorists, especially ISWAP, are very deadly and confident and they now use foreign mercenaries, who are foreign terrorists.”

The top military officer, who had previously been attacked, said these days, soldiers do not waste time in withdrawing because they use inferior weapons, compared to what Boko Haram fighters use.

While speaking on the killing of a colonel and an army captain sometime in July, he said the soldiers were travelling from Maiduguri to Damaturu when they ran into the ISWAP fighters and in “three minutes” they killed the soldiers.

Asked if soldiers would not leave the war front if the attacks become too much, he said, “If the attacks become overwhelming, and there are no weapons or equipment to fight with, some would move. We don’t have night vision goggles and it’s sad because those terrorists use it as an advantage over us in the night.”

One of the added,


“Let me even shock you; there are times the insurgents come with handcuffs, with the notion of capturing soldiers alive, because when we kill them we see those things. In each of their operation areas, they have suicide bombing squads that move around with them; they have medical teams and engineering teams to manufacture make-shift bridges if they have to cross obstacles or repair any damaged vehicle during the attack. They also have a casualty recovery team that evacuates their dead and injured colleagues during attacks.

The source also lamented that there were times they would call for backup and no one would respond, while the ISWAP fighters, on the other hand, would send heavy backups, with men numbering about 500 sometimes.

“They are well equipped and that is why they launch RPGs cheaply and easily,” he added.

FG allocated over N3.77tn for defence in 10 years –Investigation

Meanwhile, despite the inability of the Nigerian military to acquire modern weapons to confront the Boko Haram fighters, findings show that the Federal Government has allocated over N3.77tn to the Ministry of Defence between 2010 and 2019.

Details of the N3.77tn, which were obtained from the Budget Office of the Federation by one of our correspondents, were contained in the annual budgets of the government for the ministry.

The Ministry of Defence is made up of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Defence College, Nigerian Defence Academy, Defence Intelligence Agency, Defence Intelligence College, Military Pensions Board, Defence Missions, Defence Space Agency among others.

A breakdown of the allocation showed that the sum of N589.95bn was allocated to the defence sector in the 2019 fiscal period. The budget is made up of recurrent expenditure of N430.82bn and capital expenditure of N159.12bn.

In the 2018 fiscal period, the government allocated the sum of N576.39bn for defence, made up of recurrent expenditure of N418.68bn while capital expenditure was N157.71bn.

For 2017, the sector had a total allocation of N411.48bn made up of recurrent expenditure of N96.48bn and capital expenditure of N315bn.

The 2016 , 2015 and 2014 fiscal years had total allocations of N443.07bn, N375.49bn and N349.71bn.

These were made up of N312.21bn, N338.79bn and N338.79bn recurrent expenditures in 2016, 2015 and 2014 respectively while capital expenditures were N130.86bn, N36.7bn and N35.36bn for the respective periods.

In 2013, the sum of N350.8bn was allocated for defence while for 2012, 2011 and 2010, allocations were N333.26bn, N111.52bn and N232.04bn respectively.

Further analysis showed that the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force got a total budgetary allocation of over N2.32tn to finance their operations during the 10-year period.

An analysis of the budget document showed that out of the N2.32tn, the Nigerian Army received a budgetary allocation of N1.55tn for the 10-year period while the Air Force got N845.81bn.

A breakdown of the N2.32tn showed that the sum of N228.14bn was allocated in the 2019 financial period. This was made up of N208.79bn for recurrent and N19.62bn for capital expenditure.

The sum of N224.25bn was allocated in the 2018 fiscal year made up of recurrent expenditure of N204.63bn while capital expenditure was N19.62bn.

In 2017, the Nigerian Army got N155.44bn, made up of N134.82bn for recurrent while N20.62bn was for capital expenditure.

In 2016, the allocation to the army was N99.63bn, out of which N65.97bn was for recurrent expenditure while capital expenditure was N33.65bn.

The 2015 fiscal period had the sum of N149.83bn allocated to the Army, out of which recurrent expenditure was N144.08bn, while capital expenditure was N5.75bn.

In 2014, the Nigerian Army got the sum of N136.08bn, made up of recurrent expenditure of N131.18bn and capital expenditure of N4.89bn.

In 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 fiscal periods, the Army got allocations of N128.12bn, N123.93bn, N111.52bn and N75bn respectively.

For the Nigerian Air Force, the security agency got N114.83bn in 2019, out of which N69.78bn was for recurrent expenditure while N45bn was for capital expenditure.

In the same vein, the sum of N111.65bn was allocated in 2018 made up of recurrent expenditure of N67.33bn and capital expenditure of N44.65bn.

In 2017, the Air Force got N111.65bn; 2016, N90.71bn; 2015, N77.02bn; 2014, N73.88bn; and 2013, NN68.76bn. For 2012, 2011 and 2010 fiscal periods, the Air Force got allocations of N66.44bn, N84.61bn and N58.28bn respectively.

The allocations excluded the withdrawal made from the Excess Crude Account for the purchase of military equipment.

Analysis of figures obtained from the Budget Office of the Federation showed that the sum of $496.37m was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and withdrawn for the purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft.

The withdrawal of that amount, according to the Budget Office, was made in the first quarter of 2018.

Similarly, the President also gave approval that the sum of $380.51m be withdrawn for the first batch of procurement of critical equipment for the Nigerian Army, Navy and Defence Intelligence Agency.

The withdrawal of the $380.51m, according to document from Budget Office, was made in the fourth quarter of 2018.

However, despite the money spent on defence, especially on terrorism in the North-East, the Boko Haram insurgents have resurfaced and armed with better military equipment such as drones.

According to a report by the New York Times last Saturday, the terrorists were said to be roaming some parts of Borno State with impunity, even when President Muhammadu Buhari had insisted his administration had defeated the sect.

Another soldier in Borno told one of our correspondents that although the insurgents could not be said to be fully in control of any local government in the country, their threat was still very much potent.

He said the threat of the insurgents made the military authorities to deploy Super Camp and roving military tactics.

The soldier said,


“The Boko Haram soldiers have superior firepower. Also, they have spies who work for insurgents at a price. Some of the civilians living along various axis come to buy foodstuffs and other things for these guys.”

Also, there is no proper synchronisation between the land Army and the Air Force. If this fight would be properly fought and Boko Haram dealt with, we need more of the air support.”

Also, apart from the budgetary allocation, $1bn was deducted from the ECA during the tenure of former President Jonathan to fight the insurgents. At that time, one dollar was about N192, making the sum N192bn.

Meanwhile, the Buhari government also in 2017 revealed its plan to withdraw $1bn to fight the terrorists, but as of December 2018, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the Army had yet to access the fund.

Defence budget in the spotlight

When reminded that the military had had over N3.9tn in 10 years, the officers noted that there had been no sign of the money in their operation because there were no new weapons and combat equipment as they still relied on old weapons.

“On the other hand, what we see is that ISWAP comes with superior firepower. It takes extreme courage to withstand them for one hour and at times our soldiers may not be lucky enough to withdraw successfully in the face of a fierce battle.”

Super camps as safe havens?

Speaking on the Super Camps set up by the military, the officers expressed fear that the insurgents might someday dislodge soldiers from the camps if they were not equipped.

One of the officers said,


“It’s for the big men to loot and nothing more. Do you form a super camp without weather and adequate equipment? When the dry season comes, their lies will be exposed. The terrain is swampy now, so the terrorists can’t move as much as they would want to. Let the terrain dry and you would see their capacity. That super camp is a big joke.”

Another officer alleged that the move was to make civilians believe that the troops are in charge but that the initiative would succeed in creating more funds for the personal pockets of certain persons other than the interest of the nation.

Scores of missing soldiers unfound 10 months after

Meanwhile, scores of soldiers who went missing following the Boko Haram and Islamic State fighters’ attacks on the army bases in Metele and Baga, Borno State, in November 2018, have yet to be rescued by the military almost 10 months, Saturday PUNCH can report.

This is coming about three months after the Multi-National Joint Task Force explained in June that its operation, Yancin Takfi, “is progressing steadily and is committed to rescuing all personnel who were declared missing in action.”

Findings among top military sources on Friday showed that scores of missing soldiers had yet to be found by the military. Some of the soldiers are feared to have been killed or abducted by the insurgents.

The Nigerian Army had on November 28 last year confirmed that it lost 23 personnel to the attack by the ISWAP terrorists, who attacked the 157 Battalion in Metele in northern Borno on November 18. The army also said 31 personnel were also “wounded in action and have been evacuated to several medical hospitals.”

The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has, however, said that the military conducted regular search-and-rescue operations to free any personnel suspected to be in the enclave of the Boko Haram terrorists.

The acting Director, Defence Information, Col Onyema Nwachukwu, who stated this on Friday, said he was not aware any personnel was with the Boko Haram insurgents.

He said,


“Of course, we do search and rescue operations; this is done regularly to ensure that any of our personnel are liberated from such captivity. This is apart from the offensives that we are conducting.

“But nobody has told me there is any personnel in captivity. When there are missing-in-action personnel during combats, what we do is to send out search and rescue parties, but there is none of our personnel in the enclave of the Boko Haram.”

The acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, could not be reached for comments on Saturday evening, as his line rang out two times.

A text message also sent to his line to seek comments on the reportedly outdated Shilka tanks was not replied to as of the time of filing this report.






How injury will prevent Mikel Obi from Cameroon ties today.

Super Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr has confirmed his wards’ readiness to face Cameroon in the round of 16 encounter at the ongoing 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Nigeria will go into this game against the reigning champions of Africa without their captain Mikel Obi who is currently injured.

Cameroon have not beaten Nigeria in any competition since 2000 when they claimed one of their five Africa Cup of Nations trophies with a penalty shootout victory in the final.

The Indomitable Lions have beaten Nigeria four times in 22 previous meetings, but remarkably three of those wins have come in the final of this competition.

Recently, Nigeria have won four and lost none of the last five contests, including a 5-1 aggregate triumph to seal their place at the 2018 World Cup.

Gernot Rohr has now explained that all his players were superb in training and are prepared for penalties should the full time ends goalless.

”All the players made their penalties in training yesterday, but match is sometimes different. We hope we can win in 90 minutes or 120 minutes

”Good news on Jamilu Collins. He can play now but I don’t know if he can start. Mikel not able to play. Shehu is training now but not ready yet also,” Rohr told reporters at the media conference.


Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel sealed a two year deal with Turkish League giants Trabzonspor as a free agent.

The Nigerian captain, who is currently with the country’s national team has an option to renew his contract with another one year depending on his performance at the club.






How several bandits were neutralized by troops in Four Nothern States.

The General Officer Commanding 8 Division, Major General Hakeem Otiki, has said the recently launched Operation Habin Kunama III, successfully neutralised several bandits in the zone.

Otiki stated this while updating journalists in Sokoto on the success recorded so far by the operation since it was launched last year.

He revealed that Operation Habin Kunama III has captured some bandits, arrested informants, apprehended logistics suppliers, destroyed bandits camps as well as created enabling environment for farming activities in the affected villages.

He also disclosed that with renewed effort by the Army Headquarters and increased collaboration with other security agencies, which includes the Nigerian Air Force, the dynamics of the operation has changed.

He said:

 “This has yielded more positive results culminating into several encounters and defeat of bandits groups in Isa, Rabbah and Burkusuma around Sububu Forest in Sokoto State.

“In Katsina State, troops operating super camp in Batsari, Safana and Kankara also made contact with bandits gangs and denied them freedom of action in Dumburum Forest.

“In Kebbi State, troops deployed in super camp in Bena, Jega and Danko Wasagu also encountered and defeated bandits in Gando Forest.

“The 8 Division is also effectively collaborating with Operation Hadarin Daji as a blocking force against fleeing bandits from Zamfara State and retrieve several arms and ammunition in the process.





14 soldiers court -martialed by Nigeria Army.

One major, two captains, two staff sergeants and one sergeant are among 14 soldiers arraigned before a seven-member court martial over their alleged involvement in murder, kidnapping and other offences.
The General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Maj. Gen. Jamil Sarham, disclosed this on Saturday during the inauguration of the General Court Martial at the Army Division in Port Harcourt Rivers State.
Sarham listed other offences of the accused persons as attempted murder, desertion, crime in relation to public and services property, disobedience to standing orders and conducts prejudice to service discipline.
He stated that the court martial remained one of the apparatus used by the Nigerian Armed Forces to discipline erring personnel.


Sarham, who is also the Land Component Commander, Operation Delta Safe, said, “The Nigerian Army is a creation of the Nigerian Constitution to carry out specific tasks to support the government effort in providing security for the Nigerian nation.
“To achieve this, a discipline and professional Armed Forces is imperative and this in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s vision to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.
“There is no gainsaying that unless such a body of professionals is disciplined, achieving victory in battle and other specified assignments would not be easy.’’


He added that Section 131 of the Armed Forces Act conferred on him the powers to convene the General Court Martial and try the accused persons who allegedly violated some codes guiding the army’s professional conduct.
He said, “We have a total of 14 accused persons; three officers and 11 soldiers. Among them is one major, two captains, two staff sergeants and one sergeant and others.”
Sarham explained that the accused persons had earlier been thoroughly investigated to ensure that no innocent person was wrongly tried and punished, promising that justice would be done in all the cases.
Sarham further said, “Trial is not only aimed at seeing that offenders are punished, but to serve as deterrent to others to prevent future occurrence. I must state clearly that the accused persons are presumed innocent of the offences charged against them until proven guilty by this court.”
The President of the Court Martial, Brigadier Bassey Etuk, promised that the court martial would ensure that justice prevailed.
Etuk stated, “I want to assure you (Sarham) that based on the confidence you repose in me, we will do justice.”




How Commanding Officer of 158 Battalion was killed by Boko Haram on June 12.

The Boko Haram insurgents have attacked a military location at Kareto village in the Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State, killing the Commanding Officer of 158 Battalion, and an undisclosed number of soldiers.

The acting Director, Public Relations, Nigerian Army, Col Sagir Musa, had yet to reply a text message sent to his phone on the incident as of press time on Friday.

There are fears that the terrorists are still within the local government area planning more attacks on troops and civilians.

The attack on the 158 Battalion and the killing of its commanding officer came about one month after the terrorists planted an Improvised Explosive Device which killed the Commanding Officer of 154 Task Force Battalion, Lt Col Yusuf Aminu.


The officer and two soldiers were on May 13 killed along the Borgozo-Mauli Road in Borno State, an incident which was confirmed by the army days later, after the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, attended the burial of the soldiers at the Maimalari Military Cantonment Cemetery, Maiduguri.

Our correspondent learnt on Friday that in the latest spate of attacks, the terrorists attacked the 158 Battalion’s location on Democracy Day, carted away military weapons and later relocated to neighbouring Fuchimiram village.

The commanding officer, whose name had yet to be confirmed, and some soldiers, were reported to have been killed by the terrorists.

“The troops in the entire local government and beyond are still vulnerable. We need more reinforcements to be able to curtail the terrorists’ attacks. Some of the terrorists are presently in Fuchimiram village,” a military source said.

A day before the June 12 attack, the military authorities confirmed that terrorists had invaded Darak in northern Cameroon, killing 10 soldiers of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, while 64 of the insurgents were also neutralised during the fire fight.

The MNJTF Chief of Military Public Information, Col Timothy Antigha, in a release later said that about “300 heavily armed Boko Haram terrorists invaded Darak,” but claimed that they were repelled by troops.





How Boko Haram Propangandist were destroyed by Nigeria Army

The Nigerian Army on Monday, June 10 said it killed nine ”social media personalities” of the Islamic State for West African Province(ISWAP)

Colonel Sagir Musa, army director public relations, who disclosed this in a statement, said the annihilation of members of the Boko Haram media team further confirmed that the Nigerian Army has decimated the group and they no longer have freedom of action.

He gave the names as: “Abu Hurayra al-Barnawi, Ali al-Ghalam al-Kajiri, Abu Musab Muhammed Mustafa al-Maiduguri, Abu Abdullah Ali al-Barnawi, and Abu Musa al-Camerooni.

”Others are Ahmed al-Muhajir, Abu Ali al-Bamawi, Abu Khubayb bin Ahmed al-Barnawi, Abu al-Qa’qa’ al-Maiduguri.

“The terrorist group is known for its online media propaganda and quest to maintain a virtual caliphate,” he said.


NAN reports that Boko Haram has been using media since 2009, starting with a very traditional media approach through propaganda films, many of them aimed at recruiting new fighters from Nigeria and neighbouring countries including Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

NAN reports that from 2014, their strategy changes into more use of social media platforms, videos, and creating multiple accounts like Facebook and Twitter platforms, mostly as a way to communicate with individuals.

Meanwhile, troops of the Nigerian Army repelled Boko Haram attacks after weeks of incessant attacks in Madagali local government area in Adamawa state.

Residents of Gulak, the headquarters of Madagali LGA were overjoyed on Wednesday, June 5, when soldiers returned with two gun trucks reportedly seized from Boko Haram fighters during an encounter.

Eye witnesses said the soldiers had mobilised from Gulak the previous night to intercept insurgents following an intelligence report of an impending attack on the town.

Residents said they were considering fleeing the town after sounds of blasts and gunfire rattled the air from the Borno side of the border amid reports that some neighbouring villages were under attack.





Many Nigerians killed by soldiers during protest in Adamawa State.

Yola / Jalingo – Scores of persons were reportedly killed in Gurin, a border town in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State, during a clash between soldiers and youths on Thursday.

It happened when soldiers from 23 Brigade were drafted to the town to quell a protest by youths against the ban on motorcycles.

The youths were also protesting rampant kidnappings and excessive use of force on inhabitants of Gurin by soldiers and the police.


Sources in the town said soldiers and police used live ammunition on defenceless villagers who took part in the protest.

“Tension has been building in the area for a long time as we became fed up with the insecurity and uncalled harassment by security operatives,” Musa Mallum, a resident said.

“As I am talking to you now, there is serious demonstration going on in Gurin now due to the rampant kidnapping and excessive use of force on us by soldiers and police.”

Motorcycle transport is popular in the town for ferrying people and goods, especially foodstuffs from farms.

The ban on motorcycles was part of security measures which had been stepped up in the town, being a border post vulnerable to insurgencies and other criminal activities.

According to eyewitnesses, soldiers were sent to the town in trucks when the youths started burning tyres and chanting war songs against the police and other security forces for arresting and detaining inhabitants of the town who flouted the ban on motorcycles.


The Adamawa State government, through the permanent secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Polycap Ayuba, in a statement, said the ban on the use of motorcycles was not meant to trample upon the rights of law-abiding citizens but to halt the activities of kidnappers and insurgents who use the two-wheel machine to rob and attack people.

Polycap Ayuba also appealed to the people to exercise restraints since the ban was still in force and it would be lifted at the right time.

He confirmed that soldiers were drafted by the government to put a stop to the massive demonstrations of the people of Gurin town.

Also speaking, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Jerengol, said he was aware of the problems of Gurin town and all efforts were being made to bring the situation under control.

Tiv/Jukun Crisis: Militiamen Kill 12 In Wukari

In a similar development, about 12 persons were feared killed by suspected militiamen at a roadblock at Byepi village, along Wukari-Jalingo road in Wukari, Taraba State.

Sources said 11 persons were reported to have been forced out of a vehicle conveying passengers from Zaki Biam to Jalingo by suspected militiamen. It was learnt that the 11 were taken to an unknown destination where they were hacked to death, including the driver.

According to a victim, who escaped, he was beaten, cut with machete and asked by the militias to go back to Zaki Biam and report what happened to his co-travellers.

The police spokesman in Taraba State, David Misal (DSP), however, confirmed to Daily Independent that only three persons were killed by unknown gunmen about 6p.m on Wednesday at Byepi village along Wukari-Jalingo Road.

A police officer, who was among the men on duty in the Wukari, confirmed that the ill-fated vehicle, which conveyed those passengers was still at Byepi village.





How ISWAP took over Nigeria Army Base.

Haram jihadists have carried out multiple attacks on military bases in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, overrunning three of them and stealing weapons, security sources said Monday.

Fighters believed to be from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the IS-linked faction of Boko Haram, stormed four bases from Friday through Sunday in the latest spate of attacks targeting the army, sources from the military and militia said.


There were no immediate details on casualties.


In the latest incident, on Sunday, the insurgents made a failed attempt to seize a base in the town of Dikwa following a predawn attack.

“The terrorists attacked troops in Dikwa around 4:00 am (0300 GMT) but the attack was repelled without casualty on our side,” a military officer, who did not want to be identified, told AFP.

The fighters came in 13 trucks fitted with heavy machine guns, said a second officer, who gave a similar account.

Dikwa which lies 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the state capital Maiduguri, is home to more than 70,000 displaced people who live in several camps where they rely on food and humanitarian assistance from aid agencies.

Late on Saturday, the jihadists blasted into a base in the town of Marte, 40 kilometres away, pushing troops out after a prolonged gunfight, the two military sources said.

The militants ransacked the base, carting away weapons abandoned by fleeing soldiers and setting fire to it. The soldiers withdrew to Dikwa.


As they retreated towards Lake Chad, the Islamist fighters sacked another base in Kirenowa village, 30 kilometres from Marte.

  • Soldiers evacuated –

“The soldiers in Kirenowa have been evacuated to Dikwa after the attack by the terrorists”, the first officer said.

The jihadists were believed to have launched the attacks from their Lake Chad enclave where the Nigerian military has intensified aerial attacks on ISWAP camps.

Troops in a base in Dalwa village, 16 kilometres outside Maiduguri, were dislodged after a six-hour battle with ISWAP fighters which continued into Sunday, said the military sources and an anti-jihadist militia.

The fighting forced Marte residents to flee into Maiduguri, arriving in trucks on Sunday, according to residents of the city.

However, troops returned to the town late Sunday with reinforcement from Maiduguri, the sources said.

ISWAP has since July last year targeted dozens of military bases in attacks that have left scores of soldiers dead.

Boko Haram’s decade-long insurgency has killed 27,000 people and displaced about two million in Nigeria.

The violence has spilled over into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to defeat the Islamist group.