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Nigerian Army - Organization

Nigerian Army formations include the 1st Mechanised Infantry Division, headquartered in Kaduna in the north-west, and 2nd Mechanised Infantry Division (HQ Ibadan in the South-West, includes 32 Artillery Brigade at Abeokuta), 3rd Armoured Division (HQ Rukuba Cantonment, Jos in the North-East, and including 21 Armoured Brigade Maiduguri, 23 Brigade Yola, and 33 Artillery Brigades), 81st Division (Amphibious) HQ in Lagos, which includes the 9th Brigade, based at the Ikeja compound in Lagos, 82nd Division (Airborne and Amphibious) HQ in Enugu in the South-East, which includes the 13 (15?) Brigade at Calabar and 34 Artillery Brigade at Obinze/Owerri, and the Abuja-based Guards Brigade. 3rd Armoured Division was responsible in 1983 for the security of areas bordering Chad.

Divisions in the Nigerian Army were first formed during the Nigerian Civil War, when in August-September 1967, 1 Area Command at Kaduna was redesignated 1 Infantry Division, 2 Division was formed under Colonel Murtala Mohammed, and the then Lagos Garrison Organisation was renamed 3 Infantry Division, later to become 3 Marine Commando Division.

Lagos and Abuja have garrison commands with the Lagos garrison as large as a division. 81 Division was the youngest Division in the Nigerian Army. The Division was formed on 26 May 2002 when the Lagos Garrison Command (as it then was) was upgraded to a full-fledged Division. The Division therefore inherited the security roles hitherto performed by the defunct Lagos Garrison Command. However a later undated article in a Nigerian online newspaper says the 81 Division was later again renamed the Lagos Garrison Command. In the 1980s, the Army's brigades included the 7th Infantry Brigade in Sokoto. There are also Divisional Artillery Brigades, among which are the 32 and 34 Artillery Brigades, ordinance corps units as well as Combat Engineer Regiments, and many other service support units spread across the country.

On 14 May 2009 Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, commended the military for defending the nation's territorial environment and also for protecting Nigeria's nascent democracy. He made the commendation when he received in audience the General Officer, Commanding 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Lawrence Ngubane. He said that no meaningful development can be achieved in any society if the security of lives and property are not guaranteed. Governor Oshiomhole who also declared that without an enabling environment Nigerians cannot get the best from the military, however assured the G.O.C. of his administration?s continued assistance to the leadership and men of the Armed Forces in the state. The governor further told the Army boss that government was currently working on a joint security team of Army and Police to enhance security, particularly, in the riverine areas of the state, adding that his administration has the support of President Umaru Musa Yar Adua in this direction.

On 01 July 2009 the Nigerian Army reiterated its commitment to defend the Country against both external and internal aggressions in fulfillment of its mandate. General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Mechanized Division, Ibadan, Oyo State, Major General L.P. Ugubane gave the assurance in Akure, the Ondo State capital when he led a team of his officers on a courtesy visit to the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko in his office. The GOC who said he was on a familiarization tour of Ondo State, also pointed out that since he took over the command of the Army Division in January this year, he had not got the opportunity to visit the Army formations under him, adding that he had also been to the Army Brigade in Abeokuta on the previous day. He expressed gratitude to the state government on the various assistance rendered to the 323 Artillery Regiment in the state, which include, the provision of portable water at the barracks and a promise to rehabilitate all roads within the barracks.

Responding, the governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Aderotimi Adelola, told the General that more assistance were already in the pipeline to ensure that the men of the Nigeria Army enjoy dividends of democracy, saying that it is the duty of the government to provide social amenities to the people, and this he added include the military men as they are part of the populace. While thanking the military for its assistance in ensuring adequate security in Ondo State, the Governor urged the Army to address with dispatch, the menace of kidnapping. The Governor assured the Army of his governments support to facilitate easy execution of its jobs.

The Nigerian Army concluded plans in early 2007 to commence a comprehensive restructuring of its force. The restructuring exercise which was based on the recommendations of a committee on Nigerian Army Force Structure is expected to begin a ten year phased restructuring development starting from the first quarter of 2007 to terminate in 2016. Among the major components of the force structure were the adoption of a four-division structure from the existing five divisions and the creation of an additional amphibious brigade. Also embedded in the project was the relocation of some units particularly in line with some specific terrains and other conditions in the country.

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Owoye Andrew Azazi, called on the Federal Government to continue to pay adequate attention to the logistics problems of the Nigerian Army. Gen Azazi made the call while receiving the new Minister of State for Defence, Architect Mike Onolem-Emen in his office in Abuja. The COAS stated that the Army was planning to prune down its five divisions to four, and also pointed out that some units of the Army would be relocated in the process. Responding, Arch Onolem-Emen said he was delighted to visit the Army Head quarters before other services considering its roles as the oldest force of the Nigerian Armed Forces. He promised a good working relationship with the army adding that he would ensure adequate financial support for the direct labor system of executing Nigerian Army. Projects especially the barracks rehabilitation projects currently going on across military formations in the country.

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