Tag Archives: nigeria

The #Nigerian Air Force’s Alpha Jets – @NigAirForce

Great article here about the Nigerian air force’s use of Alpha Jets in its counter-insurgency war against Boko Haram, and in previous missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Nigerian military has been bashed in the media in the last couple of years. It has not been given due credit though for its successful use and adaptation of a military aircraft that was regarded as obsolete. The Alpha Jets are supposed to be training planes; used to train air force pilots, before they are allowed into the cockpit of a “real” fighter jet. However the Nigerian air force has instead adapted a training plane into a fighting and bombing plane that it has used against Boko Haram, and against rebels in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

One thing that stood out for me is the technical ingenuity that Nigeria has demonstrated with this plane:

The Nigerian air force set about jerry-rigging onto two of the jet trainers its own weapons hardpoints capable of holding bombs or rocket pods.

Reportedly, the modifications cost just four million Nigerian naira — roughly $13,000. Some reports state a sum as low as $2,000. Given typical military equipment costs, this stands as a remarkable achievement. Foreign companies had requested up to $30,000 just to assess the cost of doing the refit.

A Nigerian car manufacturer, Innoson, has also been contracted to produce spare parts for the NAF to keep the old aircraft flying.

You can read the full story at this link: https://warisboring.com/nigerias-tiny-low-tech-alpha-jets-have-flown-in-brutal-wars-across-africa-5d843265d1b8#.vip9bxsq0



Interview with Max Siollun – This Friday, 1:30pm #Nigeria Time

Chat With Max Flier114


My book Soldiers of Fortune is now available as an e-book on mobile devices via Okadabooks. I will do a live Twitter interview on Nigeria with OkadaBooks this Friday,  May 27, at 1.30am (8:30am USA Eastern Time).

You can download the book here and get a N2000 Naira Okadabooks credit.

You can follow the interview on Twitter via the hashtag #OkadaRideWithMax


Max Siollun Twitter Interview This Friday – 1:30pm #Nigerian Time

Chat With Max Flier114


My book Soldiers of Fortune is now available as an e-book on mobile devices via Okadabooks. I will do a live Twitter interview on Nigeria with OkadaBooks this Friday,  May 27, at 1.30am (8:30am USA Eastern Time).

You can download the book here and get a N2000 Naira Okadabooks credit.

You can follow the interview on Twitter via the hashtag #OkadaRideWithMax


Many #BokoHaram Members Have Never Read the Koran

Below is an article I wrote in the New York Times about the changing nature of Boko Haram’s threat and the likely next stage in the group’s evolution.

A few excerpts:

the group now seems to spend as much time engaged in banditry as it does fighting “Western education.” When officials from Nigeria’s Office of the National Security Adviser interviewed Boko Haram prisoners, they were told that most of the group’s soldiers “have never read the Quran.”

Also the group seems to be changing tactics:

Today, Boko Haram is no longer occupying large parts of Nigeria. Instead, it has morphed into a group of well-organized bandits. The military’s successes changed Boko Haram’s threat, but didn’t eliminate it.


Inside a #BokoHaram Deradicalisation Center in #Nigeria

Soldiers of Fortune – Now Available on #Nigerian Mobile Devices

For those of you that are e-book fans, you can now buy my book Soldiers of Fortune: a History of Nigeria (1983-1993) and read it on your mobile phone via Okadabooks at the link below. You can read a sample chapter or two, or download the entire book for only $7.54.


You can read a review of Soldiers of Fortune here.

26th Anniversary of the Orkar Coup in #Nigeria

Today is the 26th anniversary of the April 1990 coup attempt against General Babangida in Nigeria. Rather than rehash the events  (which I have written about before) in this post, I have instead included links where you can read all about the coup in an account by one of its plotters, and another view of the coup by General Babangida’s former Chief Security Officer.

That coup was a watershed in Nigeria, and accelerated the turn of events that led to the insurgency in the Niger Delta, and indirectly to the controversy that followed the June 12, 1993 election annulment, and the “power shift” to the south in 1999.

If you want to read more about the Orkar coup and these tumultuous years, you can of course do so in my book “Soldiers of Fortune: A History of Nigeria (1983-1993)“.

Have a great weekend everyone.



#Chibok Girls Shown in New #BokoHaram Video – #ISWAP




Al-Barnawi – #Nigeria’s Biggest Success Against #BokoHaram?


On April 1, 2016 Nigeria’s State Security Service announced that it had arrested Khalid Al-Barnawi, who has been on its wanted list, and whom Nigeria held responsible for the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja on August 26, 2011.
The media description of Al-Barnawi is fuzzy, with some media outlets describing him as “Boko Haram’s second in command” and others acknowledging him as the leader of Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (“the Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa); AKA “Ansaru. He was arrested at an army barracks in Lokoja, Kogi State.

Al-Barnawi’s real name is alleged to be Mohammed Usman, although he has many other aliases including Kafuri, Naziru, Alhaji Yahaya, Mallam Dauda and Alhaji Tanimu. The SSS claimed that Al-Barnawi acted as a recruiter who procured Nigerians for training by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North African states and the Middle-East.
Ansaru’s group was also held responsible for several kidnapping incidents in Nigeria in recent years including  the kidnapping of two European engineers in Kebbi State in May 2011 (and their subsequent murder in Sokoto State in March 2013 during a botched rescue attempt), the kidnap of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach in January 2012, and the kidnap and murder of seven expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company at Jama’are, Bauchi State in February 2013, as well as an attack on Nigerian troops that were en route for a UN mission in Mali.

One of the most bizarre details about Al-Barnawi’s arrest is that he was allegedly arrested inside the Chari Magumeri Barracks, while visiting a family member (following a tip-off).
If this account is true, what on earth was one of the most wanted men in the world (let alone Nigeria) doing inside a military barracks? Also, who is the “family member” he was visiting? Was the person a military personnel? If the answer to that question is “yes”, then it raises some very disturbing implications.

40th Anniversary of Murtala Muhammed’s Assasination





Today is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Nigeria’s former military head of state General Murtala Muhammed. He was assassinated on February 13, 1976, on his way to work during an abortive coup. Full details of Murtala’s life and the events that led to his death are in my book Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture.


Murtala’s car was ambushed by a group of soldiers in Lagos and he was shot to death. Above is a photo of the bullet riddled car in which he was killed. Note the bullet holes in the windscreen.


Brigadier Murtala Muhammed Overthrows General Gowon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw8iHwN-V0s


US State Department Report on Murtala Muhammed: https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/us-state-department-report-on-murtala-muhammed/


Murtala Muhammed’s speech on Nigerian democracy: https://www.facebook.com/157457414278806/videos/1851800698475/

The assassination of Murtala Muhammed:



Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Speaks to the press about Coup Plot: https://www.facebook.com/157457414278806/videos/1849886570623/

Lt-Colonel Dimka speaks to the press: https://www.facebook.com/157457414278806/videos/1851800698475/

Lt-General Obasanjo announces execution of coup convicts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjEA83pgstg&list=PLTCNM3JtW0UlisCGV98STnBtiGoS7YTaZ&index=3

Max Siollun (@maxsiollun) | Twitter