18 new armed groups spring up in Nigeria

Niger Delta militants
Niger Delta militants

A total of 18 new armed groups have sprung in Nigeria in the last 17 months, according to a report by a crisis-monitoring group.

The report puts Nigeria well-ahead of any other African nation, as the country with the fastest-growing number of new armed dissident groups.

In apparent reflection of a poor crisis-management mechanism, the report by the Public Security & Safety Advocacy department of Intersociety shows that in the first 15 months of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, as many as 18 disaffected groups took up arms across the country.

Painting a gloomy portrait of regional security, the report showed that as at August 2016, at least 28 African countries were embroiled in internal conflicts fuelled by a total of 220 armed opposition and insurgency groups. Of these the Democratic Republic of Cong leads the pack with 36 armed opposition groups, followed by Libya with 28. South Sudan comes next with 26 warring groups while Nigeria is fourth with 20 armed groups.

Whilst Nigeria’s ranking might not at first appear alarming, crisis monitors are already hitting the panic button considering that the country has jumped from its 13th position in May 2015 to fourth position in August 2016; a record time of just 15 months. The number, therefore, of non-state armed or resistance groups that have taken up arms against the Federal Republic of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has risen from two on May 29, 2015 to 20 in August 2016.

The Intersociety report showed that in May 2015 the number of active armed opposition groups (AOGs) in Nigeria was two: the Boko Haram terror group and Fulani armed nomadic herdsmen. Hitherto armed groups such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF) were disarmed, demobilized and granted amnesty in 2009 under the leadership of late Umaru Yar’Adua. There was also a splinter group of Boko Haram called Ansaru, which was later absorbed by Boko Haram under the Islamic State West Africa, ISWA.

Today however, the number of armed groups in Nigeria has grown in multiples. They include the Islamic State West Africa and the Movement for Unity & Jihad in West Africa – both offshoots of ISIS and Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb; the Boko Haram; Armed nomadic herdsmen and the resurrected and re-armed Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

Others are the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force; the Niger Delta Liberation Front; Niger Delta Avengers; Biafra Avengers; Red Egbesu Water Lions; Asawana Deadly Force of the Niger Delta, the Adaka Boro Marine Commandos; the Utorogon Liberation Movement; Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force; and the Joint Revolutionary Council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force. Yet others are the Red Scorpion; the Ultimate Warriors of the Niger Delta; the Niger Delta Red Squad; Niger Delta Vigilante; the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate; the Ijaw/Oduduwa Militant Movement (in Ogun and Lagos States) and the Agatu Warriors in Benue State.

The report also mentioned Nigeria as the third largest defence and security spender in Africa after Algeria and Angola. While Nigeria spends about $4 billion, the figure for Algeria is $10.4 billion and Angola $6 billion.

Other African countries mentioned in the report with large number of armed opposition groups (AOGs) are Sudan, 19; Mali, 17; Central African Republic, 10; Egypt, 9; Ethiopia, 8; Algeria, 4; Eritrea, 4; and Somaliland, 4. Uganda has 3 while Mauritania, Kenya, Chad and Angola have 2 each. Morocco (Western Sahara), Tunisia, Senegal, Rwanda, Congo Republic, Puntland, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Cameroon and Burundi are listed in the report as having one armed opposition group each.


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  • Rommel

    As characteristics of Nigerians,everything we are good at,we do excessively so this cannot be the exception,as long as some militants were financially rewarded by the discredited Jonathan administration,we will continue to witnesses the rise of such elements.

    • PLAN A

      Half factual comments like yours are always bound to stimulate splinter groups like this. When you do not have proof about something,I humbly suggest that you Shut up and not sow the seeds of bitterness and rancour in the hearts and minds of unsuspecting people.When we cannot understand that most of these groups have arisen as a result of the Nepotism and insensitivity of the present administration to issues of the Economy and unemployment, food and starvation, and plurality of opinions. It is a big minus on the part of Buhari,as he was elected to ensure peace in this country. If in his time,these groups are multíplying,then there is something he is not doing well.

      • Powerlessconscious

        Hypocrite. If they are springing up, it is because their source of free money has stop. Simple.

    • The Optimist

      Thank you! He glorified them instead of jailing them, to say the least. Organized armed groups of creek dropouts suddenly got an official recognition and pampered with contracts in dollars. Why won’t other youths form theirs?

      • George

        Why don’t your half dead Buhari jail them now. What is holding him or is GEJ still there.

        You people think with your anus.

  • Kickboxer

    Yariba slaves spreading lies to unsuspectingly low-information Nigerians. Suddenly Yariba slaves invented Biafra Avengers but no Oodua People Congress (OPC). Instead of letting to 3 Yariba militant groups in existence, they now created IJAW/ODUDUWA Militant Movement apparently an attempt to pacify IJAWS after Yariba slave stabbed in the back in 2015.

    • Charles

      Your contribution is a disaster.

  • UOU

    Dividends of buharicracy

  • Isaac Azor

    This is the result of rewarding laziness financially and material wish as well as worshiping and glorifying corruption.

    • Noble

      You got it right my brother.

  • Noble

    Do you blame them? with the amnesty program where you are paid for job undone, what do expect the jobless to do?

    • Daniel

      Very diversionary as usual.

      Buhari, your god, puts security, anti-corruption and jobs on top of his campaign agenda.

      In less than two years the three problems have metastasized.

      While pretentiously fighting Boko Haram, Buhari has exported insecurity to the Niger Delta and the Middle Belt.

      Fulani herdsmen have carried out unprecedented killings and destruction of farmlands in the Middle Belt and the entire South UNCHECKED.

      So I ask : what will be Buhari’s legacy?

  • Daniel

    The man at the top himself is a security risk.