Department of History and War Studies

Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna





Department of History and War Studies

Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.




Department of History and International Studies

Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba Kogi State


The Nigerian military is responsible for the internal security of the nation. The institution is strategically organized and equipped to respond to security challenges against the territorial integrity of Nigeria through decisive operations.  The military has also been at the forefront of confronting all forms of threats that include: Ethno-religious conflict, post-election violence, insurgency, and armed banditry. In recent times, armed banditry has challenged the security and territorial integrity of the nation. Although scholars have written about the causes, nature and consequences of armed banditry in Northwest of Nigeria, there has been scanty academic attention paid to the military responses to the menace. However, there is a need to analyse the military operations against armed banditry in the Northwest to identify the successes, strategies and associated challenges inherent in such operations. This study therefore, discusses the Operation Diram Mikiya by the Nigeria Military against Armed Banditry. Using secondary source of data collection, the paper found out that; these operations carried out by the Nigerian military is in a synchronized collaborative way to provide support to the different wings of the armed forces operating within the Northwestern part of the country, the operations have reduced the activities of the armed bandits and led to arrest of several perpetrators along with their collaborators. But more needs to be done to achieve a total success against the armed bandits in their areas of operation. This is because, the military operations have several challenges among which include; insufficient manpower and weaponry, lack of confidence by civilians in the military ability to fight the armed bandits, military orientation in battles, among others. The paper therefore concludes that, the military needs to be supported by all stakeholders including the civilians, relevant governmental apparatus, civil organizations, and other security agencies, if the over-all success against the armed bandits would be achieved. 

Keywords: Armed Banditry, Conflicts, Insurgency, Nigerian Military, Terrorism.


Armed banditry has become a central security threat, threatening the democratic process of Nigeria. Since 2011 the Northwest has been experiencing a surge of banditry attacks, firstly between Fulani herders and sedentary farmers’ communities, eventually, the security threats changed to cattle rustling and later gained momentum by becoming an appealing method of accusation of wealth through kidnapping for ransom, highway robbery, and village raiding through the use of sophisticated arms and ammunitions. The rise in the activities of armed bandits groups has deteriorated economic activities; preventing free traveling on major roads to certain destinations, disrupting source of livelihood and the distribution of essential services for people across the Northwest region in Nigeria.

The armed bandits’ activities thus far have led to the destruction of lives and properties, sacking of various settlements which automatically led to the displacement of approximately 77,000 Nigerians who fled their homes to neighboring towns or countries. Armed Banditry has been associated with negative social vices such as rape and other related violence against women and children. Before their activities went out of hand in 2016, some villages and communities recorded rape cases. As early as 2011, girls sent out to fetch firewood or cut grass in the nearby farms usually come back howling as a result of either individual or gang rape by unknown persons. Several of these cases have been reported in 2012, and some of the parents affected often keep silent, to avoid social rejection against the victims.

692 KB

Leave a Comment