Shock and awe: Military response to armed banditry and theprospects of internal security operations in Northwest Nigeria

John Sunday Ojo, Folahanmi Aina*, Samuel Oyewole

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Insecurity has worsened in Northwest Nigeria, due to the threat of armed banditry, necessitating the deployments and operations of the military. While there is increasing academic attention on the origins, causes, and nature of this threat, the conduct, achievements, prospects, and challenges of the military’s counter-banditism response in the region remains understudied. Accordingly, foregrounded by the need to close this gap, this qualitative study contributes to the literature through organised empirical research by examining the conduct, achievements, prospects, and challenges of the military's Joint Task Force operation Hadarin Daji – its major internal security operation – against armed banditry in Northwest Nigeria. Data is obtained from secondary sources which include academic journal articles, books, official reports, press briefs by the military, reputable local and international news reportage. The study’s central argument holds that the nature and character of the military’s campaigns against armed banditry – a form of unconventional warfare, poses significant challenges to it as a conventional fighting force, consequentially contributing towards the conflict’s protractedness. Recalibrating the military’s readiness for and response to unconventional warfare remains critical to degrading and defeating armed banditry in Northwest Nigeria.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAfrican Security Review
    Early online date20 Aug 2023
    Publication statusEarly online - 20 Aug 2023


    • Armed banditry
    • counter-Banditism
    • internal security operations
    • Operation Hadarin Daji
    • Northwest Nigeria

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