Presidential Guard Brigade (Nigeria)

The Presidential Guards Brigade is an elite brigade of the Nigerian Army responsible for protecting the President of Nigeria. The members of the brigade are a group of Nigerian soldiers who guard the residence of the President and his guests, as well as perform ceremonial duties.

Nigerian Presidential Guards Brigade
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh inspecting the Guard of Honour, at a Ceremonial Reception, at Abuja, Nigeria on October 15, 2007.jpg
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inspecting the Presidential Guard Brigade during his visit to Abuja in October 2007.
ActiveSeptember 1962; 58 years ago (1962-09)
Country Nigeria
BranchFlag of the Nigerian Army Headquarters.svg Nigerian Army
TypeHonor Guard
Combat Unit
RoleThe protection of the President of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory.
SizeBrigade (3 battalions)
HeadquartersCamp Wu Bassey, Abuja
Nickname(s)The Brigade of Guards
AnniversariesArmed Forces Day
Commanders
Current
commander
Brigadier General Muhammed Takuti Usman
Notable
commanders
Joseph Nanven Garba
John Mark Inienger

It is composed of the following smaller units:

HistoryEdit

 
President Jimmy Carter and General Olusegun Obasanjo at a welcoming ceremony performed by the Guards Brigade.

The Presidential Guard Brigade of the Nigerian Army was formed in September 1962 as the Federal Guards. It was created for the purpose of carrying out ceremonial and security duties in Lagos and Abuja similar to the role of the British Household Division in London.[2] In May 1966, Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, who was the leader of the Nigerian Military Junta, renamed the Federal Guards to the National Guards. The soldiers who killed Ironsi on July 29, 1966, were drawn from the National Guards unit in Lagos. This operation lead to significant controversy over the area of responsibility and chain of command within the brigade.[3][4]

Protective dutiesEdit

The Guards Brigade provides security for the following individuals in the Nigerian presidential line of succession and with relevance to the President:

It works with the Nigeria Police Force in securing any area in the Federal Capital Territory.

Ceremonial actions and other traditionsEdit

 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev inspecting the Guards Brigade during a visit to Nigeria in June 2009.

Members of the brigade stand at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock and also raise and lower the national flag at ceremonies and parades. The brigade holds a weekly changing of the guard ceremony outside Aso Villa.[5] It also mounts the guard of honor on behalf of the Nigerian Armed Forces during national events such as the Armed Forces Day festivities and the national Independence Day Parade. It has also mounted the guard of honor during state arrival ceremonies for foreign dignitaries who undertake state visits to Abuja. Dignitaries who have inspected the brigade while on state visits have included Dmitry Medvedev, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Jacob Zuma. Regular performances also took place at occasions when foreign ambassadors presented their diplomatic credentials to the President, as well as during the official arrival and departure of the State President from various cities, especially those cities in which his official residences were situated.

Other past ceremonial events in which the PG was present include the following:

Regimental dinnerEdit

The brigade holds an annual regimental dinner at the brigade's mess hall (nicknamed Scorpion Mess) of the Brigade of Guards. It is usually held at the end of the year and takes place annually. As per protocol, the semi-formal green mess dress uniform is usually worn by officers and personnel on this occasion. In 2016, a special dinner was held in honor of the victories over Boko Haram, with President Buhari being the guest of honor. During the dinner, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai presented a captured Boko Haram flag, recovered from Camp Zero, to the brigade. President Buhari also for a brief moment directed the Guards Brigade Band.[15]

Sports CompetitionEdit

The Guards Brigade Sporting Competition is held annually by the brigade as an inter-unit tournament of sports such as: Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Boxing, Judo, Taekwondo, and a Combat Relay Race.[16] Units that have participated in the past include 176 Battalion, 177 Guards Battalion, 102 Battalion and the Guards Brigade Garrison.[17]

Brigade cemeteryEdit

The Guards Brigade cemetery located off Murtala Mohammed Way in Abuja. It serves as a place for the burial of serving and retired brigade personnel. The cemetery was inaugurated in 2017 to commemorate Armed Forces Remembrance Day.[18] It was created as part of an initiative by General Buratai, who directed all army formations to set up their own unit cemeteries. The cemetery comprises a cenotaph, memorial hall and guard house for soldiers on duty.[19]

Allegations of massacresEdit

In late 2018, the brigade was accused of carrying out a massacre in the capital of Abuja against Shia Muslims who were members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The protesters of the IMN who were at the scene were protesting the imprisonment of Ibrahim Zakzaky, a Shia cleric who is the leader of the IMN and has stayed in detention since December 2016. At least 45 IMN protesters were killed in the massacre.[20][21]

CommandersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Azu, John Chuks (May 22, 2019). "How a bagpiper aroused Buhari's interest in the Scottish music". Daily Trust.
  2. ^ "Preventing Coups in Nigeria* (Part 4)". gamji.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  3. ^ Idris, Abdullahi (1 March 2010). "Nigeria: How Guards Brigade Operates, By Senior Officer". Allafrica.com. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Yar'Adua: Group asks N-Assembly to summon COAS". March 2, 2010.
  5. ^ Adio, Segun (August 23, 2017). "Guards Brigade to hold weekly change of guard outside Aso Villa". The Sun Nigeria.
  6. ^ "President Yaradua arrives back from Saudi Arabia throws presidency into confusion". Nigerian Muse news. 24 February 2010.
  7. ^ "Presidential Inauguration: Army Alerts Public On Firing Of Artillery Guns". May 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Admin (2019-08-08). "Nigerian Army Band's display at Scotland's international military event is one of the most beautiful things you will watch on the internet today (video)". WebsFavourites.Com. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  9. ^ Omotayo, Joseph (2019-08-08). "Video shows Nigerian soldiers performing at UK royal parade to wild applause". www.legit.ng. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  10. ^ "Video: Nigerian military's eye-popping display in Edinburgh everyone is praising". P.M. News. 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  11. ^ "Through a Kaleidoscope - The Edinburgh Tattoo showcase for 2019". Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  12. ^ "Guards Brigade's special tunes for Osinbajo". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  13. ^ "Cameroon celebrates military cooperation with Nigeria on 46th National Day". www.prc.cm. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  14. ^ Mutum, Ronald (23 August 2017). "Guards Brigade spectacle change of presidential guards' parade". Daily trust. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  15. ^ "President Buhari Attends Guards Brigade Dinner Night At Scorpion Mess – NTA.ng – Breaking News, Nigeria, Africa, Worldwide". Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  16. ^ "2018 Guards Brigade Games: 7 Guard's Battalion emerges winner". Vanguard News. 2018-09-09. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  17. ^ "Guards Brigade Sports Week 2020: 7 Guards Battalion emerge overall winners; Sports Minister hails spirit of competitiveness". Security King Nigeria. 2020-01-25. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  18. ^ "Buratai opens Guards Brigade cemetery". Vanguard News. 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  19. ^ "Nigerian Army inaugurates Guards Brigade cemetery - Chronicle.ng". Chronicle.ng. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  20. ^ Koettl, Christoph; Akinwotu, Emmanuel; Browne, Malachy; Reneau, Natalie; Tiefenthäler, Ainara; Botti, David; Hurst, Whitney (July 30, 2019). "How an Elite Nigerian Unit Killed Dozens of Protesters" – via NYTimes.com.
  21. ^ "Nigerian soldiers shoot dozens of peaceful Shia protesters | Nigeria | The Guardian". amp.theguardian.com.
  22. ^ "Barracks". www.gamji.com. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  23. ^ "Arah, Two Others Join All States Board". ThisDay. 2004-05-21. Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  24. ^ "President Buhari receives in new commander guards brigade". Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2020-10-16.

External linksEdit