1st Division (Nigeria)

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The 1st Division is a formation of the Nigerian Army, which traces its history to 1967. It was established during the Nigerian civil war and is charged with securing its Area of Responsibility (AOR) covering the North Western flank of Nigeria and also ensuring that the borders located in its AOR are secured. The division is a mechanized infantry with affiliated combat support and combat service support units. [1]

Nigerian Army Land warfare branch of Nigerias military

The Nigerian Army (NA) is the largest component of the Nigerian Armed Forces, and responsible for land warfare operations. It is governed by the Nigerian Army Council (NAC). It bears the brunt of the nation's security challenges, notably the Boko Haram insurgency.


In August–September 1967, 1 Area Command at Kaduna was redesignated 1 Infantry Division, and 2 Division was formed under Colonel Murtala Mohammed. [2]

Kaduna Place in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria, on the Kaduna River. It is a trade centre and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas, with its rail and road junction. The population of Kaduna was at 760,084 as of the 2006 Nigerian census.

Murtala Mohammed Nigerian politician and general

Murtala Rufai Ramat Muhammed was the military ruler of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976.

"At the end of the Civil War, the three divisions of the army were reorganised into four divisions, with each controlling territories running from North to South in order to deemphasise the former regional structure. Each division thus had access to the sea thereby making triservice cooperation and logistic support easier. This deployment formula was later abandoned in favour of the present assignment of sectors to the divisions. Thus 1 Division with HQ at Kaduna is allocated the North West sector; 2 Division with HQ at lbadan South West sector, 3 Division with HQ at Jos North East sector and 82 Division with HQ at Enugu South East sector." [3]

Division headquarters remains in Kaduna in the north-west. [4]

Divisional components

1 Division
241 Recce Battalion Nguru
1 Mechanised Brigade Sokoto
65 Mechanised Battalion
81 Motorised Battalion
223 Light Battalion

Other formations of the division include the 3rd Brigade (Kano), 41 Division Engineers, a signals formation of brigade size, and the 31st Artillery Brigade. [5] The existence of 3rd Brigade at Kano was corroborated by a May 2015 report of 1,000 soldiers dismissed "for allegedly disobeying orders during onslaughts against Boko Haram militants in the North-east." [6]


Mohammed Shuwa was a Nigerian Army Major General and the first General Officer Commanding of the Nigerian Army's 1st Division. Shuwa commanded the Nigerian Army's 1st Division during the Nigerian Civil War. He was murdered in Maiduguri by suspected Boko Haram sect on November 2, 2012.

Iliya D. Bisalla was a Major General in the Nigerian Army and Commissioner of Defence under the military administration of General Murtala Mohammed, the 4th Nigerian Head of State.

Lt. General Ipoola Alani Akinrinade CFR FSS was Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Nigeria from October 1979 to April 1980, and then Chief of Defence Staff until 1981 during the Nigerian Second Republic.

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  1. "NIGERIAN ARMY 1 DIVISION". Nigerian Army. Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  2. General Olunsegun Obasanjo, 'My Command: An Account of the Nigerian Civil War 1967-70,' Heinemann, Ibadan/London/Nairobi, p.18 (Via Joint Services Command and Staff College Library)
  3. "Post War Developments In The Nigerian Armed Forces". OnlineNigeria. 27 October 2002. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  4. "Army Games Begin in Abeokuta". Archived from the original on 2011-01-15. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  5. Ravi Rikhye, Concise World Armies 2012, Orbat.com.
  6. "Army Sacks 1,000 Soldiers Over Boko Haram,", 26 May 2015
  7. http://www.army.mil.ng/divisions, accessed October 2013.