Presidential Guard Brigade (Nigeria)
|Nigerian Presidential Guard Brigade|
|Role||The protection of the President of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory.|
|Size||Brigade (3 battalions)|
|Nickname(s)||The Brigade of Guards|
|Anniversaries||Armed Forces Day|
|Brigader General Umar Thomas Musa|
The Presidential Guard 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.
History and Mission
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. 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.
In 2010, the brigade clandestinely escorted President Umaru Yar'Adua as he returned to Nigeria shortly before his death.  This operation lead to significant controversy over the area of responsibility and chain of command within the brigade. 
The brigade fired a 21 gun salute during the swearing in ceremony of Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2015. The brigade currently protects the residence of the President and his guests, as well as perform ceremonial duties. 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.
Allegations of massacres
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.
- "The permanent nucleus of what is now known as the Brigade of Guards of the Nigerian Army was formed in September 1962 as the Federal Guards for the purpose of carrying out ceremonial and security duties in Lagos similar to the role of the British Guards regiments in London". http://www.gamji.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31. External link in
- How an elite Nigerian Unit killed dozens of protesters, The New York Times