Friday, 3 August 2018

Adventure at its best, inside the West African Frontier Force (WAFF) Armoury, U need to visit here

Inside the Armoury

This is most amazing, still standing on mount Brabakani in Okuta Kingdom in Kwara state, is this tourist delight, an armoury belonging to the West African Frontier Force (WAFF). The force was a substantial military force, a multi-battalion field force, formed by the British Colonial Office in 1900 to garrison the West African colonies of Nigeria, Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Gambia. In 1928,it became known as the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF). 

Climbing through the bush to mount Brabakani in Okuta

The need for the creation of WAFF in 1897 by Britain was to prevent the French colonial expansion in territories bordering on Northern Nigeria. Frederick Lugard who later became the first Governor General was in charge of the recruitment of the force.

Climbing mount Brabakani in Okuta

The rivalry between Britain and France for control of the trade on the River Niger led to the occupation of areas by the French and the stationing of the Frontier Force at Yashikera, Okuta and others.

My son and able photo personality inside the Armoury 

By 1908, the WAFF in Northern Nigeria comprised two battalions of infantry, two batteries of artillery and one company of engineers. The infantry battalions at that time had an establishment of 1,200 men, the artillery batteries had 175 men and there were 46 engineers.

Outside the Armoury

There were 217 British officers, non-commissioned officers and specialists. Mounted infantry detachments were subsequently raised. The standard weapon was the .303 Martini-Enfield carbine, and the force had 30 QF 2.95 inch mountain guns (quick-firing, man-portable pack howitzers) for the artillery.

wider view of the Armoury

One of those battalion was stationed on the top of this mountain and their weapons were stored there, just be the borderline of what use to be the Republic of Dahomy and presently Benin Republic. 

Closer look at the stones used in forming the Armoury

Though, RWAFF was finally disbanded in 1960 as the British colonies of Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia moved towards independence and the former RWAFF units formed the basis of the new national armies of their respective states. 

The remains of the fence protecting the mount Brabakani in Okuta Kingdom,
 the Armoury is on the mountain 

The Armoury is still standing and it is a delight to visit with so much history attached to it.

A central view of Mount Brabakani in Okuta Kingdom
Standing by the grave side of a Medical Surgeon and a captain of WAFF, Captain Corcoram
one of the British Instructors of WAFF at mount Brabakani 

Descending Mount Brabakani  in Okuta Kingdom 

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