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Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria

Crisis Group Role

Nnamdi Obasi is Crisis Group’s Nigeria Senior Adviser. He first worked with Crisis Group from 2006 to 2010, then returned to the organisation in 2013. Working under Crisis Group’s West Africa Project, he leads Crisis Group’s research, policy prescriptions and advocacy in Nigeria.

Areas of Expertise

Nnamdi has worked on Nigeria’s security and governance challenges for virtually all his working life. For Crisis Group, he has researched and written on:

  • Militancy and violence in the Niger Delta
  • Boko Haram insurgency
  • Herder-farmer violence in central Nigeria
  • Shi’ite-government tensions
  • Biafra separatist agitation
  • Election violence
  • Military reform

Professional Background

Before joining Crisis Group in 2006, he was Senior Research Fellow and later Head of Department of Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs at the Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, National Defence College, Abuja. Between 1984 and 1994, he worked as a journalist on the editorial board of Concord Newspapers in Lagos, then the largest-selling newspaper in sub-Saharan Africa.

He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Demography and Social Statistics from Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife) in Nigeria. He also holds a Certificate in Facilitation of Peacekeeping Training from Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana.

Select Publications

Obasi has authored two books: Ethnic Militias, Vigilantes and Separatist Groups in Nigeria (2002) and Small Arms Proliferation and Disarmament in West Africa (2002). He has also contributed to several books and peer-reviewed publications on conflicts, peace operations, small arms and organised crime in West Africa. He is frequently interviewed by Nigerian and international media, and regularly consulted by international organisations working on Nigeria.


  • English (fluent)
  • Ibo (native)

In The News

5 Jul 2021
The persistent targeting of schools in [Kaduna] suggests the armed groups may be trying to break the state government’s resolve not to pay ransom to criminal groups. The Guardian

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
3 May 2021
Déby’s death is certainly a hard blow to the multinational efforts for both security and development cooperation in the Lake Chad region. The Africa Report

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
16 Mar 2021
The [Nigerian] military [has] yet to achieve decisive results against the insurgents in the northeast and various armed groups in the northwest. Al Jazeera

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
1 Mar 2021
Les gouverneurs locaux [au Nigéria] insistent pour dire qu’aucune rançon n’a jamais été versée, mais c’est très difficile à croire. Le Monde Afrique

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
28 May 2019
Massive unemployment [in Nigeria] has created a growing army of unemployed youth, vulnerable to recruitment in the criminal industry. BBC

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
3 Oct 2018
The fact that some of the recent attacks [in Nigeria] specifically targeted military bases shows they were deliberate, not opportunistic. Bloomberg

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria

Latest Updates

Q&A / Africa

Halting Repeated School Kidnappings in Nigeria

Gunmen snatched more than 270 girls from a boarding school in north-western Nigeria on 26 February, releasing them four days later. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Nnamdi Obasi looks at why the authorities are struggling to prevent these mass kidnappings.

Q&A / Africa

Winning Back Trust in Nigeria’s Rescheduled Elections

Only hours before polls were to open, Nigeria’s electoral commission postponed elections scheduled for 16 February by one week. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Nigeria expert Nnamdi Obasi says the commission and other authorities must act now to win back trust and reduce risks of violence.

Op-Ed / Africa

Nigeria: How To Solve A Problem Like Biafra

Many Igbo feel politically and economically marginalised, and the government’s hardline stance is not helping.

Originally published in African Arguments