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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, and returned to the organisation in 2013. Working under Crisis Group’s West Africa Project, he leads the organisation’s research, policy prescriptions and advocacy on conflicts, insecurity, politics and peace efforts in Nigeria.

Areas of Expertise

  • Conflicts, security and rule of law in Nigeria
  • Small arms and non-state armed groups in Nigeria
  • Organised crime and maritime security in Niger Delta
  • Nigeria’s domestic politics

Professional Background

Nnamdi has worked on security, politics and public policy issues in Nigeria for most of his working life. Before joining Crisis Group in 2006, he was a Senior Research Fellow and later the Head of Department of Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs at the Centre for Strategic Studies and Research of the National Defence College in Abuja. Between 1984 and 1994, he worked as a journalist for 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 the 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 research projects and peer-reviewed publications on conflicts, peace operations, small arms and organised crime in West Africa. He is frequently interviewed by the Nigerian and international media (including BBC, CNN, AFP, Al Jazeera and Deutsche Welle), and regularly consulted by international organisations based in Nigeria.


  • English (fluent)
  • Ibo (native)

In The News

12 Dec 2017
In the last five years we've had a huge increase in the number of incidents [in Nigeria], the number of casualties and the bitterness that goes with it. In many areas it's like a no man's land. NPR

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
21 Nov 2017
The [Mosque Bomb] attack [in Nigeria] underscores the fact that Boko Haram is not yet defeated and poses a serious challenge to security, as well as to humanitarian and reconstruction efforts. Bloomberg

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
9 Oct 2017
The decision to start the trials [in Nigeria of more than 1,600 people suspected of ties with Boko Haram] is a response to persistent complaints by local and international human rights groups over thousands of [detained] persons. Reuters

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
14 Sep 2017
[The Nigerian government] needs to reverse the bad governance, economic desperation and social hopelessness that push so many youths to radical ideologues. Bloomberg

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
4 Sep 2017
[The youth in Nigeria's Maiduguri] formed vigilante groups so they could isolate and eliminate Boko Haram members and also demonstrate they were not complicit in the group's attacks and atrocities. BBC

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
20 Aug 2017
The biggest challenge [for President Buhari] would be to calm nerves and curb divisions, to rally Nigerians around a common vision for the country and bring some urgency towards pursuing that vision. Bloomberg

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria

Latest Updates

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

Commentary / Africa

Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram Off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge

The peaceful election in March 2015 of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing security problems could soon be tamed. One year later, the new government has struck at the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency. But Nigeria is sliding deeper into other difficulties.