About 100 soldiers are currently facing trial For exhibiting acts of cowardice and failing to resume at their new duty posts.
According to reports, the Nigerian military has constituted to try over 100 soldiers for disobeying deployment directives in Maiduguri.
The soldiers were among several hundred troops being deployed from the army’s 7th Division in Maiduguri to locations in Damboa and Gwoza for major operations planned to significantly rout the extremist Boko Haram sect from the areas.
Military insiders told our friends at Premium timesthus:
“But as we were about to depart, some of the soldiers began to behave funny,” a witness said. “They were acting in ways that were delaying the movement. This was a movement that had been timed and we had to arrive locations at a time that should coincide with other operational arrangements. And then these guys were slowing us down.”
The witness said at a point, the commander of the troop became fed up with the antics of the “lazy soldiers” and he immediately ordered that they be disarmed, stripped of their uniforms and dropped from the operation.
The rest of the detachment then continued the journey, our sources said.
Other witnesses corroborated these disclosures.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, [an Air Marshall] the Chief of Army Staff, Kenneth Minimah [a Lieutenant General], as well as other service chiefs have been briefed on the development.
The military chiefs, insiders say, have since ordered the arrest, interrogation and court-martial of the erring soldiers, some of whom are said to have gone into hiding.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Defence Headquarters, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, said he was yet to be briefed on the matter.
He however said, “Military personnel should be reminded that persons subject to military law risks death if found liable for refusing or inciting failure to perform military duties against the enemy in the course of the ongoing military operation.”
Mr. Olukolade said any soldier or officer who fails to perform military duties or deserts his duty post risks dire consequences.
“The military is a disciplined organization and we do not have room for indiscretions. Anyone who disobeys deployment directive or deserts his duty posts would be made to face due justice.
“Indeed such deserters would be considered to have done evil similar to what terrorists are doing against the nation’s security. Act of cowardice and related indiscipline will not be condoned in the Nigerian armed forces.
“While efforts are ongoing to improve on the available stock of weapons and equipment, no soldier or officer has been assigned to any duty without being duly armed.
“Any soldier who subscribes to the excuse being peddled by some indiscipline ones would have himself to blame.
“Soldiers are therefore warned that anyone who allows himself to be misled by enemies of the nation who have been trying to incite mutiny by various methods would face appropriate legal actions without any form of sentiment.”