Military probes troops 'revolt'

By The Rainbow
Military probes troops ‘revolt’
Military probes troops ‘revolt’

The military moved fast yesterday to probe the alleged revolt by some soldiers against deployment to fight Boko Haram.

Various units of the army have been ordered to take the roll call of troops to fish out  the rebellious ones.

But, the Defence Headquarters yesterday said the allegation of a revolt was remote.

A former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), advised the military to address the causes of revolt.

According to a source, some army units, especially in the Northeast, have been directed to take the roll of soldiers to fish out rebellious ones.

It was gathered that the Army took the decision following report that a group of soldiers refused posting to some parts of Borno State.

The said group of soldiers was alleged to have rejected deployment to Gwoza and Dalwa Village in Damboa.

But a source in the military yesterday said although the likelihood of refusal of posting was remote, the Army Units in the area had been ordered to take the roll call of soldiers.

The source said: “The Army units have been ordered to take a roll of the troops either on the fields or in the barracks to verify if there was any group of soldiers refusing posting. We will certainly get to the root of this.

“This is a well-organised army which can detect any unruly soldiers or deserters in record time.

“We are suspecting that this may be an attempt to ridicule the Nigerian Army by some forces. As at the time they said the group of soldiers turned down posting, there was no operation going on in the said area.

“When we reclaimed Damboa and shifted operation to Gwoza, we informed Nigerians on the mileage the troops gained over Boko Haram insurgents. We do not have a weak army as being alleged.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “This allegation might be the outcome of all the activism and criticisms against the military. And if the nation's military is decimated or undermined, everybody will be worse for it.”

The Director of Defence Information, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “The allegation of soldiers refusing deployment is very unlikely to be true. If it is true that anyone  spoke with a foreign medium as a soldier, he must be a deserter.

“So far, we consider the purported soldier who raised the alarm as  faceless and someone out to cause disaffection.”

To Col. Dangiwa Umar, the military should not gloss over the “revolt”.

Col. Umar, who made his views known in a statement, said it was time to check imminent service-wide revolt.

He said: “One is worried by the news of our soldiers' revolt in the theatre of war, which the Northeastern part of Nigeria has become. There is the need to stem this tide by addressing the causal factors of this unprofessional conduct.

“And these factors range from :one, the dubious recruitment method. Two, poor training and equipment. Three, lack of motivation. Four, civilianisation of the military. For example, soldiers being deployed on purely police duty e.g. checkpoints at which they are seen soliciting and receiving bribe. Such soldiers cannot be expected to fight in a war .

“We should also note that more than 20 per cent of our soldiers or our military personnel are currently being deployed as aides and guards to people who are not entitled to such services.

“These are the factors that must be addressed if we are to forestall the tide of imminent service-wide revolt by our personnel.”