At least 356 soldiers fighting the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s North-East have written the country’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, seeking voluntary retirement over "loss of interest".
The soldiers in a letter with reference number NA/COAS/001, quoting the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/rating/airmen (Revised) 2017, asked for approval to leave the Nigeria Army due to low morale.
SaharaReporters had extensively reported how Nigerian troops suffer mass casualty in the hands of Boko Haram terrorists due to lack of a robust intelligence apparatus and also lack of equipment.
Some soldiers said this is further compounded by poor welfare for them and their families by the army.
In June, SaharaReporters exclusively reported how a soldier and three others were abducted at a checkpoint before Gasarwa Village, about 40 kilometers from Monguno Local Government Area in Borno State.
The soldier and policeman, who was executed in a video a day after their abduction, spoke about their identity before their gruesome killing.
The Nigerian Army has not commented on the executions to this day.
The Nigerian Army also recently arrested a soldier, Lance Corporal Martins, after he appeared in a video blasting the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and other security chiefs in the country for abandoning troops on the war front.
The soldier was arrested on the orders of Buratai, sources revealed to SaharaReporters.
Meanwhile, Buratai has approved the disengagement of the 356 soldiers in a 17-page circular with reference number AHQ DOAA/G1/300/92.
He said, “In compliance with the provisions of Reference A, the COAS vide Reference B has approved the voluntary and medical discharge of the above named MWO, and 385 others listed as Annexes A and B.
“The soldiers are to proceed on terminal leave December 3, 2020, while their disengagement date takes effect from January 3, 2021, in accordance with the Nigerian Army Administrative Policy and Procedures No 27 Paragraphs 3 and 4. Accordingly, I am directed to request formations and units to release all affected soldiers to report at the Headquarters, Garrison, with their unit service documents for documentation.
“All forms of military-controlled items, arms, ammunition, and items of combat kits are recovered from the soldiers prior to their disengagement date and certify that they are properly de-kitted. Please acknowledge.”