The Nigerian Army has released names of overstayed soldiers that have been in the North-East theatre of operation since 2016, particularly those under the counterinsurgency operation, Hadin Kai.
In documents obtained by SaharaReporters, the military listed names of over 2,371 soldiers who have been deployed to the area since 2016, 2017 and in later years, who are yet to be rotated from the North-East area.
The document was titled, “OP HADIN KAI - Additional Nominal Roll Of 16NA/17NA and overstayed soldiers in the theatre of OPHK yet to be rotated 90NA/29/0526 MWO Augustine Offum and 2,370 Others.”
It was signed on January 2, 2022 by Col TA Ayoola for the Theatre Commander.
The document reads: “Reference A requested for Nominal Rolls of overstayed soldiers as well as 16NA and 17NA Soldiers that are yet to be rotated in OPHK. Consequently, I am directed to forward additional list of soldiers as contained at Annexes A and B as received vide References B-C for your perusal and further action. Please acknowledge.
“Nominal Roll of Overstayed Soldiers yet to be Rotated. Nominal Roll of 16NA and 17NA Soldiers yet to be Rotated.”
There have been allegations of corruption in the Nigerian Army which are said to be responsible for the issue of overstayed soldiers in the North-East.
According to some soldiers, the Nigerian Army is symbolic of deep-seated corruption, affecting the prosecution of the North-East anti-terrorism war.
The development has led to some soldiers fleeing the region over fear of attack by the insurgents. In some cases, the soldiers blame their actions on the lack of arms and ammunition with which to fight the terrorists.
In March 2021, over 101 soldiers fled Boko Haram terrorists attack in New Marte and Dikwa towns near Maiduguri in Borno State, over alleged inadequate provision of arms and ammunition.
SaharaReporters had reported at the time that the soldiers absconded from duty after insurgents attacked their camps, leaving scores of their colleagues dead.
In December 2014, an army court sentenced 54 soldiers to death for refusing to fight Boko Haram terrorists.
The soldiers were charged with mutiny and cowardice after they refused orders in August 2014 to help retake three towns held by the Islamist militants in Borno.
SaharaReporters had extensively reported how Nigerian troops suffered mass casualty in the hands of Boko Haram terrorists due to lack of a robust intelligence apparatus and also lack of equipment.
The Nigerian Army has repeatedly claimed that insurgency had been largely defeated and frequently underplays any losses.
The terror group has caused over 100,000 deaths and displaced millions of individuals mainly in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.