The victim, Murtala, was one of the soldiers who ought to have been promoted and redeployed away from the bush.
Some soldiers in the Nigerian Army have lamented the death of their colleague who was killed by Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists during a clash with troops of the 149 Task Force Battalion in Gubio, Borno State.
The 149 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force on Thursday killed an unspecified number of insurgents but the soldier also lost his life.
According to the soldiers, the victim, Murtala, was one of the soldiers who ought to have been promoted and redeployed away from the bush but for the politics in the Nigerian Army.
One of the soldiers said, “Murtala, the soldier that was killed by Boko Haram, was one of the soldiers who were taken from depot to the battlefield since 2017 without a unit. By now, he should have been redeployed, at least by 2021, he ought to have left this place.
“Imagine, he had spent 5 years plus in this bush, but the army said that was not enough, that he should remain in the field till he died. This is simply unfair.”
Another soldier retorted, “Let Nigerian Army generals come and stay in this bush for one week, I'm not talking about Maiduguri town. After five years in the horrible bush, the army refused to transfer this soldier and also refused to promote him for his hard work.
“Murtala was one of those soldiers the Nigerian Army refused to promote despite being due for a new rank. What the Nigerian Army did was to send fake signals that all North-East soldiers who didn't get promoted should be promoted but till now, nothing has been done about that. I feel so bad about his death. This man is one of coolest soldiers in 149BN Gubio."
There have been allegations of corruption in the Nigerian Army which are said to be responsible for the issue – soldiers overstaying in the North-East.
According to some soldiers, the Nigerian Army is the epitome of deep-seated corruption, affecting the prosecution of the North-East anti-terrorism war.
In January, the Nigerian Army released the names of over 2, 000 soldiers who were to be redeployed and some soldiers alleged that they were not rotated to other areas over their refusal to give bribes.
Speaking with SaharaReporters at the time, some soldiers alleged that there was misconduct in the Nigerian Army as some of the soldiers, who had come at a later time, including those mobilised to the area in 2019, still made the list of overstayed soldiers while some of those who had been mobilised since 2016 could not find their names on the list.
They claimed that some of the commanders refused to submit their names for rotation because of their “refusal to pay money.”