Army screens, recalls dismissed soldiers
Major General Tukur Buratai, Nigeria’s Chief of Army staff
Many soldiers who were earlier dismissed from the Nigerian Army for refusing to fight have been recalled and are currently being screened at the Jaji military cantonment in Kaduna State, our correspondent gathered yesterday.
While some soldiers were sentenced to death, others were dismissed by military court martials for their refusal to fight Boko Haram militants. But the soldiers said they were not provided the right combat equipment to fight the terrorists.
Our correspondent gathered in Kaduna that the screening, which is going on at the outskirts of the cantonment, is housing over 3,000 soldiers awaiting determination by a committee from the army headquarters.
“The soldiers are all there in Jaji cantonment awaiting their turns to be screened by the committee and whoever scales through might be recalled. It was their prayer that if General Muhammadu Buhari becomes president, he might recall them. These soldiers are trained and it is very dangerous and wasteful if the federal government terminates their employments,” the source said.
One of the soldiers who pleaded anonymity, insisted that the army authorities refused to provide adequate arms and ammunition to fight the insurgents.
“I am a corporal and I have served in the Nigerian Army for the past 28 years, I have served in Bama and Baga, what I saw there was a very bad situation, we were sent there to fight insurgents without weapons and ammunition, can you imagine, a small boy of 15 to 18 years will pursue a soldier and the soldier would run away simply because the he does not have the machines that the boy has, only for the army authorities to say they were dismissing us because we refused to fight Boko Haram.
“Nigerian soldiers are among the best around the world, the only problem we have is that they are not equipped with the equipment needed to combat the terrorists but we have the means and resources to do that”, he added.
Efforts to get the reaction of the army authorities before press time were futile.