The Nigerian Army has sacked 300 soldiers from its ranks for deserting the army’s operations against Boko Haram in Nigeria’s Northeast.
According to a report by Punch, most of the men were accused of going away without leave, certificate forgery, age fraud, as well as inconsistencies in their Bank verification numbers (BVN) and were dismissed by their unit commands between 2015 and 2016.
The report stated further that at least 24 soldiers from the 118 Task Force Battallion, Kaura Cross, Baga, were dismissed from the Army in December of 2015 for refusing to board an articulated truck from Maimalari cantonment to Baga where Governor Zulum of Borno State was attacked a few days ago.
The men trekked to the battle front at Baga for five days. When they arrived, they were dismissed from the Army for desertion by their Commanding Officer, Colonel S. Omolori.
By January of 2016, Colonel Omolori dismissed a further 54 soldiers from his unit for alleged desertion. During the same period, 45 soldiers of the 157 Battallion were dismissed for going AWOL.
On February 28, 2016, 24 Soldiers were expelled from the Army while 30 newly graduated privates were dismissed for certificate fraud, inconsistencies in BVN and age falsification.
Some of the affected soldiers protested against their dismisal from the army, and wrote a petition to Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai to absorb them back into the Army, citing extreme high handedness exhibited by their unit commanders.
They alleged that rather than command troops effectively to flush out Boko Haram, the unit commanders were venting their frustration on ordinary soldiers.
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