Nigerian Army confirms resignation of 356 soldiers

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has approved the resignation of at least 356 Nigerian soldiers, the army has confirmed.

Nigeria Army
According report, All 356 soldiers are from the North-East and other theaters of operation and they were granted voluntary disengagement as contained in a 17-page circular from Buratai, AHQ DOAA/G1/300/92, signed by Brig Gen T.E. Gagariga for the army chief and obtained by our correspondent on Saturday.

Reports revealed that the soldiers, who wrote to the army chief on July 3, 2020, under Reference NA/COAS/001, quoting the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/rating/airmen (Revised) 2017, cited “loss of interest” as their reason for disengagement.

Also, the document was copied to Headquarters, Theater Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Borno State, the Headquarters of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 81, and 82 Divisions of the Nigerian Army and other formations.

Military sources attributed the soldiers' resignation to loss of morale, poor weapons, unimproved allowances and the continuous loss of soldiers to Boko Haram attacks.

Since the beginning of 2020, the Nigerian Army has lost more than 50 soldiers due to Boko Haram onslaughts on military locations in the North-East

In March 50 soldiers were killed in Gorigi near Allargano Forest area and the Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.

In May, an insurgent attack on an army location belonging to the 156 Battalion in the Mainok area claimed the lives of five soldiers.

In June, the Boko Haram terrorists became emboldened and shot dead an acting Commanding Officer of the army, Major K. Yakubu, during a gun battle in the Doron Naira and Magaji areas of Borno State.

The late CO, who was in charge of 401 Special Forces Brigade, also lost some of his troops in the terrorist attack.

The 356 soldiers who applied for voluntary retirement citing loss of interest are Master Warrant Officers, Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, Sergeants, Lance Corporals, Corporals and Privates.

The total number on the list of voluntary disengagement is 380; while 356 cited loss of interest, 24 cited “to take a traditional title.”

Writing on behalf of the army chief, Buratai, in the document, Gagariga 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.”

A military source said the mass disengagement was indicative of the general discontentment in the army, and against the leaders.

Soldiers in recent times have also appeared in viral videos complaining about the poor quality of their fighting equipment in the North-East and how the Boko Haram terrorists are able to attack and kill troops due to alleged insiders’ connivance.

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