Home View Point THE IRONY OF SOLDIERS’ PROTEST AGAINST A SITTING GOVERNMENT

THE IRONY OF SOLDIERS’ PROTEST AGAINST A SITTING GOVERNMENT

403
0
SHARE

                                                                                                    By Orji Jeffery

In the last few months, we are all living witnesses to all kinds of news. One bombshell news today and another catastrophe tomorrow in Nigeria. The volume of conflicts, wars, violence, destruction of lives and properties and general insecurity are overwhelming. There seem to be no good news from anywhere. The fears arising from the news is not a good tonic for anyone alive. It has been life with tears in the Middle East, Nigeria as so many people have been confined to life in the IDPS for no reason of theirs.  

Yes, the state has an onerous duty of protecting the life and property of its citizens. This underscored promise is only achievable by the support of the security operatives of such nation. Obviously, if there is no trust among the security institutions, this top priority promise will become a sugar candy story.

In the case of herdsmen and boko haram, especially the later mentioned Nigerian soldiers seem exhausted after nine years of conflict even as President Muhammadu Buhari, a former general, promised to end the Boko Haram conflict when he came to power in 2015.

According to reports flooded all over the media places, some soldiers who survived the attack by Boko Haram on the military formation in Metele, sent an SOS to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to probe the quality of weapons procured by the military authorities. The soldiers appealed to President Buhari repeatedly to intervene to save the situation from deteriorating.

In a video sent to journalists in Maiduguri, the soldiers accused the military authorities of providing them with obsolete weapons, which they said are grossly inadequate to effectively confront the insurgents in the ongoing counter insurgency campaign in the Northeast and save them from further avoidable deaths.

In the video, two soldiers, who claimed to be among the survivors of the attack, narrated the precarious condition of the troops and obsolete equipment which made it difficult for them to repel the insurgents’ attack. The video footage showed the level of destruction of military equipment and makeshift shelters, while soldiers were seen packing their luggages, apparently preparing to leave the camp.

In another stage of protest, another the soldier who accused President Buhari of not doing his job, alleged that Buratai and the Nigerian Army Generals were corrupt.

He said: “These people (Boko Haram) are killing us. Nigerian Army…no weapon, nothing. See the weapon they brought here, these ones are not working. These are outdated vehicles, they are not working.

“They just kept us here for formality…just to discourage us in the name of encouragement. They are not giving us anything. Imagine, a soldier is in the war front, no helmets, no jackets. No enough ammunition to help himself in this situation.

“We are not going to take this again. It is enough. Enough is enough. Yes, we die, they kill us but we are fighting to defend our country.

“The Generals are cheating us. It is time for the Generals to stop all these things, Nigeria will hear this. This situation is getting worse, these people are not helping us.

“Mr President it’s like you’re not doing your work. What is the meaning of this? We are crying, we are dying. Our families are there, at the end of the day, they will not get or gain anything. What is the use of the job?

“And they are there calling themselves Generals, they are eating money.

At this point a soldier joins the protest, while the recorder continues: “30 people died here (earlier) and no less than 100 soldiers died in the last attack. Many missing in action, nowhere to be found. All the money federal government gave them to buy weapons… Nigerian Army is buying INNOSON…. All these are obsolete… Oyinbo came here and said they are obsolete. All these weapons were bought during the Shagari regime in 1983… They have turned us to business…. Federal Government you will hear about it.

“Government, Buratai you are cheating us, you are killing us. We are not going to take it, it’s enough”, he fumed.

The  Nigeria Army on Friday,  confirmed on its Twitter handle  the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele, on November 18 by Boko Haram insurgents.

However, the military authorities response, which came five days after, was short on details and the extent of casualties.

The army said that it has laid down procedures for reporting incidents that involve its personnel who become casualties in action, as a form of  respect to the families of the gallant troops.

In his reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed deep shock over the killing of military personnel in Metele village by Boko Haram terrorists.

He gave an assurance that immediate measures are being taken to ensure that the loopholes which led to the fatalities are blocked once and for all.

Reacting to the tragic incident, the President said that his administration remains ever committed and focused on the security of military personnel and other citizens.

According to President Buhari, “No responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of its military personnel and other citizens.

Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists and we are ready to give them all the needed support in terms of equipment and manpower to succeed in ending the renewed threat.

In the coming days, I am engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”

The President noted that fighting terrorism has taken a global dimension, which necessitates international collaboration among states facing similar security challenges.

President Buhari reassured Nigerians of his continued commitment to their security and of his efforts to sustain the momentum in the previous significant successes recorded against the terrorists.

He however advised Nigerians against making political capital out of national tragedies, stressing that members of the armed forces are one family who are commonly committed to the security and safety of all Nigerians.

Recently in another development, Buhari, speaking during a live programme aired on NTA tagged ‘The Candidates run’, said soldiers. no matter the condition should not protest.

The president noted that those soldiers caught protesting will be court-martialed.

He said:” I get situation report from the military. The military should investigate the demonstrations because they are not supposed to demonstrate.

“It is wrong for soldiers to hold protests, as they will be court Martialed because the system is working. The president, however, accepted that the soldiers have resource limitations, unlike Boko Haram insurgents who receive help from external forces.

The news piece is a total national embarrassment for Nigeria as a country. The irony here is that, protesting soldiers will not give in their best if the situation that led to their protest is not revisited properly. Again, these series of protest reveals the insincerity in the military. And all these put together proves that Nigerian security operatives are yet to face the dangerous music of boko haram terrorists squally.