Some overstayed soldiers in the North-East region have lamented the failure of the Nigerian Army to rotate them to other areas over their refusal to give alleged bribes.
The affected soldiers who spoke with SaharaReporters on condition of anonymity explained that they had been deployed to the North-East’s theatre of war since 2016 and expected that their names would be included for rotation.
SaharaReporters earlier reported today that the Nigerian Army released over 2,300 names of personnel deployed to the region since 2016 for possible rotation according to military procedures to avoid lethargy and depression.
But speaking with SaharaReporters, 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 appeared on the list of overstayed soldiers while some of those who had been mobilised since 2016 could not find their names on the list.
One of them told SaharaReporters that some of the commanders refused to submit their names for rotation because of their “refusal to pay money.”
He said, “This thing happened last year (2021). Some people’s names were not on the promotion list just because they refused to pay. Look at 5 Brigade, Damasak; they have done it again. The Nigerian Army released the names of overstayed soldiers and names of some people who got here since 2016 are missing.
“People who have stayed here for over four, five years; their names are not on the list. 17 and 16 NA are people that since 2017 and 2016 were just trained from Depot, taken to battlefield; 16 NA and 17 NA have been on the battlefield since 2016 and 2017 respectively.
”We were just trained like mercenaries without no unit, half of us have died. Those of us that are still alive and our names are not on the list of overstayed soldiers and we are the most affected personnel in Borno. It’s over four years since we’ve been here. Our names have not appeared because we refused to pay money. We are calling on Chief of Army Staff and Mr President to come to our aid.”
Another soldier confirmed the allegation, saying most of the soldiers under 5 Brigade and 145 Battalion were overstayed soldiers who ought to be considered first considering the number of years they had spent in the region.
He, however, said their refusal to pay for redeployment had delayed them over the years as the same thing happened in 2021.
He said: “All the soldiers under 5 brigade/145 battalion, no name on the list because we refused to pay money.
“Some of the people on the list got here in 2019, 2018, 2017, they were posted directly from training; they pushed them here without any knowledge of Army. What offence have we committed? What offence have 5 brigade soldiers committed that they’ve decided to punish us?
“We are calling on the Chief of Army Staff to investigate this matter to know the offence we have committed that 5 brigades and 145 battalion overstayed soldiers didn’t appear in this list? “They also refused to promote some people last year because they refused to pay money. They refused to submit our names to the army to rotate us because we refused to pay. Just like a joke, the signal appeared and none of our names is on the list of overstayed soldiers.”
The Nigerian Army has yet to react to the issues raised by the soldiers.