The Nigerian Army on Tuesday said it would not reabsorb the 250 soldiers dismissed last week for failing to join their colleagues posted to the north east.
The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, said the soldiers were dismissed over gross acts of indiscipline, cowardice, and absence without leave.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has also been drawn to a set of 250 protesting dismissed soldiers in Nigerian Union of journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, Kaduna, pleading through the media to be reabsorbed back again into the Nigerian Army,” Mr. Usman, a colonel, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“They were part of the 2,023 dismissed soldiers last year that were earlier reinstated back into the Service by the present Chief of Army Staff. However these set of soldiers (the 250) absconded for more than one week when they were told that they were to move to North East on the 6th of January 2016.
“They started coming back when they realised that others were moved to units other than the theatre of operations in the North East. Please note that all efforts were made to make all the reinstated soldiers comfortable and integrate them back into the system.
“The protesting soldiers are the few who are recalcitrant to military duties and discipline. They are simply not interested in army job but want to earn salary. No one should listen to them as they are not patriotic at all.”
Mr. Usman said the army had been tolerant with the soldiers’ acts of indiscipline and unprofessional conduct.
“This was based on the understanding of their circumstances and conditions,” he said.
“Efforts have been made to retrain them, integrate and give them sense of belonging. However the attitude of some of them has left so much to be desired and would not be tolerated anymore hence their dismissal from Service.”
The army said it arrested two soldiers at Yola park last Sunday with unauthorized military items.
“Two of our Explosive Ordinance Device personnel attached to 143 Battalion, 13NA/ 70/10183 Sapper Eric Nwokorie and 13NA/70/10263 Sapper Macauley Fortune were arrested at Yola park with the following unauthorised military items:
“1 Smoke grenade, 2,136 live rounds of 7.62 (Special) ammunition, 50 live rounds of 7.6mm (NATO) ammunition, 5 magazines of AK 47 rifles, 2 Browning Machine Gun live rounds of ammunitions. Others include, 1 Axe, 1 Cutlass, 1 Jack knife, 9 Jungle hats, 11 pairs of Camouflage (9 Desert and 3 woodland green), 4 Military Pullovers, 1 Black beret, 1 Green beret, 1 Pair of number 7 dress, 2 General Duty belt, 12 Army T-shirts, 2 Rain Coats, 2 Water bottles, 1 Pairs of Rain boot and 5 Pairs of Desert boots.
“This unfortunate incident notwithstanding, troops morale remains high as they continue to dominate the general area with aggressive raids, ambushes and patrols to clear the remnants of the terrorists hibernating in the area.”