Boko Haram: Nigerian soldiers’ wives maintain blockade, insist husbands won’t fight until well armed

The wives and children of soldiers at the Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, have maintained their blockade of the barracks 48 hours after they started.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported on how dozens of women and children have since Saturday forcefully stopped military trucks from transporting their husbands and fathers to Gwoza. The protesters blocked the gates of the barracks that houses the 21 Armoured brigade of the Nigerian army. They demanded quality fighting equipment for the soldiers.

By Monday morning, the protesters were still at the gates, ensuring that no vehicle moves in or outside the barracks. They were said to have taken a short break during the nights, but resumed before dawn.

The authorities at the barracks were said to have reversed the orders to deploy the soldiers to Gwoza, which was taken over by the Boo Haram last week, as they did not want to arm the protesters.

Soldiers who moved in and out of the barracks did so on foot without rifles or vehicles.

A soldier who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri said “there was a stand down order on the deployment of troops to Gwoza from Giwa Barracks. So we are watching for now; the women really tried and we expect the ogas (superiors) to start thinking better arms for us, or no deployment “.

Two separate attempts by the military to retake Gwoza have been repelled by the insurgents leading to the death of several soldiers including a senior officer believed to be a Colonel.

Over a hundred people were killed by the insurgents in Gwoza last week until they finally took control of the town and mounted their flag. The Boko Haram virtually burnt down the town including major buildings like the police station, local government headquarters, and the emir’s palace.

Some of the surviving residents are believed to be trapped on the mountains that link Gwoza to Cameroon.

On Saturday, hundreds of survivors from Gwoza, who managed to find their way to Maiduguri, joined hundreds of others including families of those killed to embark on a protest in the Borno capital. They accused the federal and state governments of abandoning Gwoza residents and threatened to go join Cameroon so as to secure their lives from the insurgents.

The military is yet to make an official statement on the protest by the wives of the soldiers at the Giwa barracks, particularly on their demand that their husbands be well armed and equipped before being sent to the war front.

The military had in the last week retaken some other communities including Damboa from the Boko Haram, whose activities have led to the death of over 13,000 people since 2009.


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  • 2015 president

    I sorry for Nigeria ,when will this nightmare ends ?

    • TRUTH MASTER

      When Nigeria has a responsible and responsive government!

      • babs

        So what will be their benefit if they go to war with boko haram? ?To help in stealing your oil? You are confused. You need to see a psychologist to treat your disorder.

      • babs

        sorry, my comment below is meant for the confused Redeem, not you.

    • redeem

      Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigerian Legion has asked the Federal Government to allow them to assist in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.

      The Chairman of the Nigerian Legion in the state, Igirigi Effiong, said this in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Saturday shortly after the passing-out parade of Batch A Cadet OFFICERS of the Nigerian Legion Corps Commissionaires.

      The retired army officer noted that amongst the legionnaires were trained SECURITY men with tactical experience, who could be used at this trying moment of the country.

      Effiong said, “There are trained MILITARY officers and men of the military intelligence that can be of great importance to the security of Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.

      “Give a retired SOLDIER a conducive environment and he will perform excellently well”

      Efiong however regretted that both the Federal Government and the states were not being fair to the military retirees.

      The chairman complained bitterly about the non-payment of their 20 per cent salary increase arrears by the Federal Government despite the sacrifices they had made for the countr

  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    Men!

    I salute those women and children.

    They have a right to protest their bread winners being sent on suicide missions.

    It is one thing to be given a job, it is another to have the tool for the job.

    No matter what noises we make about budget implementations and scarce resources, there never seem to be a shortage when it comes to the emoluments of the executive and legislatives arms of government.

    Let our military be armed properly to face boko haram instead of being sent to the battle field as sacrificial lambs.

    • redeem

      Mumu @ wahala—————women have no say in the places their husbands are posted to serve-not on the lives of soldiers–they signed to marry–what about the soldiers of occupation in the niger delta–who claim to be fighting pirates———–they did not pledge to marry them based on the types of weapons they use- at the war front——or smuggle—crude oil—————–its only in Nigeria that we have such- politically motivated rubbish—when the body armor of US soldiers had trouble during the iraq war with Kuwait—-it was not the wives of the soldiers who reported the matter to the American senate-neither did we see them demonstrate against government-of the USA—-the wives of the soldiers can only do this rubbish—————-via the promptings of the janjaweeds in APC—————-in Borno state–i mean its shocking to see soldiers—wives act this way where are their commanders————no more discipline in the Nigerian armed forces—haba

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Long Ben, Roger More & redeem, I don’t blame you.

        If you had a military man in your families, i.e assuming these three avatars are not the same, you’d know the pain and anguish of these women.

        What care ppackage does the FGN have for these families after the loss of their loved ones? At most, a letter telling them to move out of offficial quarters after a couple of months following the demise of their loved ones

        • 247don007

          I don’t think they were force into the army. Instead of this shameful act, they should quit. Let those who are willing to defend the country be enlisted into the army.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Don, the young men and women of the military that I meet accept their duties with an almost uncanny equanimity, particularly when posted to Borno.

            They almost see it as a death sentence but still remain cheerful when setting off.

            They are the future of our country and it is heartbreaking to see them being sent off to almost certain death.

            These soldiers – boys and girls – are not afraid of their duties. It is only fair that they are given the tools to do their jobs correctly. Remember, their job is not one where, if you fail, you can correct your mistakes for later. The consequence for failure here is a horrible death.

            Why should they not be given a fighting chance? Please explain or justify that to me.

          • 247don007

            If any soldier is sure the equipment at his disposal isn’t good enough for his assignment, he should channel such complaint to the appropriate quarter. It is childish for any soldier to ask his wife who knew nothing about military gadgets to protest for him. Any soldier who asked his family to protest his deployment is a coward & not worth being in that uniform in the first place. My advice to such soldier is to quit.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            I have not read any report that indicated that it is the soldiers that asked their wives and children to protest on their behalf.

            Are you twisting known facts to reach your own conclusion or are you in possession of other facts unknown to the reading public?

          • 247don007

            I don’t have time for unreasonable argument. How could the wife of a soldier know that the gadgets provided her husband isn’t good enough except the husband mention it to her?

            Let me add this, not all our soldiers enrolled to fight for & protect the land. Most of them enlisted ‘cos of job scarcity. They don’t want to fight…all they need is the pay & benefit.

            I’m pretty sure those are the ones complaining of this and that. A true soldier will never complain inasmuch as he’s provided with a rifle & ammunition.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Don, I am amazed you are playing the role of an ostrich here!

            When even the common man on the streets in Nigeria is aware that our soldiers sent to fight boko haram is provided only with obsolete weapons and rationed ammunitions, you are here proclaiming the soldiers must have told their wives!! Such warped logics should not be regurgitated in the name of intelligent reasoning as you have done.

            From your repartee, you appear to have concluded that our soldiers are cowards who only enlisted for the profession because it is a “job”. Again, I am forced to comment that such crass sweeping statement cannot be made by someone who is compos mentis.

            Assuming that you are totally with your wherewithal, then it behoves you to avail the country with your boundless well of courage and join the army to fight the scourge of boko haram.

            People like you are the type that runs at the sound of automobiles backfiring, but displays “unlimited valour ” with the verbosity of your mouth! I am done with you.

          • 247don007

            Continue to play the devil’s advocate…it won’t change the truth. We have a bunch of coward soldier who are only in the army for a job. Am also done with you.

      • kick ’em out

        Chai! But some women have places in ASo Rock Villa where they display their ignorance, dumbness and comedy act on National TV. Well Deris god ooooo! god oooo!! god oooooo!!!

    • longben

      My friend, there is something called “esprit de corps” in all armed forces of the world. Hiding inside the wrapper of your wife or the school uniform of your child is not excusable under any circumstances! If all our troops in the SOE areas were to run-away from duty, what do you think will happen to Nigeria?

      If every army in the world should be giving all the equipments that they desire and maybe a generous helping of hamburgers and doughnuts as take-aways before going to war, then maybe Hitler would still be the “fuhrer” of Germany till today. There is nothing and i mean absolutely nothing that boko haram has that the Nigerian army does not have a thousand-fold. Cowardice under whatever guise is COWARDICE. Those soldier are COWARDS. Burukutu for mammy market don spoil them!

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Longben, espitrit de corps should not be stretched t mean stupidity.

        Each time either of my two brothers or other acquaintances are sent to the theatre of war, I know what anguish the family goes through.

        believe it or not, you don’t want to be in our shoes.

        In April this year, I was talking to some young soldiers who had just come back from Borno, and others who had just learnt that they were being posted to Maiduguri.

        If they were your family, you wouldn’t want to see or feel the sense of despondency among these young men and women.

        It is nothing like COWARDICE as you would like to imagine.

        • longben

          Dear Soyemi, I grew up inside the former 4th mechanised brigade headquarters at ikpoba hills in Benin city. I probably have more relatives and friends who have fought and died for Nigeria than most people here including you. There is a reason why soldiers uptil today can attach bayonets to their guns and charge the enemies and they dont have to call their families to ask if they can do that. You sign up to do a job and by God thats all that matters especially if you are a soldier. Maybe you should read the memoirs of Nigerian soldiers at the front of Nigerians interventions both in Liberia and Sierra leone at Beegeagle’s blog. A real soldier will fight with spoons and knives when he has to,not hide under his wife to peep out once in a while to demand a promise that he should not be killed. Thats laughable

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            I wonder why you didn’t join?

            Was there a reason not?

    • Roger More

      They don’t have any such right. If their spouses were posted to peacekeeping operation, they would gladly go. What they did was shameful, cowardice and disgusting. They are unfit to be soldiers wives. Do you really understand what soldiering is all about at all, or taking oath of allegiance?

      • TRUTH MASTER

        At peacekeeping missions, there are basic requirements which must be met in terms of the kind of military hardware to be provided for the Blue berets. No responsible government sends its soldiers to battle armed with dane guns and rusty AK-47 rifles. And the last time I checked, soldiering is not about committing suicide!!!

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Mr. 007, I beseech you to come out of cloud 9!

        Reality is not like the James Bond films where the “dead hero” can get up, dust his Gucci suit after he dies and go home to dinner or to some fancy restaurant.

        The ones demonstrating know they would be widows and fatherless in days.

        Maybe, if their husbands and bereaved families were made to feel valued, they would behave the way they did.

        How many of our dead soldiers have a fraction of the kind of pensions granted to our lawmakers, governors and President?

        • redeem

          @wahala—–u are sick stop using logic to justify the shame the wives of the soldiers brought unto the nation–they were sponsored by the janjaweeds-the thieves in uniform to protest against the government—so that the socalled $1b loan will be approved-Dasuki is a rogue and must be fired–he is useless as the NSA-been giving the president wrong advise–Time for the president to pay unscheduled visits to army formations-around the country————-sadly its this unthinking Dasuki who is holding him–back—————–the lawmakers did not force them to sign up for duty or join the army————–its like asking why soldiers get involved in coup plots aware if they fail it will be death-From the so-called missing chibok girls to this rubbish————————by APC again haba?

    • Dan Fulani

      What ever arms you give them they will not fight.
      So long as only sons of the rich and the powerful will be recruited into the army so long as they will desert in front of fire.
      They are in army not to fight any war but to protect the wealth of their parents.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Maybe!

        I wonder if it is just co-incidence that almost all the officers and men I know from the 3 disciplines are from ordinary background rather than privileged ones.

  • redeem

    Its now very clear that–the boko haram issue are politically motivated—————can we be told the types of gun the Nigerian army used during the civil war?————I have said it severally that unless Jonathan sacks Dasuki, Gusau and Badey–the boko haram war will not end–how did ordinary women know that —————————–the weapons their husbands using is hiding under their wrappers——-at night————are not sophisticated enough to kill the janjaweeds in boko haram—————no amount of talk is ever going to make me believe that the only solution to our troubles is for us to stay together as one nation-Any who comes up with such a silly ideas should be spat on and regarded as a thief—visions that are initiated to protect that which the first —————————————and second generations of their regional families stole from the oil resources of d SS–the thieves yearn for $1b–and are prepared to blackmail the president–as its usual with them—–aware the president is the type that can easily be pressured or swayed with such dirty selfish—–talks—————the same method the regional thieves used in pushing 80b into the coffers of INEC–at the end of the day its the Ibos Fulani and Yorubas-who will end up as contractors———–the national confab——-delegates——————————which was supposed to champion the zonalization of the country—————-is too scared of going back to look for the diamond and gold that they claim to have at their back–yard————Cameroon rescued the wife of the prime minister without first asking for guns–only a lazy thief ask for the type of cutlass his opponent use in killing his father——————-when Aminu Kano–was charged with the job of securing arms for government to fight the biafran—–war-the british who wanted to supply arms gave him half of the money as bribe———he refused————today most Nigerians do not even know where he was buried or who he was——————————————————what a country–sack dasuki now–

    • 2015 president

      For God sake tell your brother to be responsible for once,

      • redeem

        I have already told u the retired soldiers from the niger delta are ready to take up arms and go to war with boko haram—those whose oil revenue u have been stealing 4 the past 60 years are ready to lay down their lives for Nigeria–cowards—thieves that is what u are–lazy unpatriotic cowards-

        • Dan Fulani

          Is Ebola Jonathan not from Bayelsa? He is CIC and has failed.

        • Babs

          So what will be their benefit if they go to war with boko haram? ?To help in stealing your oil? You are confused. You need to see a psychologist to treat your disorder.

    • redeem

      — pressured or swayed with such dirty selfish—–talks—————the same method the regional thieves used in pushing 80b into the coffers of INEC–at the end of the day its the Ibos————— Fulani ati d Yorubas-who will end up as contractors—-of d guns from Ukraine and China——-the national confab——-delegates——————————which was supposed to champion the zonalization of the country—————-is too scared of going back to look for the diamonds and gold that they claim to have at their back–yard————Cameroon rescued the wife of their VP without first asking for guns–only a lazy thief ask for the type of cutlass his opponent used in killing his father——————-when Aminu Kano–was charged with the job of securing arms for government to fight the biafran—–war-the british who wanted to supply arms gave him half of the money as bribe———he refused————today most Nigerians do not even know where he is buried who he was———and why d janjaweeds never voted for hi to become president———————————————what a country–sack dasuki — gusua ati badey they are rogues———–weapons do not win wars–only purified patriotic hearts———do win wars———————that is why d US is stil in afghanistan–and ISIS is back in IRAQ -CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS

      • Bigzy

        Tomorrow it would be the the Igbos at the receiving end of your tongue lashing. Ewu!

        • redeem

          @wahala——————if u stay on course———————————no wahala—————except u act like sharia reporters for the rogues in APC—————-TELL YR HERMAPHRODITE——–TO BEHAVE—HIDE HIS WET PANTS————-FROM ME—–

          • Bigzy

            It is a laugh to suggest that I am
            @Wahala. If you follow my contribution as closely as I follow yours you would
            know that the man and I do not se eye to eye politically. So stop talking
            nonsense. My issue with you is your condescending attitude towards the Igbo and I have challenged you about this before. If
            you are interested, I would provide evidence of this to you @Deri. While I
            support the President in his good work so far, I am my own man.

      • Easy

        So Aminu Kano is an Ijaw not Fulani that’s why he refused to take the bribe. Gusau, Dasuki and Badeh should be replaced with Ijaws. Hahaha! Shege Redeem, You are the funniest clown in Nigeria today. I think you pass your Mama Comedian in Aso Rock.,

  • redeem

    this is no demonstrations———————-with gallons in search of water————–or kerosene————–what do the kids know about their fathers———–n

  • redeem

    Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigerian Legion has asked the Federal Government to allow them to assist in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.

    The Chairman of the Nigerian Legion in the state, Igirigi Effiong, said this in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Saturday shortly after the passing-out parade of Batch A Cadet OFFICERS of the Nigerian Legion Corps Commissionaires.

    The retired army officer noted that amongst the legionnaires were trained SECURITY men with tactical experience, who could be used at this trying moment of the country.

    Effiong said, “There are trained MILITARY officers and men of the military intelligence that can be of great importance to the security of Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.

    “Give a retired SOLDIER a conducive environment and he will perform excellently well”

    Efiong however regretted that both the Federal Government and the states were not being fair to the military retirees.

    The chairman complained bitterly about the non-payment of their 20 per cent salary increase arrears by the Federal Government despite the sacrifices they had made for the country.

    • redeem

      these are patriotic 9JAS prepared to lay down their lives for Nigeria–while the cowards request for guns–

      • Dan Fulani

        Is Ebola Jonathan not from Bayelsa?

    • checkmate

      out of point, mr. mumu

  • SK Usman

    The tension raised following the activities of a group of women who tried to distrupt activities in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri earlier today has been addressed. The situation had attracted media attention & elicited a lot of concern from well meaning Nigerians. Although the situation was quickly brought under control, the issues being raised by the women were clarified to them by the authorities of the 7 Division. It was pointed out that contrary to their belief, there has never been any attempt to relocate them as alleged. Furthermore, It was made clear that while the army remains sensitive the needs of family members, it was not normal or proper for any officer or soldier of to decide where he or she would be deployed, neither would such demand be encouraged from spouses in a period of serious operation when the entire nation was depending on the Army to address the security challenges. They were however assured that no officer, soldier or unit would be tasked without the necessary means to accomplish their task. It was also stated that troops were not being sent on operation without the necessary arms, ammunition and support as alleged. The recent operations at Bulanbuli and Damboa where the terrorists were cleared without a single casualty on the troops was cited. The military authorities therefore reassure the citizens that the situation has been brought under control, while appropriate action would be taken against any person found to be involved in the heinous and cowardly acts or attempts to demoralise or discourage troops by preventing them from obeying lawful orders & command in the defence of the country.

    • Bigzy

      Clearing the insurgents would never solve our problem. This is a mistake that has been repeated several times by the Military authorities. It only means that they would regroup and present themselves again for another battle with the Army. There need to be a format of dealing with them which ensures that they are pursued, rounded up and detained or killed if they resisted. Failing this, it would be a revolving door, and there would be no end to the troubles.

      • True Nigerian

        Now, this basic practical thinking that you have just demonstrated here with your thoughtful comment is exactly what the whole structure of the billions-of-naira-gulping government in Nigeria has not managed to do in the 5 years since boko haram. And people say we should understand and be patient. It’s a grand delusion!

        • Bigzy

          Chief, I am putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the military authorities. The government does not prescribe the modalities of engagement to them. Indeed they should not, because these people are supposed to have been well trained and elevated to glory.. The place of the government is to ensure that the required equipments are made available to them. In fact, I have been forced to question the committment of the Military leadership to prosecute this war successfully.

  • Bigzy

    The days when soldiers went into battle to be killed like fowls are dead and gone. The Army must ensure that the men are well armed, well fed and well supported both logistically and and by air. In fact, the area should be well primed by the Airforce before the Army inervenes.

  • press

    work in hand to hand, air-force, naval, army please work hand to hand, use Nigeria communication, use the cruelty in Nigeria against the so called boo haram

  • Dodon Doya

    I wonder no commentator noted the point made by the Borno Gov that BH are better armed than the Nigerian soldiers. As the battle is lost every single day things are becoming clearer and clearer to every sensible person. May God save this country from irresponsible leadership who politicize serious national issues for selfish purpose. May the average Nigerian understand that our problem is lack of responsible leadership not religion or tribe. May He save Nigeria from the machination of the BH and their political masters.

  • Okikiola Beckley

    I dare any commander to tell the soldiers to shoot their wives and children or brutalize them to make way for the trucks.

  • jonathan

    When Boko Horam is able to seize and hold onto towns,even for a few days, then you know that the battle against them is being lost!

  • Marke Moses

    Gov. kashim is at last vindicated when he spoke the truth of the matter
    GEJ and his lieutenants rain abuses on him. Shame on them. It is now obvious that PDP led government is being run based on public deception and propaganda, no wonder at one point in time they lied to Nigerians that they rescued Chibok girls, when the issue becomes a global issue, the quickly retracted there statement. The grievances expressed by this women and children is a typical pains felt by the masses across the country today.

    • checkmate

      Right! Nigerians lets keep sentiments aside, but does JONATHAN really look like someone that can lead even a local Government Council? Does he have the commitment to lead Nigerians? Do you think he is intelligent enough to lead a great nation like Nigeria. Do you think he cares about the plight of the Nigerian common man? Don’t you think that he wasn’t prepared to lead the country? Do you see any leadership quality in him? How do you feel presenting him as your president? Does he really has a Phd? Don’t you think he is too dumb to lead us? My fellow country men and women do you think we deserve to continue like this? LETS THINK AGAIN.

  • jogobonito

    No talk about Buhari today? Woe be gotten Ethnoreligious Divisive ranter

  • Pause

    I love you Dr. Aribisala…..I hope that one day God will make it possible for us to meet. You are one of Nigeria’s best minds. Thank you for all you are doing. People notice!!!

  • Sanmi

    It is just a matter of time before you are sued or litigated out of existence and taught to know that you are not bold or controversial as you clearly assume you are; but very, very, very dumb. I don’t read your articles.

  • richard

    it is wrong for any church to extort money from members. christ and his apostle never extorted money from anyone. todays teaches are lead by their belly, all in the name of the Lord.