Boko Haram: Spouses of Nigerian troops block husbands’ deployment to Gwosa


Dozens of women and children Saturday forcefully stopped military trucks from ferrying their husbands and fathers to the Boko Haram-seized Gwosa by locking the exit gates of a barracks in Borno State, demanding quality fighting equipment for the soldiers.

Scores of soldiers have been killed by Boko Haram in Borno State in the last few months, and many blame the inferior weapons Nigerian troops are equipped with to fight brutal insurgents.

Reports say nearly 60 soldiers were killed last Wednesday in Gwosa, taken over by Boko Haram after hundreds of heavily-armed militants swooped on the border town.

After locking the gates Saturday, the women and children placed themselves as wedges before the trucks that were to drive out of Giwa Barracks of the 21 armoured brigade Maiduguri, witnesses said.

“We don’t want to be turned another set of widows, give our husbands modern and better arms, weapons and vehicles or they go nowhere!” one woman was quoted by a source as saying.

The reaction came after nearly 60 soldiers killed in Gwoza and Damboa- both in Borno State- we given a mass burial at the Maimalari Barracks Maiduguri.

The military authority at the 7-Division of the Nigeria Army received a mandate to send more troops to rescue Gwoza.

Efforts to stop the women from protesting failed as they stood their grounds all day, demanding that the General Officer Commanding, GOC, of the brigade, address them.

After defying all entreaties, the women turned on the barracks’ Regiment Sergeant Major and the Garrison Commander, and almost lynched them for trying to prevent the stand out, witnesses at the barracks told PREMIUM TIMES.

The women and children also blockaded the roads leading to the barracks with stones and sticks, while some sat in front of the barracks’ gate.

Some soldiers at the barracks said they were in support of the action.

One soldier told journalists that “we are ever ready to tackle Boko Haram terrorists but our superior officers are the ones killing us by not giving us the right arms to execute the war”.

“How could I go and face Boko Haram with AK47 that is charged with only three cartridges when the enemy is brandishing modern GPMG, AA, RPG and so on,” he asked. “Most of our soldiers die every day like fowls because of faulty deployment and yet when you complain they only tell you to obey the last order”.

Another soldier said “we are being pushed to death because we usually run out of ammunition or our weapons would fail us during an operation, while the Boko Haram who came fully kitted with better arms and extra supplies would continue to pick on us like insects.

Another soldier said: “We are ready to finish Boko Haram in one week because we have the courage to do that if we are given the right arms and ammunition”.

With the sit in lasting al through Saturday, the hope of Gwoza people trapped up in the mountains diminished amid reports or some dying of hunger and thirst as at Saturday evening.


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  • Ahmad

    When Gov. Kashim of Bornu told the government that Boko Haram are better armed and better motivated than our soldiers, GEJ and his boot likkers like Maku and Metuh almost liynched him with assaults. In a media chat, GEJ was even threatening to withdraw ” his troops” from Maiduguri for the governor to see the difference if he dare say the truth again. Now the truth is manifesting day by day in a bitter manner.
    How can the soldiers wives not protest when they and their children are at the receiving end?

    • Jesuslover101


    • ismail umar

      You have spoken well. BH operate with sophisticated weapons and the fact that our military have not been able to match them weapons for weapons shows that we are lacking in Armory. One wonders where the increased security budget is going to, the President needs the Army to explain things to him.

  • Onike24

    Nigeria has become the grand father of Banana republics

  • zygote

    I hear some of the soldiers are going to battle with daggers and cutlass. while you have ground to air missiles in Osun States for the election.

    • Kunle_Allen

      Men, no kill person with laughter…..LOL.

    • ismail umar

      Did you see ground to air missiles in Osun ? Why saying rubbish ? There are air missiles in Borno, If you fly it anyhow, you get shot easily. No soldier goes to battle with a cutlass, its a pure lie.

  • Pankajaction

    The solution is to lodge the federal budget in an escrow agreed by the FG with US,Israel,Russian if allowed with the ban, France and not with the Chief of Armed Force.
    The deal which will be struck for the next 5-10 years will see the provision of arms, ammunition and modern weaponry in installment such that the Nigerian Military will be stocked with modern warfare weaponry.
    Training should be taken serious for the personnels to man this equipment.

    GEJ should authorize a missile hit on the sambisa forest.
    Sometimes you ask where is the heads of the security apparatchik? Why not bug the wives and children with tracers and release them for the Chibok girls.
    This tracers will activate signals for air strike or capture by these terrorists.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      The only reason why this obvious solution will not work is simply because it leaves no room for perfidy or political gains!

      It seems GEJ and his team do not value Nigerian lives sufficiently to warrant them taking steps to prevent its loses.

  • Island man

    At this point its very sad that Nigerian is in a serious mess for due to political and religious difference. My late Dad was a military man before he died. What I knew Nigerian soldiers for, very gallant and always ready for battle be it in country or outside the country.They never loose any battle, be it in Liberia, Sierra leone,Suddan,Chad and host of others. Unfortunately now, Nigerian soldiers loosing battles to Boko haram,bk killing soldiers like chickens, its a pity our dear country. #Jona if you can not contain this crisis posterity will not forget you if you honorably resign for Nigeria to be at peace again.

  • Okikiola Beckley

    One of the best professional fighting forces in Africa is now subsumed by graft and corruption.

  • ismail umar

    The Army Generals needs to explain how they spend close to a trillion yearly when our troops are under-armed. its a shame when the government spends that amount of money on our forces and the combatants do not get the required weapons of war.

  • 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, this further indication of the government being rule by deceit and propaganda.