Boko Haram: Nigerian military warns women not to meddle in soldiers deployment

Nigeria Army

The Nigerian military on Monday warned women not to meddle in deployment of troops.

An unsigned statement by the Defence Headquarters said that no troop will be sent on an operation without necessary weapon and support needed.

Since Saturday, a group of people, mainly wives and relatives of soldiers, have blocked the gates of Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri.

The group contested the deployment of soldiers from the barracks to confront the Boko Haram insurgents without adequate weapon and support.

Soldiers from Giwa barracks were to have been deployed to Gwoza on Saturday to retake the town from the insurgents who killed scores of people when they took the town on Wednesday.

Two separate attempts by the Nigerian 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.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported the protest with some of the women saying they feared the deployment of their husbands to Gwoza without adequate weaponry would lead to more soldiers’ casualty.

The military statement on Tuesday said the issues raised by the protesting group has also drawn attention from well meaning Nigerians.

It, however, said the situation has been quickly brought under control as the issues raised by the women have been clarified to them by authorities of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army.

“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,” the statement said.

The statement said it is abnormal for any personnel or family member to interfere with soldiers deployment.

“Furthermore, it was made clear that while the Army remains sensitive to the needs of the family members, it was not normal or proper for any Officer or Soldier to decide where he or she be deployed, neither will 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,” it said

The military also reassured Nigerians that the situation has been brought under control, while appropriate action would be taken against any person found to be involved in cowardly acts to demoralise troops by preventing them from obeying lawful orders in defence of the country.

Local and international observers have raised issues about the preparedness of the Nigerian ‎Military to tackle the Boko Haram. The insurgents are believed to be better armed than the military despite the trillions of Naira spent on defence in the past few years.

President Goodluck Jonathan recently sent a request to the senate to borrow $1 billion to be able to further equip the military to be able to confront the insurgents.

The Senate is expected to debate the request when it resumes from its recess.


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  • Danladee

    “The women burnt tyres along the streets, accusing army commanders of
    exploiting the war on terror for pecuniary gains. The protest hampered
    the deployment of soldiers to Gwoza which has remained under Boko Haram
    control.
    The protesters alleged that top military commanders in both
    the North East and Abuja were “endangering” the lives of their husbands
    by forcing them to the frontlines without the appropriate weapons to
    fight.
    The women also alleged that Boko Haram fighters have superior
    firepower and also get “security reports” on the movement of Nigerian
    troops, thereby making it easy for troops to run into ambush.
    The
    women blocked the main gate of the 21 Armoured Brigade, also known as
    Giwa Barracks, and refused to accept pleas from army officers.
    During
    the earlier protest on Saturday, the women, accompanied by their grown
    up daughters and little children, alleged that most of the arms being
    used by their husbands were old with limited ammunitions. They added
    that the armoured tanks being deployed to the frontlines were obsolete
    and unserviceable. Saturday’s protest forced the military authorities to
    shelve the idea of sending more soldiers to Gwoza, Daily Trust
    gathered. The deployment issue resurfaced yesterday but the women rose
    again in resistance. Some of them laid in front of the barrack gate,
    saying they had rather been killed before their husbands were taken to
    Gwoza.
    “We won’t allow our husbands to be killed because the military
    authorities have refused to do what is right,” Jummai, one of the
    protesters, said.
    “On Saturday, dozens of innocent soldiers were
    buried, authorities only said ‘sorry’ to bereaved wives. Before one
    officer is killed in the battle front, more than 30 soldiers are wasted,
    not because they don’t know how to fight but simply because the
    authorities have refused to do what is right.”
    Another woman, Rahila,
    said: “Our husbands are supposed to defend their fatherland in the face
    of both international and national aggression as enshrined in the
    Nigerian constitution, but that can only be possible when they are given
    modern fighting equipment and properly motivated as obtained in other
    countries.
    “During the recent fund raising for terror victims,
    President Goodluck Jonathan promised that equipment would be supplied to
    the war zone, we want him to fulfil that promise because even if he
    sends all the soldiers in Nigeria to this place, they will not defeat
    the Boko Haram until they have the wherewithal to do so.”
    Some of the
    soldiers earmarked for the Gwoza mission declared support for their
    wives. They spoke to Daily Trust on condition that their names would not
    be mentioned.
    “We are glad that our wives are standing by us. If for
    instance I and my colleagues take to the streets, we would be charged
    for mutiny even though everyone knows that our complaint is genuine,”
    one of them said.
    “The earlier Nigerian authorities did the right
    thing, the better for all us. I want to assure you that if we can get
    the fighting equipment we want, we will finish the Boko Haram in two
    weeks.” Daily Trust online.