Posted by News Express | 10 February 2016 | 2,495 times
The Nigerian Army yesterday evening disclosed that it would no longer tolerate the activities of saboteurs and collaborators with Boko Haram who have been making it difficult for the country’s military to win the war against insurgency in the North-East.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, made this clear while giving a progress report on the counter-insurgency operation during a media briefing in Abuja.
He said: “It has come to the knowledge of the Nigerian Army that while concerted efforts are being made to finally clear all remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in the North East in particular and the country generally, some unscrupulous elements in the society have been thwarting that effort for pecuniary gains. They engage in all manners of illegal commercial activities such as trading and smuggling especially during late hours, all aimed at sustaining terrorism and insurgency. This is more prevalent in some towns and villages within the North East especially in Borno and Yobe states. The unpatriotic and selfish elements have clandestinely been aiding the terrorists with logistics and other supplies, through smuggling and other forms of illicit trading, thus sustaining them, while the merchants of death make money out of it.
“Consequently, the Nigerian military and indeed the Nigerian Army is highly concerned with these unpatriotic acts. The Nigerian Army is therefore taking some drastic steps to curtail this illicit trading with the terrorists. From now on, some markets identified to be engaging in this illegal trade with the adversary in Borno and Yobe states will be closed. Any breach of that would be dealt with accordingly. The General Officers Commanding and other commanders have been directed accordingly. We implore for public’s kind support and understanding as we take these drastic measures to enable us decisively deal with the terrorists and saboteurs.”
Col. Usman used the opportunity to address the issue of a set of 250 dismissed soldiers who recently addressed a press conference at the Nigerian Union of journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, Kaduna, pleading to be reabsorbed back again into the Nigerian Army.
According to the Army Spokesman, “The protesting soldiers were those soldiers dismissed last week by the Nigerian Army over gross acts of indiscipline, cowardice and absence without leave. 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 205) 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.
“It should be noted that the Nigerian Army has been tolerant and patient with their acts of indiscipline and unprofessional conduct. This was based on the understanding of their circumstances and conditions. 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 Nigerian Army thrives on discipline, loyalty and good conduct and if anyone could not measure up to expectation or live by those tenets, he would not be allowed to remain in the system.”
•Photo shows Army Spokesman, Col. Sani K. Usman.
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