Pardoned Soldiers Rejects Fighting Boko Haram
Last year, 3032 soldiers were pardoned for various offences during the fight against Boko Haram. They have been posted to North East to fight Boko Haram again and all 3032 rejected the posting saying they weren’t really pardoned and reinstated into the army rather resentenced to fight Boko Haram and endanger their lives.
Here is what one of the soldiers said:
“Look at me; I have put in about 28 years of my life serving this country. I have seen action in Liberia; I have been to Rwanda, Sudan and even served overseas and we the Nigerian troops did very well and were decorated in some occasions.
But, our experience in fighting to save our motherland is too sad a story for the outside world to know. We are not cowards. We held on for over four months facing Boko Haram.
I just want to say that after the Army dismissed about 5,000 of us, 3032 of us were pardoned last August. Since that time, the Army Authority has treated us like prisoners of wars.
We were told to assemble in Jaji on August 17, which we did. Then on August 19, the General Officer Commander, GOC, of 1st Infantry Division, Maj. Gen Adeniyi Oyebade gathered us and without prior noticed moved us to Nigerian Army training Centre, NATRAC, Kontogora. Some of us found ourselves there in bathroom slippers. We were just taken straight to the place. Then, without any additional clothes or uniform, we were subjected to what was clear punishment, not training for another three weeks.
Still in the clothes we came, we were again relocated to 333 artillery Barracks, Njetilo, Maiduguri. We got nothing but constant insults as cowards. We were there without uniforms no arms. They just left us there and we were abused and told to assemble at every two hours through these days for another three weeks.
In Jaji, we went through another round of punishment, not training. Yet, we were not given any letter to show that we are still serving soldiers.
So when the Commandant came and said we were going back to the North East, without clearing our status, we felt we have been punished enough.” he said.