Nigerian military hierarchy have started going after soldiers deserting from the Armed Forces.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, said that the Nigerian military would ensure the arrest of all deserters from the Army because deserting is a grave crime in the military.
Olukolade made this assertion while speaking on issues involving the on-going counter terrorism operation at
Nigeria News Info, monitored by our correspondent.
He called on members of the public to ensure that deserters were reported to the military authorities for prompt action. According to him, any soldier found roaming about without being on leave or an authorised pass would
most likely be a deserter and should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
The Defence Spokesman urged Nigerians to avoid the temptation of
glorifying soldiers for displaying cowardice, involvement in inglorious conducts.
The military spokesman emphasized that the authorities would go after and arrest any deserter no matter how long it would take them to have him.
“In any case indeed, there are deserters, yes there are deserters definitely, and the deserters are being arrested.
“In fact, we call on the public, if you see a deserter, bring him, it is a crime.
“If you see somebody who ought to be in the front and he is roaming around, he is not on leave, he is not on a legitimate pass, there is every likelihood, he is a deserter.
“And in any case even deserters are supposed to be reported to security agencies and arrested; it is a crime
to be a deserter; if you are a deserter, that is the worst form of military service.
“And I think it is time the public knew some things that should not be glorified about the soldier; if a soldier is a mutineer, if a soldier is a deserter, when a soldier demonstrate cowardice, such a person is not doing anything glorious. Such a person is a disgrace and is actually operating in the realm of crime; and there is no heroism whatsoever in it.”
“Now the way people are presenting this attitude, makes it look as if they want to feel heroic; you desert your unit, you go about telling lies of what is happening in the front; so that you would look gallant. Such a person should be reported and if possible arrested and presented to the authorities. If it takes 20 years, a deserter is a deserter, we will get him."
Olukolade who also spoke on the issue of the attack on the former General Officer Commanding the 7th Division of the Nigeria Army, Maiduguri, Major General Ahmed Mohammed, said that some of the soldiers were facing trials as a result of the incident.
He said that the military authorities would speak on it at the conclusion of the trial.