Thursday, 18 September 2014

15 Soldiers of 23rd Armoured Brigade Yola Court-Martialed, Jailed 4 Years’ For Refusal To Fight Boko Haram

Reports from the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, has revealed that no fewer than 15 soldiers were court-martialed and each sentenced to four years’ jail following their refusal to go to the war front in the northern parts of Adamawa State.

The development came less than 48 hours after 12 soldiers were court-martialed and sentenced to death by firing squad after they staged a mutiny in the war-torn Borno State.
The soldiers, who were reported to have been in detention for over three weeks, were yesterday sentenced by the military command which claimed it found the men guilty of insubordination and refusal to face the Boko Haram insurgents currently ravaging the northern parts of the state.

A top military source said the affected soldiers were those who ran away when Boko Haram struck their duty posts and fled back to the cantonment. The source added: “The soldiers had allegedly refused the orders of their superiors to draft back to the theatre of war.

“In the military tradition, a soldier is expected to obey the last order but the 15 soldiers convicted by the military command were adjudged to have committed acts of insubordination by their refusal to draft to the warfront.”
The source maintained that the decision of the military, which came a few days after some soldiers who staged a mutiny and attacked the GOC, 3 Division in Maiduguri, were sentenced to death, is intended to reinforce sanity and discipline in the Nigerian Army.
“The military has been grappling with soldiers deserting from their tour of duty only to re-surface with all manner of tales, and the development is gradually beginning to impugn on the integrity of the military establishment,” he said.

The development has caused disquiet within the ranks of non-commissioned soldiers as they express dismay over the punishment being meted to their colleagues for no fault of theirs.

A non-commissioned soldier who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Many of the soldiers were already disillusioned about the war which has claimed the lives of many.
“We felt that nobody cared about us anymore, as our concern, welfare and lives seemed to have no value in the eyes of our superiors,” the source noted. “So what do you do in a situation like this? You are asked to go into a war without the necessary weapons; whether you die in the process, nobody cares. Your colleagues who died in the process were not given a befitting honour,” the source concluded.

  - Leadership