No fewer than 380 soldiers in the Nigerian Army have applied to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, for voluntary retirement, citing majorly “loss of interest”, among other reasons, as their excuse for disengagement.
356 soldiers who applied for voluntary retirement, of the 380, citing loss of interest are Master Warrant Officers, Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, Sergeants, Lance Corporals, Corporals and Privates.
While 356 cited loss of interest, 24 cited “to take a traditional title.”
It was observed that a larger number of the soldiers applying for voluntary disengagement who cited loss of interest are from the North-East theatre of operation.
The soldiers wrote to the army chief on July 3, 2020, under Reference NA/COAS/001, quoting the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/rating/airmen (Revised) 2017.
The approval of the voluntary disengagement of the soldiers was contained in a 17-page circular from Buratai, AHQ DOAA/G1/300/92, signed by Brig Gen T.E. Gagariga for the army chief and obtained by newsmen on Saturday.
Also, the document was copied to Headquarters, Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Borno State, the Headquarters of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 81, and 82 Divisions of the Nigerian Army and other formations.
Writing on behalf of the army chief, Buratai, in the document, Gagariga said, “In compliance with the provisions of Reference A, the COAS vide Reference B has approved the voluntary and medical discharge of the above named MWO, and 385 others listed as Annexes A and B.
“The soldiers are to proceed on terminal leave December 3, 2020, while their disengagement date takes effect from January 3, 2021, in accordance with the Nigerian Army Administrative Policy and Procedures No 27 Paragraphs 3 and 4. Accordingly, I am directed to request formations and units to release all affected soldiers to report at the Headquarters, Garrison, with their unit service documents for documentation.
“All forms of military-controlled items, arms, ammunition, and items of combat kits are recovered from the soldiers prior to their disengagement date and certify that they are properly de-kitted. Please acknowledge.”
Soldiers in recent times have also appeared in viral videos complaining about the poor quality of their fighting equipment in the North-East and how the Boko Haram terrorists are able to attack and kill troops due to alleged insiders’ connivance.