Defence Headquarters: Re-engaged soldiers not on hunger strike

Defence Headquarters: Re-engaged soldiers not on hunger strike

Saturday, January 9, 2016 10:41 pm

Nigerian soldiers

Nigerian soldiers

Ayorinde Oluokun

Nigerian Defence Headquarters on Saturday denied a recent media report that over 3000 soldiers dismissed by the Nigerian Army and sentenced to different jail terms, but recently re-engaged by military authorities have embarked on hunger strike in protest for not being posted back to their units.

The soldiers were tried for mutiny because they refused their commanders’ order in the war against Boko Haram, citing poor equipment and welfare.

The pardon of the soldiers followed recent revelations that some of the funds allocated to buy weapons for soldiers fighting the insurgents were diverted to fund activities of the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

“The story was false and not a true reflection of the situation among the affected soldiers. To put the record straight, the soldiers are enthusiastic and full of praises to the military authority that gave them another chance to re-unite with their folk for better services to their fatherland,” Colonel Rabe Abubakar, spokesperson of Defence Headquarters said in a statement.

The report had also indicated that the soldiers have refused to be posted back to fight Boko Haram insurgency in North east Nigeria, a claim also denied by military authorities.

“For avoidance of doubt, it is a taboo for military personnel to embark on strike or to do any of such things the newspaper reported.

“It has never happened and will not happen because we are disciplined, professional and highly loyal to the constituted authority.

“Such behaviour could only occur within unprofessional soldiers, and certainly not Nigerian military,” said Defence Headquarters.

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