Friday, 18 September 2015

Pardoned soldiers sent back to fight Boko Haram


The Nigerian Army has deployed 3,032 pardoned soldiers in the North-East to fight Boko Haram insurgents. It will be recalled that the affected soldiers were dismissed from the military in 2014 over offences allegedly committed as part of the troops involved in counter insurgency operations in the North-East. 


Many of the pardoned soldiers allegedly disobeyed their commanders and reportedly declined confronting the insurgents with inadequate weapons. The 3,032 soldiers were among 5,000 dismissed soldiers whose cases were reviewed by a military panel led by the General Officer Commanding, 1 Division, Maj. Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade.

It was learnt that the soldiers were deployed last week to strengthen the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram insurgents.

A military source said that the soldiers were moved to the headquarters of the 7 Division, Maiduguri, for deployment in the North East.

The source said, “The Army authorities have re-launched the 3032 soldiers who were granted pardon by the review panel into the mission area. 

“The soldiers were moved to the 7 Division Headquarters where they are expected to be deployed in various locations in the conflict area.

“You know that they were moved to the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora, for a two week training programme for their readmission into the service.

“They completed the course and have been deployed in the North-East sometime last week to add more value to the operation.”

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, had said during a briefing on September 3, 2015 that the recalled soldiers had indicated their readiness to return to the operational area.

He said that the training programme was designed to reorient them and prepare them for the last phase of the ongoing campaign against the insurgents in the North East.

Usman had said, “The committee has concluded its sitting last week and has made certain recommendations that led to the reinstatement of 3,032 soldiers into the Nigerian Army out of the 5,000 cases that were reviewed.

“The reinstated soldiers have shown total readiness to be re-launched into the theatre to combat insurgency and have now commenced a retraining exercise at the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora, Niger State.