Revealed: Nigerian Army Stops Soldiers In North-East From Going On Leave, Travelling To See Family Members Indefinitely
The Nigerian Army has again banned soldiers attached to the North-East Joint Task Force, Operation Hadin Kai from going on annual leave and passes. This is according to an internal memo exclusively obtained exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, the army said the ban would commence on December 9.
A pass, in the military parlance, is permission to be away from one’s unit for a limited period of time
Most soldiers and officers deployed from across the country in Operation Hadin Kai are expected to travel hundreds of kilometers when they are on pass to go and see their families.
The signal dated December 04, 2023 was signed by one Colonel FI Echetama.
“JTF (NE) OP HADIN KAI. EMBARGO ON LEAVE/PASSES. EYE AM DIR TO RESPECTFULLY INFO FMNS/UNITS UNDER COMMAND TO COMMENCE SUBJ WEF 9 DEC 23 TILL FURTHER NOTICE. PSE TREAT AS URGENT AND ACK///,” it read.
Some soldiers who spoke to SaharaReporters however kicked against the action.
They also lamented acute hunger, saying they are not properly fed.
The aggrieved soldiers accused the army authorities of non-payment of their allowances.
“This signal on ban on pass and leave within the theatre operations is true and we soldiers are not happy with this action,” an affected soldier told SaharaReporters.
“The morale of the troops is very low to fight the terrorists currently sir, we want the Chief of the Army Staff to intervene on this issue as fast as possible before it will lead to some unrest in the theater of operation.”
Some soldiers in the recent past in the North-East region have as a result of war trauma and psychological stress engaged in violent actions.
In March 2022 it was reported how a soldier with the Nigerian army’s operation Hadin Kai killed nine civilians including a three-year-old girl in Borno State.
It was gathered that the victims were killed when the trigger-happy soldier recklessly opened fire on people in Mafa town.
Eyewitnesses had said the soldier who was said to be drunk, was with one of his colleagues at a military checkpoint in the town when the incident happened.
About 16 people had also sustained varying degrees of injury in the incident.
“He opened fire and killed 7 on the spot, including a 3-yr-old girl. Sixteen others sustained gunshot wounds, 2 of whom also later died,” a resident of the community had said.