The upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, on Tuesday requested President Muhammadu Buhari to relive the heads of the nation’s armed forces of their appointments in the face a frightening security situation.
The senate resolution followed a motion moved by Senator Ali Ndume on the alleged voluntary resignation of some soldiers and its security implications.
This is coming just a few days after the House of Representatives resolved to investigate the purported voluntary resignation of 365 soldiers from the Nigerian Army after the unanimous adoption of a motion of Matters of Urgent Public Importance by the Chief Whip, Honourable Mohammed Monguno, at plenary.
According to the lawmaker, on several occasions, Nigerian soldiers had disobeyed orders from superior officers in protest of poor welfare arrangements and alleged embezzlement of allowances due to them by their superiors. Monguno said that there had been cases of mutiny resulting in sporadic shooting and attempted lynching of senior officers by junior officers.
The lawmaker further said military sources had attributed the massive resignations to loss of morale, unimproved allowances; heavy casualties in the hands of Boko Haram terrorists, among others. Monguno also said that the sources blamed the development on lack of intelligence apparatus and fighting equipment, as well as poor welfare packages for soldiers and their families by the army authorities.
He lamented rather than addressing the challenges, the Chief of Army Staff, via a 17-page circular and signed by Brigadier-General T.E Gagariga, graciously approved the voluntary retirement of a battalion of aggrieved soldiers in one fell swoop. He said if the situation is not brought under control by nipping the influx of able ex-army officers into the society without job security, it may become a serious security threat. He said it is an impending military mutiny that may imperil the nation’s democracy, hence the need to urgently tackle the menace.
Recall that an ambush by suspected bandits in Katsina State at about 6.13pm on Saturday left at least 16 soldiers and officers dead and 28 others wounded, when troops of the Special Army Super Camp 4 were advancing on foot at Shimfida, Jibia Local Government Area of the state. Reports said officers killed in the attack included a major, a captain and a lieutenant.