Nigerian Army has reacted to the report making the rounds that its soldiers numbering over 380 have applied to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, for voluntary retirement.
It described the report as fake news story designed by supporters of Boko Haram to dampen the morale of gallant soldiers.
Reports recently emerged on different media platforms that the soldiers have applied for voluntary retirement, citing lack of interest.
The soldiers from the North-East and other theatres of operation include Master Warrant Officers, Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, Sergeants, Lance Corporals, Corporals and Privates.
While 356 of the soldiers were said to have cited loss of interest, 24 cited “to take a traditional title.”
The soldiers were said to have written to the army chief on July 3, 2020, under Reference NA/COAS/001, where they quoted the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/rating/airmen (Revised) 2017.
The Chief of Army Staff was also said to have approved their request for the voluntary disengagement in a 17-page circular AHQ DOAA/G1/300/92, which was allegedly signed by Brig Gen T.E. Gagariga on behalf of Buratai.
Gagariga was quoted to have 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.”
But reacting on its official Twitter handle, the army described the report as “Fake and mischievous news story by supporters of Boko Haram designed to dampen the morale of gallant and patriotic soldiers.
“The 386 soldiers who left the army disengaged in a normal routine exercise at the end of their service. The Nigerian army is not in short supply of Nigerians willing to join its ranks. 4, 600 patriots recently joined the Nigerian army of which a large proportion opted to go into the Special Force fighting terrorism.”