Nigerian soldiers from the newly formed 7 Division of the Nigerian Army on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 mutinied in their barracks against their general officer commanding, Major General Abubakar Mohammed, according to Sahara Reporters.
The 7 Division, which has its headquarters in Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, in Borno state was formed recently as a unit devoted to counter terrorism. Maj. Gen. Mohammed was appointed the general officer commanding in February 2014.
According to reports, Maj. Gen. Mohammed escaped death by the whiskers as soldiers of his command fired shots at him, leaving his bodyguards and aids wounded.
Numerous soldiers shot sporadically into the air at Maimalari Barracks, which is also home to the Artillery Corps, the Ordinance, as well as army signals in Maiduguri.
According to Sahara Reporters: “One of the sources revealed that the situation was extremely tense, adding that the GOC escaped by the whiskers as the mutiny by angry soldiers could have degenerated into a personal attack on him.
“Our sources said the soldiers became enraged when they saw the bodies of their colleagues ambushed by Boko Haram terrorists in Chibok, a town in Borno State that has spurred global protests over the abductions of schoolgirls by members of the extremist Islamist sect.”
The restive soldiers, the source said, complained that their superior had not provided them with adequate weaponry with which to fight the war against the better-armed Boko Haram militants.
“We the soldiers don’t have the kind of arms and ammunition that [Boko Haram] fighters have. So everyday, they kill our men anyhow, but it is never published in the media,” said one source. The other source also complained that the commanding officers “are too busy ‘eating’ money. And they do not pay our allowances on time. And once [a soldier dies], nobody knows what happens to his allowances again.”
The two soldiers reportedly revealed that the mutinying soldiers frustrations over lack of troop rotation to allow for some rest for those in combat against Boko Haram.
The source says that residents of the area confirmed hearing sporadic gunshots. One resident reportedly said: “We thought that may be Boko Haram was attacking and the army was trying to push them back.”