Shocking revelations surfaced at the weekend that an army colonel, along with some junior officers and soldiers who were assigned to Adamawa in an operation aimed at recovering territory seized by Boko Haram insurgents have been apprehended for alleged sabotage, a report by Vanguard shows.
A top military source who spoke anonymously said the colonel (names withheld) who happens to be a muslim, commanding a team of three armoured personnel carriers (APC), capable of firing up to a range 1.5 kilometers when they were informed that some of the sect members were approaching them in six Hilux vans between Gulak and Madagali, and instead of chasing after the terrorists, set the APC’s on fire before seeking refuge in the bush with his soldiers, telling the army authorities that they were overpowered by the better armed terrorists.
It was gathered that the army authority were incensed by the incident and ordered the immediate arrest of the commander, his junior officers and soldiers under their command.
The army authority subsequently set up a board of inquiry to investigate the matter, after which a court martial will be set up to try them for conspiracy, treason and willful sabotage among others.
Speaking on the matter, a senior officer said: “You can now see why the Military Court Martial which is currently sitting is inevitable. The uninformed would feel that soldiers who are fighting the nation’s battle are being unjustly punished. But the truth is that many of them are sabotaging Nigeria and making the insurgents look formidable for reasons that cannot be explained. Some of them appear sympathetic to the insurgents.
“How can it be explained that several APCs that cost up to $1million each in some cases or more will be willfully destroyed by Commissioned Officers, COs, who swore to defend the territorial integrity of their nation, just to help terrorists? That is treason of the highest order.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh had this to say: “The day you join the military you have signed off, whether life or death, and it is obey before complaint. How can a soldier just jump out of the APC because you want to donate APC to Boko Haram; and somebody is there talking about constructive mutiny.
“The laws are there, if you run away from the enemy, you will die and that is what the military law says. Apart from the old Nigerian law, we abide by the military law. Nobody forces or conscripts anybody into the military. It is a voluntary service, and so if we have this type of challenge, you should be able to confront it and not to run away.”