Dismissed Soldiers Plead for Reinstatement

The 3,200 soldiers dismissed from service between 2003 and 2015 have pleaded with army authorities to temper justice with mercy and reinstate them.
They made the appeal on Friday in Daura when they visited Alhaji Sani-Uba Daura, the Chairman of Buhari Youth Awareness Forum, through a seven-man delegation led by Sgt. Abdullahi Kutama (93NA/37/066).
According to Kutama, the offences ranged from Away Without Leave (AWOL), disobedience to a particular order, insubordination, fighting and other related misdemeanor.
He added that they were in Daura to plead with the chairman of the forum to help them take their case to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “We had lodged formal complaint on this matter at the office of the Army Chief and expected positive response from authorities concerned.
“And if we would not be reinstated, we pray for discharge certificate to enable us to secure jobs elsewhere.”
Responding, Daura expressed concern over the plight of the dismissed soldiers and promised to pass their message to the President when he return.
He urged them to continue to be law abiding and respect constituted authorities, stressing that “you have no other country, but Nigeria.”
The Nigerian Army on September 3, 2015, confirmed the reinstatement of 3,032 out of 5000 dismissed soldiers whose cases were reviewed by a committee constituted by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The acting Director of Army Public Relations then, Col. (now Brig General) Sani Usman, made this known at a news conference in Abuja
Usman said the cases presented to the disciplinary review committee were treated on merit, adding that the review process was still on.
According to him, only soldiers with disciplinary cases have been reinstated as those with criminal cases were not even considered by the committee.
“You would recall that the Nigerian Army sometime ago instituted a committee to review the recent disciplinary cases in the service, especially of those soldiers in the defunct ‘Operation Zaman Lafiya’
“The committee has concluded its initial sitting and has made certain recommendation that led to the reinstatement of 3, 0 32 soldiers out of 5,000 cases reviewed so far.
“The cases reviewed were only disciplinary as no criminal cases were considered, the review is ongoing but the bulk of the work has been done for the time being,’’ he said.
The director said the reinstated soldiers have since commenced re-training at a military facility in Niger preparatory for their eventual redeployment to the operational bases.
He said the re-training would reacquaint the reinstated soldiers with the development in a reinvigorated fight against insurgency in parts of the Northeast.
“The reinstated soldiers have shown their total readiness to be re-launched into theatre to combat insurgency and have commenced a re-training at the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora, Niger.
“This training is to re-orientate the affected soldiers and prepare them for the closing stage of the operational aspect of the counter-insurgency operations with more weapons and new leadership.
“It must, however, be made clear that not all dismissed soldiers were granted pardon and recalled, those with criminal cases, had their sentences upheld,’’ he said.
Usman expressed the commitment of the present administration towards encouraging officers and soldiers, especially those in the frontline to give their best in their service to the nation.
He said the government would reward the gallantry of officers and soldiers involved in the ongoing operations in the Northeast and other operations in which the army was involved in.
The spokesman assured the public that the new army command was committed to improving its relations with them.
According to him, all misunderstandings between some misguided soldiers and the public are being addressed.

Author: News Editor

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