After spending five and more years with their morale diminished, Nigerian soldiers fighting insurgency in the North-East have pleaded with the Chief of Army Staff to redeploy them.
According to them, their morale is low and they want to be redeployed to maintain their sanity.
Members of the 3 Battalion operating in the Gamboru/Ngala and Rann areas of the state lamented that their overstay in the theatre war has caused a dip in morale.
This latest call comes after a similar complaint was made in December 2020.
Speaking to HumAngle, a soldier who pleaded anonymity said, “We have been here for over five years now. Some days ago, most of our Muslim brothers were even complaining that this is our sixth year of fasting [during the month of Ramadan] on this ground now.
“And it has not been easy for everyone here. It is very bad. The morale is not there.
“This thing really brings down our morale because all our mind is not here to fight Boko Haram anymore. This is our problem. Every soldier here, our morale is very low.
“That is why we want to plead with the Chief of Army Staff to do something about changes so that at least we can go back to our families to regain our morale so that we can come back and replace others and we can be changing ourselves. And then the morale will be there to fight the Boko Haram and finish the insurgency.”
It will be recalled that when COAS Ibrahim Attahiru visited the Army Super Camp 9 in Dikwa, Borno, in February, he promised to rotate them.
“We have presented certain issues that came up. Overstay of soldiers, sooner rather than later, we will address. Where there are no adequate vehicles, we will provide,” he assured.
However, a month later, the troops have begun to protest as no deployment out of the war-torn region has taken place.
A soldier from the 3 Battalion noted that their low morale and lack of willingness to continue fighting made it possible for terrorists to dislodge them, damage their equipment, and burn their camps.
“While, you see, the officers, they are changing themselves every two years. They will come, they will go, they will bring other ones. Since we got here, we have had up to three to four sets of officers. And we the soldiers, are suffering.
“This is our third commanding officer. Each of them is staying here for just two years. This one now, by December, his posting will come and he will leave us. That is why we plead on the Chief of Army Staff to help us so that at least we will go back to our families and stay with them for a while,” he said.