A group of soldiers in north-eastern Nigeria is refusing to fight Islamist Boko Haram militants until they receive better equipment, one of the mutineers has told the BBC.
The soldier, who requested anonymity, said at least 40 of his colleagues would refuse orders to deploy. The military has not commented on the reported mutiny or the demands.
A state of emergency that was declared in three north-eastern states last year has failed to curb the insurgency.”Nigerian Army Is Not Ready To Fight Boko Haram” a mutinying soldier in Borno state said.
A reliable military source tells NewsWireNgr that the incident happened saturday, when the soldiers were being deployed from the army’s 7th Division in Maiduguri to locations in Damboa and Gwoza for major operations planned to significantly rout the extremist Boko Haram sect from the areas.
“We were about to head for the operation when some of our colleagues said they weren’t going, they immediately dropped their weapons and uniforms, we can’t do anything to them even if we were asked to.. They were about one hundred and twenty of them that left that day” the source revealed.
“Some even dared the state to arrest them if they wish, but as i am talking to you we don’t even know their whereabouts, they are our colleagues and we understand, if we wanted to arrest them, of course we would have done so” The soldier continued..
“But we are not ready to take any general’s orders in arresting or killing our colleagues over their decision, if they want to arrest them, they should go ahead and do so themselves”. the anonymous soldier tells NewsWireNgr. ” I cannot tell you where they are as they are no longer in the Nigerian Military, i doubt government will be able to find them”
Boko Haram is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria – and has stepped up its attacks after being pushed out of its bases in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, targeting towns and villages in deadly raids.
“Soldiers are dying like fowl,” the soldier, who said he and his colleagues were just outside Maiduguri, told the BBC Hausa service.
“The Nigerian army is not ready to fight Boko Haram,” he said, explaining that soldiers were not being given enough weapons and ammunition to take them on.
“Boko Haram are inside the bush, everywhere,” he said “They [senior commanders] are sacrificing soldiers,” he said.