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No fewer than 356 soldiers in the North-East and other theatres of operation have applied to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, for voluntary retirement, citing “loss of interest” as their reason for disengagement.
The soldiers wrote to the army chief on July 3, 2020, under Reference NA/COAS/001, quoting the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/rating/airmen (Revised) 2017.
The approval of the voluntary disengagement of the 356 soldiers was contained in a 17-page circular from Buratai, AHQ DOAA/G1/300/92, signed by Brig Gen T.E. Gagariga for the army chief and obtained by our correspondent on Saturday.
Also, the document was copied to Headquarters, Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Borno State, the Headquarters of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 81, and 82 Divisions of the Nigerian Army and other formations.
Punch Newspaper reports that, from the list that the majority of the soldiers applying for voluntary disengagement and citing loss of interest are from the North-East theatre of operation – a development which military sources attributed to loss of morale, poor weapons, unimproved allowances and the continuous loss of soldiers to Boko Haram attacks.
The 356 soldiers who applied for voluntary retirement citing loss of interest are Master Warrant Officers, Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, Sergeants, Lance Corporals, Corporals and Privates.
The total number on the list of voluntary disengagement is 380; while 356 cited loss of interest, 24 cited “to take a traditional title.”
Writing on behalf of the army chief, Buratai, in the document, Gagariga said, “In compliance with the provisions of Reference A, the COAS vide Reference B has approved the voluntary and medical discharge of the above named MWO, and 385 others listed as Annexes A and B.
“The soldiers are to proceed on terminal leave December 3, 2020, while their disengagement date takes effect from January 3, 2021, in accordance with the Nigerian Army Administrative Policy and Procedures No 27 Paragraphs 3 and 4. Accordingly, I am directed to request formations and units to release all affected soldiers to report at the Headquarters, Garrison, with their unit service documents for documentation.
“All forms of military-controlled items, arms, ammunition, and items of combat kits are recovered from the soldiers prior to their disengagement date and certify that they are properly de-kitted. Please acknowledge.”