Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. KTJ Minimah has come out and surprised the general public and admitted that some of his men openly display acts of cowardice and indiscipline in their ongoing war with terrorist group Boko Haram.
In a new communiqué issued through the Defence Headquarters twitter account after its quarterly conference of the COAS ended, Minimah said: “the rising acts of indiscipline and unprofessional conduct by troops was unbecoming and charged Commanders at all levels to put a stop to it as the Nigerian Army was a professional organization.”
Gen-Minimah also talked about the mutiny that occurred in Borno capital Maiduguri, and said: “A few issues needs to be urgently addressed that have caught my attention in recent weeks.
Principal among these is the rising acts of indiscipline and unprofessional conduct by troops. In this regard, the recent mutinous act in Maiduguri and reported destruction of public property in Lagos readily comes to mind.
As a professional army, the conduct of our troops must be above board at all times” Blaming it on the fact that most people, who joined the military in recent times, do so out of the need for employment and not passion for military service, Minimah said, “Desertion is part of warfare.
We must accept that since the era of the Cartagena wars, soldiers had deserted from battle field. In our own case, we are doing recruitment now and we are also receiving presentations from across the country, from people who want their wards to be enlisted in the army”.
“But we need to have a thorough recruitment because mind you, there is high level of unemployment on ground; most people want jobs and if that job means joining the army fine. It is a source of employment.
However, when the reality of the military service comes, he drops his riffles. So desertion will continue to be there. We had desertion in ECOMOG; in the Nigerian Civil war and now it will continue to be there”.
“Also, acts of indiscipline will continue to be there but when they are caught, they are investigated and when they are found questionable they will face the Court-Martial”. “Like I said, in a few months time, the war will be over. But I cannot give you a clear calendar date because this is war on terrorism. It cannot be determined in terms of concrete date”.
Gen Minimah has been the COAS since the start of this year, but has not achieved much success in the fight against terrorism, He has however been happy with the recent capture of Balmo forest in Borno from the hands of Boko Haram agents.
The mutiny in Maidugiri was caused after the soldiers lost their friends who where assigned to a particular dangerous area.