10,000 Dismissed Soldiers Appeal For Reinstatement

SoldiersA group of dismissed Nigerian soldiers have appealed to the Presidency and the Nigerian Security Council to revisit their cases and recall them, having not been properly discharged from the Nigerian Army.

Some of the dismissed soldiers, who spoke to newsmen in Asaba, the Delta State capital on Thursday, said that since 1979, about 10,000 soldiers had been irregularly dismissed from service without any benefit.

The ex-soldiers said the process of their summary dismissal was unjust and they wanted it reviewed.

They recalled that the process of recalling them had actually been set in motion when Air Marshal Paul Dike was the Chief of Defence Staff, and Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau was the Chief of Army Staff. But the process was halted soon as the army chiefs retired.

Those who were lucky to be recalled then, the ex-soldiers said, were made to attend refresher courses at the School of Infantry, Jaji, and posted to their respective units.

Part of a letter of appeal signed by some of the ex-soldiers read: “We are appealing to the Nigerian Security Council to look into our affairs as a matter of urgency and temper justice with mercy and recall us back to the service or discharge us accordingly, as we have nothing doing to help our family.

“Some of us have undergone several training in the Nigerian School of Artillery, Kachia, Kaduna State, and acquired unquantifiable knowledge during these trainings”.

The appeal letter was signed by BDR Onyeayana Okafor (79NA/9257); CPL Raphael Iyama (79NA/3370); L/BDR Michael Olisakaomam (79NA/18909), L/Cpl Emovre Eugene; L/Cpl Sani Musa (79NA/8537); L/CPL Thomas Odu (79NA/9619); PTE Bright Akpoghenta (79NA/30858), PTE Olusola Ogundipe (95NA/39/2347); L/Cpl Zakarya (79NA/72792); and PTE David Rojowa Bernard (79NA/19358), among others.

They cited the case of one Bombardier Onyeayana Okafor (79NA/9257), who served at the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, and was attached to the 341 Field Artillery Regiment for the purpose of Operation Harmony 4 in the Bakassi Peninsula.

According to them, Okafor was summarily dismissed for allegedly reporting circumstances in the gun position to 302 (GS) Artillery Regiment Commander at rear.