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40 soldiers vow not to fight Boko Haram –Report

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[PICTURE] chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah

At least, 40 soldiers in North-Eastern are refusing to
fight Islamist Boko Haram militants until they receive
better equipment.

The BBC reported on Tuesday that one of the
mutineers said that he and 39 others would refuse
orders to deploy.

The alleged soldier spoke with the BBC just as the
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah,
warned officers and men of the Nigerian Army to
desist from any form of mutiny in the face of the
ongoing campaign against the Boko Haram sect.

The BBC stated that a defence ministry spokesman
said the incident was being investigated.

The Federal Government had declared state of
emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states
because of the attacks by the Boko Haram sect.

“Soldiers are dying like fowl,” the soldier, who said he
and his colleagues were just outside Maiduguri, told
the BBC.

“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.

The Defence headquarters spokesman, Gen Chris
Olukolade, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme
that he could not confirm the reports of a mutiny but
would investigate.

He denied that soldiers were being “sent to die”.

“We may not have all it takes but we are improving
on it [equipment] regularly,” he said.

But the Defence Headquarters, in a statement on
Tuesday denied the report that troops in the North –
East had taken a decision to refuse to obey directives
from superior officers.

Olukolade, said in an electronic mail on Tuesday ,
said the level of cowardice described in the report
was not in the character of the Nigerian soldier.

He described the interview granted the BBC as lies by
an anonymous soldier.

Olukolade said it was part of the the antics of
mischief-makers to promote the course of the Boko
Haram sect.

He stressed that the military had not sent any soldier
to the frontline without providing the necessary
equipment.

Olukolade warned that mutiny remained a grave
offence attracting severe punishment.

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