Soldiers Deserting the Army Over Fear of Boko Haram – Army Chief
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Kenneth Minimah has revealed that some army personnel have abandoned the force due to the fear of the terrorists group Boko Haram.
Minimah, who gave the warning during a working tour of Lagos and its environs yesterday, condemned the actions of some soldiers who deserted the Force for fear of engaging in battle against the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Minimah said such actions by the soldiers vividly showed that they joined the force for the wrong reasons.
“Sometimes, journalists ask me questions, saying soldiers are deserting their jobs because they don’t want to be killed in the North East. I tell them yes, it is true. Desertion is part of war. A real soldier is known when he is put in the warfront. The one who is not a soldier would run away and abandon his job. Our soldiers are recruited from the Nigerian society and, today, most people are not called to be soldiers, they joined because they are desperately in need of jobs.
“ As long as there is war, there would continue to be desertion and there would continue to be recruitment. Since Alexander The Great, soldiers have been deserting. In the Second World War, there was desertion and even in the Nigeria Civil War, people deserted. It is only in peacetime that you don’t see people deserting. But those who volunteer to fight and defend their nation do not desert; they fight until there is victory.”
Lt.-Gen. Minimah also warned soldiers resident in Lagos to obey the laws of the state and be of good behaviour.
He said: “As a disciplined institution (Army) we have an image to protect. I would admonish you to be of good conduct whether in uniform or not. Conduct yourselves very well. Do not be involved in any questionable movement.
“Respect the rule of law. Respect the laws of Lagos. Lagos State has laws that are made by legislators, you must respect those laws. I am also talking about the BRT lanes. Try and ensure that you don’t use the BRT lanes. The essence of BRT lanes is to encourage the use of public transportation by car owners so as to reduce traffic on our roads.
“The other time a soldier was mistakenly killed and hoodlums took advantage of the incident to attack buses. I want to say that it was not the army who destroyed those buses.”
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