Military high command asks unite commanders to retire all disgruntled and unmotivated soldiers

NIGERIA'S military high command has ordered the compulsory retirement of all disgruntled or unmotivated personnel in the armed forces with immediate effect as part of a renewed effort to combat the growing insecurity in the country.


For several years now, Nigeria has been dogged by chronic insecurity with Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa province terrorists controlling large swathes of territory in the northeast of the country. Then, across the northwest, heavily-armed bandits have been running riot for several years now, while across the rest of the country, kidnappers have run rife and armed Fulani cattle herdsmen are on the rampage.


Morale among members of the armed forces is said to be at an all time low, with a high level of desertion, especially in the army, high. In a memo issued by Rear Admiral Mohammed Nagenu, the chief of defence administration at defence headquarters on behalf of the chief of defence staff, General Leo Irabor, commanders were told that the disgruntled and unmotivated officers and soldiers no longer exhibit a high level of undivided loyalty and the presence of mind required for military operations.


Rear Admiral Nagenu said: “In view of the above, deployments of such personnel do not benefit the services and are in fact counter-productive. Consequently, on the identification of disgruntled or unmotivated personnel services are advised to take steps to compulsorily discharge or retire such personnel in line with extant laws.”


Defence headquarters spokesperson, Major General Jimmy Akpor, confirmed the development but frowned at what he described as the regrettable leakage of what he said was an internal affair. He said for the armed forces to carry out their constitutional roles efficiently, it depends on and emphasises loyalty, discipline, integrity and self-sacrifice, among other core values.


Major General Akpor said: “Take for example loyalty, it is both vertical and horizontal. All personnel must be loyal to his/her superiors and all lawful orders must be communicated downwards. He/she must also be loyal to his/her subordinates by the robust leadership he/she is duty-bound to give and horizontally, loyalty to his/her squad, section, platoon, company, squadron, unit, etc by building himself/herself up and conducting himself/herself in a manner that always brings glory to his/her team and the entire armed forces.


“Anything to the contrary portends negative perception for not only his team but also the entire armed forces. Such negativities also erode the morale of the fighting troops and overall efficiency of the armed forces.”


At the moment, Nigerian troops are fighting in 30 of the country's 36 states and some soldiers have complained of inadequate equipment to fight against the armed groups. In a bid to boost the morale of troops, last year the Nigerian Army rewarded some of its personnel at a social event in Damaturu, Yobe State.