12 August, 2014
Nigerian military leadership late Monday announced that the tension raised following the activities of some group of women who tried to disrupt activities in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri earlier in the day has been addressed.The situation which attracted media attention elicited a lot of concern from many Nigerians at home and abroad.
Although the situation was quickly brought under control, the issues brought up by the women were said to have been clarified to them by the authorities of the 7 Division. It was pointed out that contrary to their belief, there has never been any attempt to relocate them as alleged.
Furthermore, it was made clear that while the Army remains sensitive to the needs of the family members, it was not proper for any officer or soldier to decide where he or she be deployed.
Defence Headquarters also stated that neither will such demand be encouraged from spouses in a period of serious operations when the entire nation was depending on the Army to address the security challenges. The women were further assured that no officer, soldier or would be sent on a mission without the necessary means to accomplish their task.
It was also stated that troops were not being sent on operations without the necessary arms, ammunition and support as alleged. The Army cited as reference, the recent operations at Bulanbulin and Damboa where Boko Haram insurgents were cleared without a single casualty on the troops.
The military authorities therefore reassure citizens that the situation has been brought under control, adding that appropriate action would be taken against any person found to be involved in attempts to demoralise or discourage troops by preventing them from obeying lawful orders and command in defence of the country.
DailyPost recalls that hundreds of women and children at the weekend forcefully stopped military trucks from conveying their husbands and fathers to the Boko Haram-seized Gwoza by locking the exit gates of a barracks in Borno State, demanding quality fighting equipment for the soldiers. Scores of soldiers have been killed by Boko Haram sect in Borno State in the last few months, and many blame the inferior weapons Nigerian troops are equipped with to fight brutal insurgents.
Witnesses say after locking the gates,the women and children lined up against the trucks that were to drive out of Giwa Barracks of the 21 Armoured Brigade Maiduguri. The women and children also reportedly blocked the roads leading to the barracks with stones and sticks, while some sat in front of the barracks’ gate.
The protest came after more than 60 soldiers killed in Gwoza and Damboa were given a mass burial at the Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri. That incident led to a well-publicised mutiny, as colleagues of the deceased shot into the air and made attempts at their commander’s life, accusing him and other superiors of putting Nigerian troops’ lives in jeopardy.