In light of the recent losses by the Nigeria Military in its fight against Boko haram in the North east, reports gathered have suggested that senior officers of the Nigeria army have begun waking up to their responsibilities as fear of a mutiny has gripped the hierarchy.
According to the Punch Newspaper, there is fear among the top military brass of an imminent rebellion among junior officers and infantry men within the Nigerian Army.
According to several senior military officers, many of the soldiers fighting on the front lines have been showing signs of dissatisfaction in recent weeks over the inability of the military high command to provide them with weapons and adequate welfare.
According to one of the officers;
“I can tell you without mincing words that many of us, officers, are afraid because the soldiers can revolt anytime from now. You will recall that some soldiers of the 21 Brigade in Sambisa Forest last year went on the rampage, revolting against their superiors.
Such rebellion only happens when the officers lose the trust of their men. The soldiers have been complaining about lack of weapons and welfare but their demands are being ignored. Always remember that whenever there is an attack, if 40 soldiers are killed, only two officers will be affected. This is because the soldiers are the ones at the battlefront.
If they feel they are being led to their death, they will rather revolt and save themselves rather than die. As it is, we are fearful of what may happen. We don’t want a Bangladeshi Rifle Revolt in Nigeria like it happened in 2009 in Bangladesh where soldiers killed 57 officers.”
According to another source, a Major-General, asides from the usual lack of weapons, the war against the insurgency was being lost because of a lack of strategy and synergy among the service chiefs.
The source further alleged that there was extreme disunity among the service chiefs which was beginning to affect soldiers on the battlefield.
“The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. (Abayomi) Olonishakin, has no control over the service chiefs. He summons meetings and the service chiefs don’t come.
The indiscipline has reached a level that the service chiefs now bypass the CDS and the Minister of Defence and write letters directly to the President. The service chiefs even attended Mr. President’s campaign launch recently. This is not the military I (have) spent 33 years serving. You don’t break the chain of command.” He added
The senior military officers also revealed that the service chiefs had become stubborn and refuse to listen to alternative views adding that;
“On several occasions during our security meetings, if you bring up an alternative view, you become an easy target for those in power. These service chiefs have stayed for too long and are now bereft of new ideas.
From the order we were given, Boko Haram is not supposed to occupy an inch of Nigeria’s territory. The strategy they decided to use was to spread our men thinly across the border so that we can boast that no territory is under Boko Haram.
What we should have done is to allow Boko Haram have a particular territory which we can identify and then we would unite our men on one front and form a wall. We would then attack the insurgents head on. Our men are just being killed because they are thinly spread.”
According to another high military source, a colonel, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) has refused to share intelligence gathered through its Surveillance and Reconnaissance with the Nigerian military like it used to.
“In the past, AFRICOM would provide us with intelligence and then the Nigerian Air Force would bomb terrorists’ strongholds.
However, this arrangement seems not to be working anymore. What AFRICOM has been doing is to boost security in Niger Republic in order to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on uranium. It may seem they do not trust Nigeria with intelligence anymore.” He said