How to prevent soldiers from protesting in the future – Shehu Sani
The senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, Sen. Shehu Sani has reacted to Sunday evening’s protest by soldiers at the Maiduguri Airport in Borno State.
The outspoken senator’s reaction came in a tweet via his verified Twitter handle on Tuesday’s morning.
Soldiers of the Special Strike Forces deployed in Operation Lafiya Dole protested against their posting to Marte, a Local Government Area (LGA) in Northern Borno State.
They protested by shooting sporadically in the air at the airport.
According to the soldiers, a military circular from the Chief of Army Staff says no soldier posted to the North East to fight Boko Haram should be there for more than three years.
But Channels TV quoted one of the soldiers as saying that they had been there for almost four years, having been posted to Maiduguri since February 2015.
The soldier further said that out of over 300 troops that originally reported for duty more than three years ago, many had been killed by Boko Haram ambush or landmines while many had died in battle.
Reports say all entreaties by their superiors proved abortive as the protesting soldiers blocked all entry and exit points to the airport.
Sani, while lamenting the situation, described it as “avoidable”.
He called for proper welfare for soldiers that risk their lives to protect the country.
He said that this would help prevent a recurrence of the incident.
The senator said, “Troops revolt as recently experienced and reported from Maiduguri are avoidable.We must adequately support and provide for those who offered to risk and sacrificed their lives to keep ours.Nothing is much for those holding down and putting down the monstrous insurgence.”
Troops revolt as recently experienced and reported from Maiduguri are avoidable.We must adequately support and provide for those who offered to risk and sacrificed their lives to keep ours.Nothing is much for those holding down and putting down the monstrous insurgence.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) August 14, 2018
Recall that a former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode on Monday castigated President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly failing to prioritise welfare of soldiers fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.
Explaining the rationale for the redeployment that led to the protest, Deputy Director Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said, “The redeployment became expedient after a recent assessment of the security situation by the Theatre Command.
“Regrettably however, a few of the troops who had misunderstood the development and erroneously assumed it was going to negatively affect their rotation from the theatre of operation became agitated and reacted by firing into the air.
“Calm has however been restored, as the Theatre Commander, Major General Abba Dikko has promptly taken charge of the situation after addressing and admonishing the troops.
“The Theatre Command undoubtedly considers this ugly incident quite regrettable and appropriate measures are being taken to forestall a recurrence”