A Nigerian trooper of 145 Battalion in Damasak, Maiduguri, Borno State has surrendered over supposed starvation and abuse by the leader, a military source said.
The source told SaharaReporters that the soldier angrily dropped his rifle on Tuesday and quit the job due to the hardship faced by soldiers on the front.
He said, “Today, a soldier dropped his rifle and quit the job due to frustration plus the hardship we are facing here.”
He had earlier told SaharaReporters that the commander of the battalion, Lieutenant Colonel SA Ochalla, starved him and his colleagues for four days straight without offering an explanation.
The soldier said the soldiers, who were fighting insurgents regardless of the situation, were aggrieved as their two months’ cigarette allowance had not yet been paid.
He said, “We the soldiers of 145 Battalion at Damasak, Maiduguri are dying of hunger. Our commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel SA Ochala, refused to feed us for four days now. He has also refused to give us our money for March and April cigarette allowance; the world should come to our aid.
“We haven’t seen water to drink since morning, plus we have not had food for four days now. We have to fight regardless because our life comes first even before food. We are still combating insurgents even in this condition.
“This is the Nigerian system for you, everything is so corrupt. But the corruption is more pronounced in the Nigerian Army. I have been in the Nigerian Army for more than five years now and I think I can tell you this. Imagine, we are on deployment into the bush and we have not been fed yet. Our commanding officer gave no explanation for this. He has not held any meeting with anyone regarding this issue. We are starving, please help us.”
Nigerian soldiers have complained that they are outgunned by Boko Haram and that they are often sent into battle without adequate supplies.