Mutiny: Four military officers quizzed





Strong indications emerged on Wednesday that the military high command had started taking decisive steps against security personnel involved in acts inimical to the military tradition.

It was gathered on Wednesday that four army officers were arrested for allegedly encouraging some soldiers, who disobeyed a directive on posting to Bama, one of the areas where Nigerian troops are fighting Boko Haram insurgents.

Mutiny is defined as a situation, in which a group of people such as sailors or soldiers refuse to obey orders and try to take control away from their superiors.

The posting was said to have affected mainly the 21 Armoured Brigade Garrison, Maiduguri in Borno State whose men were said to be on standby for redeployment to Bama.

It was learnt on Wednesday that the posting did not go down well with the men of the unit, who were of the view that the garrison should have been a rear party (support unit) rather than being posted to the area of operation.

Investigations further revealed that the soldiers felt that they were being moved out for the men of the division to take over Maiduguri metropolis.

The soldiers in the units were also said to have complained that they were involved in three operations such as the multinational Joint Task Force, the Joint Task Force in Damaturu, Yobe State and the task force in Mubi, Adamawa State. They believed that they should have been addressed collectively before any such deployment.

A source, who confided in one of our correspondents, said the military authorities became alarmed when some of the soldiers decided not to honour the posting. This made the military high command to order the arrest of four of the officers of the formation.

It was learnt the commanders of the 21 Armoured Brigade Garrison in Maiduguri, comprising a Lieutenant Colonel , a Captain and two lieutenants, were arrested two weeks ago .

However, after a thorough process of investigation, the military authorities released the four officers after finding them not guilty of the suspicion that they had a hand in the reluctance of the troops to leave Maiduguri for Bama.

It was gathered that the Lieutenant Colonel had been posted to another unit while the other three officers had been deployed to Bama.

Investigations further revealed that the military leadership had arrested several soldiers, who dropped their guns to desert from the Army.

Although, the source did not give a figure, the soldiers were said to have been moved to Abuja to face interrogation.

The source said the arrested soldiers came from different battalions.

It was, however, gathered that the military authorities were also investigating some soldiers of 195 Batalion, Agenebode, Edo State over the attack on Danboa

The Agenebode battalion which is in charge of Danboa is said to be affected by the issue of desertion in the Army.

A security source said that the military authorities were serious about taking decisive steps against misdemeanours in the ongoing efforts to prevent the troops from being discouraged by deserters.

The source stated that the military leadership was determined to ensure that disobedience and cowardice were not condoned because of their grave implications on the success of the counter-terrorist operation.

One of our correspondents made repeated efforts to speak with the Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade, without success.

As of 8.37pm on Wednesday, he had not responded to an SMS sent to him.

Cameroonian troops kill 27 B’Haram insurgents

Cameroonian soldiers have killed 27 members of the Islamist group, Boko Haram, near a border town with Nigeria.

Reuters quoted Cameroon’s state radio on Wednesday, saying the insurgents crossed the border into Cameroon earlier this week, after attacking a military base and police station in Gamboru Ngala in Borno State.

“Cameroon soldiers have killed 27 Boko Haram elements during an attack in a locality near Fotokol in the far-north,” the state radio, CRTV said,.

It added that the deaths occurred on Monday and Tuesday. There was no word on any Cameroonian casualties.

A Cameroonian soldier in the region said the militants had been pushed back into Nigeria, with calm returning to the area on Wednesday.

In recent weeks, Boko Haram, which is seeking to carve out a de facto Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has stepped up attacks in Cameroon, leading the central African country to increase deployments along its border with Nigeria..

President Paul Biya dismissed two senior army officers last month following attacks in which at least seven people were killed and the wife of the vice prime minister was kidnapped

Insurgents attempt to blow Nigeria-Cameroon bridge

Meanwhile, the insurgents have attempted blowing up a bridge on the Nigerian border with Cameroon after overrunning a town and sending residents as well as soldiers fleeing.

A Cameroonian police officer stationed in Fotokol told the Agence France Presse that the militants tried on Tuesday to destroy the bridge, which leads to Gamboru Ngala in Borno State.

Three children were reportedly injured by flying shrapnel when explosives were detonated, possibly by firing from the Cameroonian side of the border on Monday.

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