The Nigerian Army said today that it will punish some soldiers who blocked Maiduguri Airport over suspicions that they were going to be deployed to the battle front against Boko Haram.
Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. General A.M. Dikko made it crystal clear that they would be disciplined in accordance with military laws.
“We don’t punish in the military. We discipline. Discipline is the bedrock of the job. If there’s no discipline, then we can’t have an army. So if a soldier errs, he must be corrected”, Dikko said at an event in Maiduguri today.
Two weeks ago, riotous troops, who claimed they had overstayed in Borno state blocked the airport for at least two hours, to resist fresh deployment to Boko Haram fronts.
The Nigerian Army later described them as ‘unscrupulous”.
Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command said the protest by the few unscrupulous troops happened while the command was conducting a redeployment of soldiers at the Maiduguri Airport, following a directive to review troops’ deployment in Maiduguri metropolis, to reinvigorate the security architecture of the city.
“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.”
Maj. General Dikko, spoke on the issue today and said disciplinary actions would be taken against them.
Dikko said the military will not condone any act of mutiny by soldiers fighting Boko Haram.
He condemned the act of mutiny under any guise, maintaining that the law and ethics which the Nigerian Army is guided by would take its full course on errant soldiers.
Dikko reminded them of their oath of recruitment pointing out that they voluntarily joined the military and as such must be disciplined.
“You have decided to put your life on the line for the territorial integrity of Nigeria. So it is very important that we are reminded of our roles and responsibilities to the nation and our responsibility to the society, most importantly our responsibility to ourselves because we are not a conscript army. We are a regular military.
“Those who have volunteered to serve and that is the only time you will volunteer, subsequently having offered your service, it is the responsibility of the services to deploy you where they find you appropriate.
“So it is important that we continue to retain our professional comportment so that we can serve diligently. It’s important that we uphold the values and ethics of the system that we belong to,”said Dikko.
“It is also important that we understand it is a service to our fatherland. It is not a service to ourselves.
“The bedrock of your service as a soldier is discipline. A soldier must remain disciplined at all times. A soldier must obey instructions”.