Thursday, May 15, 2014

GHEN GHEN: Angry Soldiers Open Fire on GOC’s Vehicle in Maiduguri

MAIDUGURI—The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, yesterday, escaped death as angry soldiers opened fire on his official vehicle when he came to address them at the Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

This came as local villagers succeeded in repelling a Boko Haram attack, killing about 200 of the sect members in the process.

Conflicting reports said the soldiers rebelled when they were forced to return to Maiduguri from Chibok as they considered it unsafe. The soldiers argued that it was dark and dangerous to return to Maiduguri that night.

They therefore requested the GOC to allow them spend the night in one of the villages considered to be safe for them, but the GOC insisted that they must return the same night and report to Maiduguri.

Another source said the soldiers went on an operation in Kala Balge council area of the state but they were instructed to withdraw from the assignment and return to Maiduguri immediately. The source said on their way back, they were ambushed leading to the death of some soldiers.

According to the source: “The troops arrived with the corpses of the slain soldiers to Maimalari barracks while the GOC was addressing some troops on the ongoing operation against the insurgency. But when the soldiers sighted the corpses of their deceased colleagues, and learnt about how they died, they condemned the way their superior officers allegedly treated them in the course of the operation, and therefore started shooting sporadically, while others opened fire on the GOC’s vehicle as he narrowly escaped from the scene”.

According to the source, “what angered the soldiers most, was the unnecessary deduction of their allowances and subjecting them to harsh working conditions without proper equipment to carry out their duties and as a result, many of them were being killed like rats by the insurgents”.

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