Report has it that tension is currently rising among the top hierarchy of the Nigerian military as fear of an imminent rebellion among ranking officers spread.
According to report by punch, 4 undisclosed senior officers (including a Major General) told the newspaper that many soldiers, especially those at the war front were already showing signs of agitation over the inability of the military high command to provide them with weapons and adequate welfare.
“I can tell you without mincing words that many of us, officers, are afraid because the soldiers can revolt anytime from now. You will recall that some soldiers of the 21 Brigade in Sambisa Forest last year went on the rampage, revolting against their superiors,” an undisclosed officer said.
“Such rebellion only happens when the officers lose the trust of their men. The soldiers have been complaining about lack of weapons and welfare but their demands are being ignored. Always remember that whenever there is an attack, if 40 soldiers are killed, only two officers will be affected. This is because the soldiers are the ones at the battlefront.
“If they feel they are being led to their death, they will rather revolt and save themselves rather than die. As it is, we are fearful of what may happen. We don’t want a Bangladeshi Rifle Revolt in Nigeria like it happened in 2009 in Bangladesh where soldiers killed 57 officers,” the officer said.
Recently, over 100 soldiers and their unit commander, a Lt. Col., were killed by Boko Haram, as the terrorist stormed their based.
Another officer, a Major General in the Nigerian Army, told the newspaper that apart from lack of weapons, the military was already losing the anti-insurgency war due two reasons, strategy and lack of synergy among service chiefs, noting that there was disunity among the Army, Air Force and Naval Chiefs.
He further stated that the service chiefs had become lords unto themselves.
“The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. (Abayomi) Olonishakin, has no control over the service chiefs. He summons meetings and the service chiefs don’t come.
“The indiscipline has reached a level that the service chiefs now bypass the CDS and the Minister of Defence and write letters directly to the President. The service chiefs even attended Mr President’s campaign launch recently. This is not the military I (have) spent 33 years serving. You don’t break the chain of command,” the undisclosed Maj. Gen. said.
“On several occasions during our security meetings, if you bring up an alternative view, you become an easy target for those in power. These service chiefs have stayed for too long and are now bereft of new ideas.
“From the order we were given, Boko Haram is not supposed to occupy an inch of Nigeria’s territory. The strategy they decided to use was to spread our men thinly across the border so that we can boast that no territory is under Boko Haram.
“What we should have done is to allow Boko Haram have a particular territory which we can identify and then we would unite our men on one front and form a wall. We would then attack the insurgents head on. Our men are just being killed because they are thinly spread.”
Another army officer, a colonel, revealed that the United States Africa Command had not been giving Nigeria the much needed Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).
“In the past, AFRICOM would provide us with intelligence and then the Nigerian Air Force would bomb terrorists’ strongholds.
“However, this arrangement seems not to be working anymore. What AFRICOM has been doing is to boost security in Niger Republic in order to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on uranium.
“It may seem they do not trust Nigeria with intelligence anymore.”