The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, yesterday, revealed that some soldiers have been caught relating with the Boko Haram insurgents and divorcing vital operations secrets of the Army to the insurgents.
Ihejirika gave the revelation in Abuja at a seminar on Personnel management and development, organised by the Army Transformation and Innovation Centre.
The COAS, who was very displeased with this development, stressed that this had hampered Army operations including causing the death of soldiers.
Few months ago, some soldiers, who were travelling from Akure to Kachia, Kaduna state to train for onward deployment to Mali were killed at Okene, Kogi state, and the COAS said that a soldier supplied the information on their movement to the insurgents which led to that successful attack.
Although vital information on the soldiers was yet to be released by the Army headquarters, the COAS disclosed that, “the soldier has been apprehended and will be court Marshalled.”
He said while some were busy posting negative comments on the internet, others were promoting communications with insurgents and giving them information on the movements of troops.
He warned soldiers to desist from such disloyal acts, vowing to deal decisively with those found culpable.
He said that with the present challenging security situation, it was not good for the Army to be losing operatives to dismissals, stressing on the need for them to be forthright and professional in their activities.
The COAS said that he has advised Commanders to mellow down in dismissing soldiers, but insisted that if the crime was such that they could not afford to keep them, then they had no choice than dismiss and jail them.
He said although the challenges were enormous, the Nigerian Army was also equal to the task to face even more challenges.
General Ihejirika informed that as part of readiness for more challenges, the Army was training over 1000 amphibious soldiers to operate in water ways, establishing 101 Battalion as Army Headquarters reserved battalion, to be led by a Colonel, supported by 25 other officers, as well as building 176 Battalion at Gwagwalada, in Abuja.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Transformation and Innovation, Major General Ibrahim Sani, had said that active digitalised road blocks/ checkpoint have also been put in place to ensure proper checking of movements of criminals, IEDs, arms and ammunitions and free flow of traffic to reduce the hardship encountered by people.