According to reports, the Nigerian Army has deployed 3,032 soldiers that were pardoned to fight Boko Haram insurgents.
These 3,032 soldiers are among the 5,000 dismissed soldiers who were sentenced to death for disobeying a direct order by their commandant to fight Boko Haram insurgents. It's been reported that on Thursday, the soldiers had been sent to the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, following the completion of a two-week reorientation training programme organised for them at the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora, Niger State.
A military source said that the soldiers were moved to the headquarters of the 7 Division, Maiduguri, for deployment in the North East. The source said:
“The Army authorities have re-launched the 3032 soldiers who were granted pardon by the review panel into the mission area.
“The soldiers were moved to the 7 Division Headquarters where they are expected to be deployed in various locations in the conflict area.
“You know that they were moved to the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora, for a two week training programme for their readmission into the service.
“They completed the course and have been deployed in the North-East sometime last week to add more value to the operation.”
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said that the soldiers were now ready to fight the terrorists. He said:
“The committee has concluded its sitting last week and has made certain recommendations that led to the reinstatement of 3,032 soldiers into the Nigerian Army out of the 5,000 cases that were reviewed.
“The reinstated soldiers have shown total readiness to be re-launched into the theatre to combat insurgency and have now commenced a retraining exercise at the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora, Niger State.
“This training is to reorient the affected soldiers and prepare them for this closing stage of the operational aspect of the counter insurgency operations with more weapons and new leadership.”
Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Gabriel Osu, said it was a great decision for the soildiers to be recalled and that now that are properly equipped they are more willing to fight.
Msgr Osu said:
“We thank God. At least, they have allowed reason to go beyond military style because these guys would have just faced firing squad for nothing.
“If you don’t equip your soldiers, you don’t train them well, you don’t pay them well, don’t expect anything different from whatever has happened.
“This is a very big morale booster; the morale booster is there for them to carry out the presidential task.
“You will see that with backing and with the arms, the soldiers will fight well and they will do their best to crush the insurgents.”