No fewer than 200 Nigerian soldiers have voluntarily retired from active amid rising insecurity across the country, according to Headlinenews.news investigative reports.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Army Headquarters on Saturday, August 20, 2022.
The announcement is coming barely 24 hours after a report said at least 243 soldiers in the North-East and other theatres of operation applied to the Chief of Army Staff, Faruk Yahaya, for voluntary retirement.
The report further stated that none of the 234 soldiers had reached the mandatory retirement stage.
The action comes amid worsening security challenges the military is currently combating in most parts of the country.
Reacting to the news report in a statement made available to journalists, Army spokesperson, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said the voluntary retirement of over 200 of its personnel is a routine execrise in the army and not an aberration.
Gen, Nwachukwu said it is within the rights of soldiers to withdraw from service when they deem it fit and if such request meet certain conditions.
The statement read, “The allegation that soldiers of the Nigerian Army (NA) are proceeding on voluntary retirement due to alleged corruption, poor service conditions and low morale as recently reported by some media outfits in the social media is nothing but a concoction of the imagination of the unrepentant enemies of the nation and mischief makers and should be outrightly discountenanced by the public.”
“The subjective and unethical report is a distraction and another failed attempt at dampening the morale and fighting will of the loyal, dedicated and patriotic fighting force of the NA.
“Perhaps these impenitent mischief makers need to be schooled to understand that the NA is not a conscript Army and that recruitment into the NA is voluntary with extant policy on discharge and retirement of soldiers and officers respectively, like other organizations.
“This provides its personnel the opportunity to apply for voluntary discharge, when they deem fit and meet the terms and conditions as stipulated in the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/ratings/airmen (Revised) 2017.
“It is thus, the inalienable right of a personnel to voluntarily or on medical grounds apply for discharge, if they meet the terms. It is therefore not an aberration that the COAS granted approval for 91 NA/32/4792 WO NDAGANA ISHIAKU and 242 others to voluntarily discharge from the NA, as being unprofessionally manipulated by some media.
“It must also be mentioned, that the quantum of equipment that have been injected into the theatres and prompt payment of operational allowances, have all turned the tide against the insurgents. Also worthy of note is the welfare flight for troops, which has significantly reduced the burden of troops travelling in and out of the theatres, in addition to huge commitment on the medical needs of wounded-in-action soldiers and the barracks communities.
“Equally important, is the fact that troops are now being regularly and consciously rotated from the frontline, hence, issues of overstay and battle fatigue are gradually being overcome. Suffice to say, that some of these recently discharged soldiers are beneficiaries of these giant strides.