The Commanding Officer of the 231 Battalion, Biu, in Borno State, Lt. Col. M. E. Obi has allegedly unjustly dismissed about 15 soldiers from the Nigerian Army.
A source in the military who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons told SaharaReporters on Sunday that soldiers who complained about any injustice meted out to them under Obi always got dismissed.
The source said even though the Nigerian Army has other disciplinary actions to use in correcting errant soldiers, Obi prefers to dismiss soldiers in his battalion.
He talked about the latest case in which a soldier made several complaints to the adjutant that working with the Commanding Officer was endangering his life, therefore would like to cease working with him.
“There was this case that happened recently about a soldier. I think it’s better to keep him anonymous. But it happened in my unit in 231 Batallion. That soldier was unlawfully dismissed because the soldier made a complaint about his officer. He said he didn’t want to work with the officer again and complained several times to the adjutant. He said the officer was looking for a way to cause a problem that could endanger his life. He went ahead to complain to the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM).
“As a commanding officer, he was supposed to call the soldier and inquire why the soldier didn’t want to work with him. But, our commanding officer is not like that. He doesn’t have a listening ear at all.
“Having been frustrated, the soldier said if he would fire his commanding officer if he continued working with him. The next thing we heard was that the soldier was dismissed. That’s why you have different cases of soldiers shooting officers. The officers don’t care about the welfare of the soldiers attached to them or working with them. They don’t have a listening ear,” the source said.
He went further to reveal that insurgency and other insecurity crises in the North East are at an alarming rate because the officers of the Nigerian Army don’t bother about the welfare of the soldiers.
He also disclosed that Lt. Col Obi, having spent only two years and four months, has dismissed 15 soldiers under him.
The source, therefore, asked the Nigerian government to look into the unlawful dismissal of soldiers in the Nigerian army.
“Many soldiers have been unlawfully dismissed by their Commanding Officers. Lt. Col. M. E Obi assumed his position in February 2019, and by that, he has only spent 2 years and 4 months there but he has dismissed 15 soldiers.
“This thing is happening now in the South East region of the country, and this has made the crime rate go up in the country. This commanding officer, Lt. Col M.E. Obi has dismissed over 15 soldiers during his administration. Other disciplinary measures can be taken but he just likes dismissing soldiers anyhow.
“The Nigerian army has many disciplinary measures but the Commanding Officers just dismiss soldiers as they like and Nigerians crying about insurgency and other crimes, which are increasing in the North. So, the Federal Government should look into unlawful dismissal of soldiers,” he said.