By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
NNEWI—CAMPAIGN for Democracy, CD, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate alleged polarisation of the military into North/South and Christian/Muslim divides.
It also asked President Buhari to investigate alleged neglect and maltreatment of Nigerian soldiers fighting the insurgents in the North East.
CD demanded the sack of the Chief of Army Staff if the allegations are found to be true, saying that negligence and failure to statutorily take care of the welfare of soldiers fighting in various flash points in Nigeria is a serious offence.
In a statement issued in Onitsha after its meeting in Abuja, National Publicity Secretary of CD, Dede Uzor said: “It has become very imperative for the Federal Government to investigate allegations of negligence and maltreatment of soldiers fighting insurgents in the North-East and the polarisation of the military into North/South and Christians/Muslims.”
“We demand that if these allegations are found to be true, the Chief of Army Staff should be sacked.
“It has therefore, become very imperative for President Buhari to investigate the allegation and if found to be true, should sack the Chief of Army Staff for failure to take care of the welfare of soldiers fighting in various flash points in Nigeria particularly those in the North East.
“The Chief of Army Staff should also be sacked because his action amounts to gross misconduct, abuse of office and negating the rule of engagement in line with international best practice”
According to CD “the investigation carried out by human right groups has shown that soldiers were kept at Sambisa forest and other parts of North East for more than seven years without transfer or allowing them to see their families.”
“CD also gathered that soldiers stays in the forest for about three months without allowances, there are still cases where soldiers stay three months inside the forest fighting against the insurgents with only paltry N10, 000 as stipends.
“There are also allegations and cases of ethnic bias in the transfer and deployment of soldiers, where soldiers from a section of the country are sent to Sambisa forest without providing necessary logistics and the requisite training to fight terrorism.
“The military has been polarised and compromised into North/South, Christian/Moslem bias and disposition.
“CD gathered from 233 battalion in Damaturu, Yobe State, that soldiers posted there since 2012 have not been transferred, apart from lack of accommodation and standard barracks they have been facing.”