SaharaReporters has learned that 30 Nigerian soldiers based in Maiduguri, Borno State, this morning refused to proceed to Bama area to engage insurgents belonging to the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
A military officer at Maimalari Barracks told our correspondent over the phone that the soldiers refused orders to fight on the grounds that they were not provided with the kind of sophisticated guns and other equipment used by fighters of the Islamist militant group.“They [soldiers] said that they will only go to battle Boko Haram in Bama if they have superior weapons,” said the officer.
Many Nigerian soldiers and officers have complained that Boko Haram fighters often attack them with much more superior equipment. Others have accused their commanders and Defense officials in Abuja of purchasing obsolete hardware and military gear.
Confirming today’s act of disobedience by Nigerian troops, our military source added that the recalcitrant soldiers were disgruntled over the deaths of numerous colleagues of theirs ambushed and killed by Boko Haram insurgents.
“They said they are not prepared to take the risk of going to battle in Bama until they are adequately armed with better weapons,” according to the officer.
As at the time of this report, it was unclear whether the soldiers were still standing their ground against fighting.