Reactions have continued to trail the comments made by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on the string of losses suffered in the ongoing counter-insurgency war in the North-East.
While speaking at an event in Abuja, the COAS was quoted to have said: “It is unfortunate, but the truth is that almost every setback the Nigeria Army has had in our operations in recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks.”
He was further quoted as saying that the perceived unwillingness on the part of the troops could be necessitated by ‘simply insufficient commitment to a common national/military course by those at the frontlines.’
However, a retired General, who spoke in confidence with New Telegraph on the development, expressed fear that same had the capacity to dampen the morale of fighting troops.
According to him; “The morale of the troops will be dampened, to an extent; it is natural. To an extent, it is going to dampen the morale of the fighting troops at the frontline.
“When somebody is doing something, for you the father, the Chief of Army Staff to say this, we are all human beings.
“The morale of the fighting troops at the frontline must be dampened; no doubt about it.”
In the same vein, a retired state Director of State Services (DSS), Mr. Mike Ejiofor, said the COAS position may be interpreted as lose of troops’ confidence.
“Of course, it will dampen the morale of the fighting troops.
“So, what it means is that, either he (Buratai) has lost control, or he has lost the confidence of his troops.”
Some soldiers, who spoke in confidence on the matter, for fear of being victimised, wonder what the army chief expected from troops, whose allowances were alleged not to have been paid as at when due.
“What does the Chief of Army Staff want from us again? When they are allegedly not paying us our full allowance as at when due…
“Let me tell you what you don’t know: Our living condition in the forest is not too good, we lack adequate arms to tackle terrorists.
“Just motivate troops first and see if there would not be tangible gains recorded. Some of us have been in this place fighting these terrorists, putting our lives on the line.
Another soldier, who also craved anonymity said: “Imagine when soldiers die in the line of duty, their wives and next-of-kin go through a lot of difficulty in getting their benefits. How do you expect soldiers to keep dying for nothing?
“You don’t expect a soldier to fight armed-to-the-teeth terrorists with substandard weapons, do you?
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