The fight against the Boko Haram terrorists is taking a strange dimension as 12 officers and 89 soldiers have deserted the army in the aftermath of last week’s attack on Marte and Dikwa local government areas of Borno State.
The Nigerian army declared them missing from Operation Lafiya Dole Headquarters in Maiduguri, in a signal dated March 1, 2021.
The absconding soldiers include three majors, three captains, six lieutenants, three sergeants and 89 soldiers who fled after the attacks on Marte and Dikwa.
The signal, signed by Col. A.O. Odubiyi, on behalf of the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, partly read;
“I am directed to connect Reference A on above subject and to respectfully forward details of additional officers and soldiers who absconded from the defensive location during the BHT attack on New Marte and Dikwa.
“You are requested to declare the named officers and soldiers’ deserters WEF 19 Feb 21. You are also requested to cause HQ NAFC to freeze their accounts and apprehend/bring them under military escort to this Headquarters if seen within your AOR.”
Media report says that the bank accounts of the affected personnel have been frozen. The order to arrest and freezing of bank accounts of the fleeing soldiers reportedly came from authorities of Operation Lafiya Dole in Borno.
Various formations of the army have been notified to immediately apprehend and deliver any of the soldiers found in their areas of responsibilities. The names of the soldiers are given below;
Osakwe Festus N
Paul Pilate Saddam
According to the reports, soldiers attached to 15 Task Force Battalion were ambushed and dislodged after hours of intense fighting.
Sources said the troops were overwhelmed and could not withstand the superior firepower of the terrorists. The unit then tactically retreated and relocated to Dikwa, which was attacked again.