The 3,200 soldiers dismissed from service between 2003 and 2015 have pleaded with army authorities to temper justice with mercy and reinstate them.
They made the appeal on Friday in Daura when they visited Alhaji Sani-Uba Daura, the Chairman of Buhari Youth Awareness Forum, through a seven-man delegation led by Sgt. Abdullahi Kutama (93NA/37/066).
Kutama said most of them dismissed from service during the period committed minor offences.
According to him, the offences range from Away Without Leave (AWOL), disobedience to a particular order, insubordination to two fighting and other related misdemeanor.
He added that they were in Daura to plead with the chairman of the forum to help them take their case to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He explained that they believed the chairman was very close to the president, hence he could intervene on their behalf.
The leader of the dismissed soldiers said they were not claiming right, but pleading with the army authority to consider their plight and reinstate them to the service of their father land. The sergeant added that many of them could hardly feed their families, assuring that they would not engage in anything that would jeopardise the nation’s unity.
He said “we had lodged formal complaint on this matter at the office of the army
chief and expected positive response from authorities concerned. “And if we would not be reinstated, we pray for discharge certificate to enable us to secure jobs elsewhere.”
Responding, Daura expressed concern over the plight of the dismissed soldiers and
promised to pass their message to the President when he return.
He urged them to continue to be law abiding and respect constituted authorities, stressing that “you have no other country, but Nigeria.” When contacted, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, said that the army was not under any obligation to personnel dismissed for their misdemeanor.
Usman said some of the dismissed soldiers pleading for reinstatement were sacked due to serious offences, ranging from murder, rape to disobedience to order.
He added that “a number of them hibernated in some uncompleted buildings on Katampe road at Mpape in the FCT, constituting nuisance in the area.” He, however, said they had been dispersed by army authority.