About 227 members of the Nigerian Army serving with 3 Armoured Division in Jos, who were allegedly dismissed by the military authorities on Friday protested against their General Officer Commanding (GOC), asking for the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The soldiers who stormed the Plateau State NUJ Secretariat in Jos with placards said they were unjustly dismissed without any known offence and without the benefit of fair hearing.
The leader of the protesting soldiers, Sergeant Abiona Elisha, said, “We were dismissed this week Tuesday from the service of the Nigerian Army after sending us to go and suffer fighting insurgency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states.
“All of a sudden, we were recalled to the barracks and made to face trial. Even in the trial, we were not given the chance to defend ourselves. They just took decision and dismissed us. We were not even told what our offences were during the so-called trial.
“We are surprised that we can be treated like this in our own country. We were sent to fight insurgents without weapons. A lot of our colleagues were killed in the course of defending our fatherland. Even those who are in hospitals treating injuries they sustained from battle fields were also dismissed while still on hospital admission.
“The worst situation is that families of our colleagues killed in Adamawa and Yobe are languishing in hunger as Nigerian Army refused to pay their entitlements.
The soldiers called on the President and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, to intervene in their case and reinstate them.
When contacted, Deputy Director of the 3 Armoured Division Jos, Col. Texas Chukwu, said : “I am not aware of the development; I just returned from Yola on Tuesday. So I am not aware of anything. Thank you.”