Soldiers of the Nigerian Army who are attached to the North-East Joint Task Force, Operation Hadin Kai have been banned from going on annual leave and passes.
In an internal memo that was cited by SaharaReporters, the army said the ban was for the soldiers to prepare adequately for Operation Desert Sanity 11.
It was issued on October 30, 2022, and was signed by one Col SO Bello.
“JTF (NE) OP Hadin Kai. Ban on leave and passes. Eye am directed to respectfully convey subj wef date to enable fmns/units under command frep adequately for OP desert sanity 11,” part of the signal read.
Some soldiers who spoke to SaharaReporters however kicked against the action.
“This very signal was originated within the 7 Division, Maiduguri for their selfish interest and to punish the soldiers. We doubt if the Army headquarters is aware of this,” a soldier told SaharaReporters.
“Imagine, we soldiers are being treated like slaves in the bush, some of us for over five to six months have been here without seeing our families in the barracks and now the present GOC 7 Div Maiduguri raise this signal that no leave and passes. Please who does that? Hasn’t he been seeing his family members?
“Leave and passes are part of our welfare and that will enable us travel and see our love ones. We kindly appeal to the Chief of Army Staff to wade into this, we are also a human being, the terrain isn’t so friendly to stay more than three months without seeing our family members.”
In military parlance, a pass is seeking permission to be away from one’s unit for a limited period of time.