This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Monday, December 7, 2015
FREE SOLDIERS CHARGED FOR REFUSING TO FIGHT INSURGENTS WITHOUT ADEQUATE WEAPONS
SOLDIERS CHARGED FOR REFUSING TO FIGHT INSURGENTS WITHOUT ADEQUATE WEAPONS
Nigerian soldiers were sentenced to death in December 2014 for refusing to fight
Boko Haram insurgents unless they were given adequate equipment.
soldiers had on August 4, in Maiduguri, refused to join the 111 Special Forces
Battalion troops, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Opurum, for an
operation against extremist group, Boko Haram. The operation was meant to
recapture Delwa, Bulabulin and Damboa in Borno State from the insurgents.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) deems it
necessary for the Federal Government (FG) to pardon the soldiers who are
currently on death row in view of fresh facts emerging from the celebrated
cases of diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms for Nigerian
soldiers fighting Boko Haram.
will be recalled that former National Security Adviser Col. Dasuki (rtd) and
some Nigerian politicians are currently facing charges of fraudulent diversion
of the sum of $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of weapons and equipment for
the Nigerian military.
remind FG that the 54 soldiers had been participating in the war against the
insurgents until they discovered that Nigerian soldiers were not receiving
weapons meant for prosecuting the war. They had fought gallantly for their
country until they realized that highly placed traitors were robbing Nigeria
blind by diverting funds meant for the purchase of arms. They saw that Nigerian
soldiers were being made sacrificial lambs and forced to go on suicidal raids
by politicians who were lining their pockets with blood money.
call FG’s attention to the fact that all the accused soldiers pleaded not
guilty to the charges, and argued that they were prepared to fight but had
It is only an irresponsible parent who
sends children to school without books and writing materials. Farmers do not go
to their farms without hoes and cutlasses. It is therefore the superiors of the
54 soldiers who have questions to answer.
MURIC asserts that the 54 soldiers engaged in an extremely patriotic
act by protesting and refusing to fight without adequate weapons in order to
expose the dirty deals in the battle against insurgents.
In fact, had the 54
soldiers not embarked on the protest, Nigerians would have remained oblivious
of the true picture, the massive killing of Nigerian troops by the insurgents would
have continued unabated and the whole North East, nay, the entire Northern
Nigeria would have been run over by Boko Haram in a matter of months.
Instead of killing the 54 soldiers on death row, therefore, they
should be garlanded as heroes and decorated with medals. We consider these men
as whistleblowers. They are gallant soldiers and patriots sadly mistaken for
Is it not true that Nigerian soldiers were forced to flee as
Boko Haram insurgents advanced in the days of former President Jonathan? Is it
not true that the picture changed after President Muhammadu Buhari took over? What
swung the pendulum? Is it not because adequate equipment was bought and
supplied by the new regime?
The order to march
forward and fight Boko Haram with bare hands was improper command and the 54
soldiers refused to obey in national interest.We call on FG to let the condemned soldiers
live. They are the gem in the collection. Killing them will be a miscarriage of
justice. We therefore appeal to FG not only to pardon them but to reinstate
them in the armed forces.
The real traitors are those politicians who diverted funds meant
for the procurement of arms. They should be rounded up, tried and severely punished.
That money is blood money. Its diversion made it possible for hundreds of
Nigerian soldiers to fall on the battle field. It caused the killing and
maiming of innocent Nigerians in the North East. The looters facilitated the
bombing of churches, mosques and motor parks. The hands of these corrupt
politicians are soaked in blood and they must pay for it.
In conclusion, we call on the Federal Government to pardon the condemned
soldiers and vigorously prosecute those behind the diversion of arms funds. We
appeal to the National Assembly to wade into the matter. We also urge civil
society not to forget these gallant but unlucky soldiers on death row.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)