The Nigerian Army has offered explanation in respect of the 365 soldiers reported to have resigned for low morale, saying they have attained the 35- year statutory age for retirement in the Service.
According to The Nation, the Military source, who didn’t want to be mentioned because the Nigerian Army has chosen not to officially respond to the report, said the affected soldiers were officially notified via an internal memo, which he said was picked up by unauthorised persons and reported in the media.
Some online and conventional newspapers reported that 365 soldiers left the Service for low morale occasioned by poor leadership and motivation.
According to the source, the disengagement is an annual routine exercise where soldiers and officers who have attained the statutory years of retirement are eased out from the Service and replaced.
He added further the 365 soldiers will proceed to the Army Resettlement centre for a.three-month pre-retirement training where they will acquire vocational skills that will equip them for post- service life.
“It is an annual routine in the Army to disengage soldiers who have served the statutory 35 years in the Service, after which they proceed for three months pre-retirement training at the Army Resettlement Centre in Lagos State.
“So an internal memo was written to the affected soldiers and a mischievous journalist picked it and wrote that 365 soldiers are leaving the Service over low morale.
This is unfortunate.When has it become a crime to retire after statutory years of service in the Military or any other sector?”
Meanwhile in a separate statement on its verified Facebook page, the Nigerian Army said that 4,600 Patriots recently joined the Army and indicted interest in fighting terrorism.
The statement reads partly: “The 365 soldiers who left the Army disengaged in a normal routine exercise at the end of their service.
The Nigerian Army is not in short supply of Nigerians willing to join its ranks. 4,600 Patriots recently joined the Nigerian Army out of which a large proportion opted to go into Special Forces fighting terrorism”.
Also troops in the frontline have denied reports of low morale, insisting that they are “well motivated, happy and ready to fight for their fatherland which is the professional responsibility of the Nigerian Army”.
One of the Commanders on the frontline, who pleaded anonymity, condemned the report as a distraction, adding that “our troops are happy and willing to fight. I have soldiers here with me and we fight day and night”.