Nigerian Army commander allegedly manipulated promotion of soldiers in Borno


Nigerian Army personnel attached to the 7 Division, Army Headquarters, Maiduguri, Borno State, have accused the General Commanding Officer of the division, Major General W. Shaibu (N/9895), of corruption, partisanship, lopsided promotion of soldiers and negligence of their welfare.

Some of the aggrieved soldiers said since Shaibu resumed as GOC of the Division, he has been busy engaging himself with politicians and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and leaving his primary assignment.

According to the soldiers who preferred hidden identities to avoid victimisation, the GOC has also monopolised Special Promotion, continued to deny infantry soldiers within Maiduguri their promotion while he sent the promotion allocations to his corps soldiers which is armoured corps in Bama.

“For the promotion, they don’t normally look at thread, courses or last date of promotion. But what has happened in the recent one is not so. The GOC just started giving allocations, meanwhile in special promotion there are no allocations. All units only have to do is to forward those that are due to the headquarters for screening and release the final list.

“This time around, for soldiers and battalions in Maiduguri, mostly the infantry is being affected. The GOC being from the armour corps took the promotion to 21 armoured brigade and denied the infantry the opportunity.”

They lamented that since Shaibu’s resumption of office, he only conducted durbar once as he failed to prioritise soldiers’ problems.

“The senior officer is not fair to us as a superior officer. N68 million is his running cost to take care of 7 Division but come to the 7 Division hospital and see what’s happening. Soldiers with their family are busy buying drugs in mammy market or pharmacy at Baga Road,” one of the soldiers said.

“The senior officer is busy engaging himself with NGOs and politicians. He doesn’t stay in office. For the past one year, he only did Durbar once to hear soldiers’ problems for twelve months.

“Durbar is supposed to be done every two or three months to hear complaints from different units, but he doesn’t listen,” another soldier explained.

They re-emphasised that in one year he spent in office, the GOC had done Durbar (a situation where the GOC gathers the soldiers to hear their complaints) only once, saying that “The man doesn’t have time for that.”

According to soldiers, formerly, once soldiers are brought from Jadi to Buni Yadi after their training, and from Buni Yadi to Maiduguri before going to other sectors for orientations, from theatre, they normally give them uniforms, one pair each, with one desert boot “but this time around, there was no uniform, no boot, no blanket, under this kind of weather. Soldiers are going to bush without proper uniform, without proper first aid boxes.”

They noted that “At 7 Division hospital, you can stay from 8a.m to 5p.m before you can be given drugs, and they don’t even have some of the drugs. We are ready to defend this country but the leaders don’t have Nigeria at heart.

“For promotion, the infantry are being denied. Only armoured is being favoured, while the infantry are the ones playing the major roles in complete theatre.

“We want the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Mr. President to intervene. Soldiers are not happy with the conduct of this senior officer, the GOC, Major General W. Shaibu.”

They said that Wednesday made it the fourth day when soldiers were being laid down every morning for orientations.

“If you see them like refugees on parade ground before they are taken to the bush, you will weep for them. We are going through a lot of things.

“The soldiers on orientation, not that theatre headquarters or 7 Div headquarters is, feeding them. They are on their own until they get to their locations. Some of them are already selling their handsets to feed. Some of them go through this situation for one week or even 10 days. Corruption in the military is the highest.

“There are a lot of issues and problems. He is being given N86 million as running cost every month to run the Division, not the battalions because the battalions have their own allocations but I doubt if this man spends up to N5 million out of the N86 million.

“No Sallah or Christmas bonus, meanwhile, we normally share rice no matter how small it is but since this took over, there has not been anything like that,” they lamented.


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