Metele: Battle-weary Soldiers Demand Redeployment after Three Years

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By Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Battle weary and surviving soldiers of 175 Task Force Battalion, Metele, Borno State, weekend called on military authorities to redeploy them after three years of battling insurgents.

The battalion recorded high casualty figures when rampaging terrorists attacked it last month, killing over 23 soldiers.
The soldiers, who spoke to THISDAY, lamented battle orders issued to soldiers to return to Metele without any arms and ammunition to back it up.
The soldiers earlier decried  the freezing of bank accounts of soldiers who fell in the battle as well as surviving soldiers, making it difficult for them to feed and forcing some to depend on families at home for handouts.

“We were asked to return to Metele after recent attacks without weapons. How do we dislodge them (terrorists) with bare hands?
“We have stayed here for three years or more and they have not bothered to send replacement. Does it mean there is no other military formation to replace us?”, the soldiers who spoke anonymously queried.

They lamented the army leadership’s alleged refusal  to allow the soldiers, who were “traumatised” after the Metele attack to go home and see family members.
“They should change us. Are we the only soldiers in the Nigerian Army. They did not even care about the fact that we are traumatised after the Metele attack yet they want us to go and fight without weapons and allowances”, one of the soldiers said.