Editor's note: For the second time the Nigerian army soldiers who do not want their personalities to be revealed reach Legit.ng with an open letter to the Nigerian government and military authorities. This time a soldier deployed in Bita, Borno state, in close vicinity to the Sambisa forest, the Boko Haram stronghold, exposes the truth about the living conditions, fighting capacity and morale of his fellows.
The "daily routine"
We are not the only soldiers in North East.
We came to Adamawa state, fought hard and recaptured all lost territories from Boko Haram. After two months of recess we were given a task to capture Bita, a community located in Borno state - a stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorists - and hand it over to the troops of the seventh division of the Nigerian army. The task was successfully completed. Ever since then we have been anticipating to hand over to the seventh division only to hear that we have been deployed operationally under the seventh division and administratively under the third division.
This is our eighth months in Bita, a very strong Boko Haram enclave, and today is worse of it all. Today, January 10, 2016, we have come under a heavy terrorist attack, and lost four soldiers; 17 are badly injured. With no air support and little resources we have endured the attack lasting for four hours, and completed it successfully having destroyed much of the enemy's equipment.
Soldiers need help
Please, the army authorities should render us support because we are fed up, and some of our soldiers are beginning to go insane. The day we pull out of Bita the Nigerian army will start all over again. The duty of the Nigerian Air Force is to provide air support for ground troops in combat, and also aid in medical evacuation of casualties. But that has never been the case in operation Lafiya Dole. I have been in these operation since 2012, so there is nothing hidden to me about all this anymore.
When soldiers are injured what you hear is that the zone is not safe to land, but whenever the so-called generals feel like or are compelled to come to front lines, they come with choppers and heavy gunship escorts. Does it mean that the 114 task force battalion with the troops deployed in Bita is no longer hamans? We have the soldiers wounded as a result of the January 10 attack, however, what they say is it is not secure for the choppers to land and evacuate them for prompt medical care.
We are still waiting to hear from Dambazau why he suspended our travelling claim and furniture allowances when he was the chief of army staff. When I have been crying all these years that corruption in Nigeria has started in the army people have thought I am lying, but now the secret is coming out gradually.
Is security a myth?
Are we not secure enough? How many minutes will it take to a helicopter to land and take off? Now the wounded have to go through the bad roads and gallops linking to Bita, which are not safe from mines and enemy ambush. On several occassions we have requested mine sweepers from the theatre commander, the general officer commanding and the seventh division; all to no avail. The equipment is worn out. We have only survived by God's ultimate love and grace. After 14 months of fighting and eight months on the hostile ground our numbers have reduced drastically owning to the killed and wounded in action.
You know, while a very large area, from Malam Fatori, Kangarwa, Damasak, Duguri, Gudumbali, Kangalam, down to Chekou Thalia in Chad, is being controlled by Boko Haram up till this very moment, I can beat my chest and tell you where the Chibok girls are right now. The white men sent their surveillance here, and detected where these girls were, but when they came back to use the chemicals they find out all the terrorists wearing oxygen masks. As I have said there are saboteurs everywhere.
Just today over 30 innocent souls were slaughtered close to the place we are deployed. You can see the Chad Basin have dried up, all fishermen and farmers many have been slaughtered, and some may have run away.
If we are not rotated by the time the soldiers revolt, we will ensure Boko Haram recaptures all the lost territories both in Adamawa and Maiduguri. Then they will know that Boko Haram is still very strong in Nigeria, and they will stop decieving Mr President. However, let me tell you before God: if the Nigerian government is ready I bet that within a month we will wipe out these bastards.
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