A Case Of Indisicplined Chickens In Nigerian Military? Soldiers Fire On Their Commander For Ordering Them To Fight Boko Haram

By on May 17, 2014

A Case Of Indisicplined Chickens In The Nigerian Military? Disgruntled Soldiers Fire On Their Commander For Ordering Them To Fight Boko Haram!

It was a shocker yesterday when the news finally made the headlines that some Nigerian soldiers had fired on their Commander for daring to order them to battle at night. According to reports, some Nigerian soldiers fired on their own commander yesterday after they were ordered into a Boko Haram ambush that killed a dozen of their comrades.

Apparently, the soldiers had been conducting operations around Chibok, the town where over 200 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April, when they came under attack by Boko haram, and lost some of their colleagues. The next day, the surviving soldiers then fired at one of their senior officers who came to pay respects to the killed soldiers in anger. According to some of the soliders, they fired on him because he had ordered into that fateful battle at night when it ‘was not safe for them’

nigeira soldiers firingNow, to me, this looks like a very clear case of indisciplined military chikcens, murderous mutineers; and seditious soldiers  in the NIgerian Military with grave implications for our entire country

When I first read this report about Nigerian soldiers firing on their own commander for ordering them to fight the Boko haram insurgents in a night attack, I was incredulous. I had to ask myself: ‘when is this insanity going to end?’  First, we had almost 300 of our children kidnapped, right under our noses by Boko Haram terrorists, who had no military airplanes, but were able to take the children from a village into the forest, without being challenged by any of our military or police personnel in the area. Now we have soldiers shooting thier commanders, instead of boko Haram,  for ordering them to fight when they considered it unsafe for them?

Realy. Is this the same army the deputy minister of defense, Musiliu Obanikoro recently claimed is among the best in the world at a recet CNN Interview? I wrote a piece about how idiotic Obanikoro sounded on CNN and many of his supporters were ready to cut off my head for the HardTalk against this clueless Deputy Defence minister.

Back to this issue of the soldiers attak on their commander.I will not even bother to discuss whether the Commanders’ order was tactically sound or not, because that is totally irrelevant. Under the terms of their engagement and training, soldiers are expected to OBEY a direct order from their commander. The military is NOT a democracy where lower soldiers can challenge the decision of their commander or ask for a vote on whether an order was reasonable or safe for them.

This action on the part of the soldiers is not only an embarrassment for Nigerians and an unbearable shame for our military. The soldiers involved in the matter are guilty of treason and the penalty for treason is still death by hanging the last time I checked. I am not sure that these soldiers even realized that mutiny is one of the most serious offences in the military. When soldiers get o decide when they want to take a rest, or which part of the night is ‘safe’ for them to go into battle, then our military is ruined for ever. How are we going ot ever get our girls back in that circumstance of defend against aggression from foreign countries?

For the sake of whatever little integrity is left for our military, and our Commander In Chief, President Johnathan Goodluck, this matter needs to be dealt with in the most resounding manner. The soldiers involved need to be rounded up, given an expedited trial and hung or sentenced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT as a lesson to other soldiers and the world at large that Nigeria is NOT going to be a laughing stock and that we are really ready to do what it takes to bring back our girls. A country like America that we all love to hate will gladly sacrifice the lives of 100 marines to rescue a child in captivity. That’s why their military is feared and respected all over the world.

picture of some of the kidnapped solidersI believe it is this lack of willingness to put themselves in danger, or in harm’s way, as demanded by thier professions, that has paralyzed our military in dealing with this Boko haram sect. We have soldiers who are busy thinking of their safety first before mission. How can we move forward with a military in that mindset? Our military will rather stay at the barracks and drink pepper soup rather than going to look for the Boko haram invaders. It is embarrassing enough for us to see serving officers with pot bellies waddling around on base, now the junior officers are saying they will rather sleep at night rather than march against an enemy. Yet, our Commander in Chief does not see how serious this matter is.

Now, let’s be clear, I am not saying the Commander was wise or that his decision made sense to send people into a fight when they were tired and at night in a strange locale. I don’t have the facts and in any case I am not a military man so I won’t know whether it’s better to fight Boko haram when they are praying or when they are raping teenage girls, but like I said earlier, that discussion or judgment of his actions is irrelevant to the seriousness of this criminal behaviors by those soldiers. 

Yes, it is sad that they lost a few of their colleagues in battle. Tough luck but that’s exactly what soldiers do. They fight and sometimes they die in battles just like they were killing the enemies too. Losing a colleague is no excuse for turning your guns against your Commander. If he acted in bad faith or as idiot, there are avenues for soldiers to file report and get the matter taking up by those who are even hire than the Commander. What you cannot do is shoot your Commander in anger. That’s mutiny. Its treason and they hang you for that or you go to jail for the rest of your lives regardless of the provocation. That’s just the way it is

In conclusion, I think this incident further points to the culture of indiscipline that has permeated our military. They are too pampered to be of any use to use in the face of real aggression posed by Boko Haram and other terrorists. They have inculcated the bad habits of their generals who were too bust chasing oil contracts and making money to tend to the business of training and maintaining discipline among their ranks. Of course the ultimate blame, AGAIN, goes to our Commander In Chief, Jonathan Ebele Goodluck.

Yes, I know Jonathan Goodluck was not there and he may not have foreseen what could be happening in Chibok front but HE IS THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. Like everywhere else, we hold him accountable for this mess unless he can quickly sweep into action and deal with this issue decisively in a way to command our respect. However, if chooses to take his traditional part of reticence and fear to call a spade a spade, that will be one more mark against him and against his continued relevance as our President. Who would want a Commander in Chief that cannot maintain discipline in the military?

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.


  1. anonymous

    May 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    U shuld find out the main reason for that act not just coming into conclussion…u are not in d military, so u dnt knw what goes on inside of it…becareful what u post on medias ooo..abeg..save ur head first before anytin else

  2. John Bature

    May 20, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Sir only a fool judges a on hearing one side. When i heard from a soldier who has friends among those involved in the incident their own sideI asked why they didnt kill that general. For your info some officers are sympathetic to Boko haram- whether you believe or not thats your problem. Dont sit down lazily without investigating and just judge people. Cheap journalism is as bad as …..

  3. Bsani Abdulsalam

    May 20, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I think it is the fult of our govt’ for deployed soildier in the town which is against the militry regulation,as a soildier you minimum and maximum living or stay in public,but what is happing in nigeria today soildiers have alredy takin over police duty in our land every body is busy making money,eveen instructor in training school is no longer doing his job bxos his mind is in outside were his colligues are makin mony,so if today militry would go back to barrack am asure that the displines must be maintain in the system

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