Sunday, July 25, 2021

Soldiers fighting Boko Haram depressed, I’ve ordered troops rotation: Buhari

War against Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists have left many Nigerian soldiers depressed, forcing President Muhammadu Buhari’s hands to order a rotation of troops.

• June 18, 2021

The prolonged, over-a-decade war against Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists have left many Nigerian soldiers depressed, forcing President Muhammadu Buhari’s hands to order a rotation of troops.

Mr Buhari, a former soldier and dictator, admitting that numerous soldiers face depression, pointing out that battle-weary combatants are grappling with “battle fatigue.”

Last March, the National Leader of Mr Buhari’s party, Bola Tinubu, had urged Mr Buhari to authorise immediate recruitment of up to 50 million young Nigerians into the Nigerian Army, saying such action would overwhelm the ragtag groups of insurgents and bandits terrorising the country across multiple flanks.

On Thursday, Mr Buhari indicated that he had found a solution to the problem, as he revealed during his visit to Boko Haram-ravaged Borno in the North-East that he had ordered the rotation of soldiers in the front line to reduce their battle fatigue. 

Visiting troops in Operation HADIN KAI at the Maimalari Cantonment on Thursday, Mr Buhari said his government was committed to the welfare of troops in the front line. 

“In addition, your welfare is of utmost importance and concern to this government. I am glad that the gradual rotation of the troops in the field has commenced, as I directed,” Garba Shehu, a media aide, quoted Mr Buhari to have said.

Mr Buhari added, “I am sure that this will minimise and possibly eliminate battle fatigue, as well as enhance troops’ morale.” 

According to medicinenet.com, battle fatigue is post-traumatic stress; a psychological disorder that develops in some individuals who have had major traumatic experiences (and, for example, have been in a serious accident or through a war). 

The person is typically numb at first but later has symptoms including depression, excessive irritability, guilt (for having survived while others died), recurrent nightmares, flashbacks to the traumatic scene, and overreaction to sudden noises.

In March, Peoples Gazette reported that the army declared at least 100 soldiers wanted for fleeing from Boko Haram.

With many soldiers maimed and killed by the terrorists, coupled with reports of ill-equipping of the troops, Mr Buhari was full of praise of the soldiers, assuring them of proper treatment at all times.

“Your courage and gallantry will continue to inspire others as they echo into the future,” he assured the troops. “While I commend your resilience, let me remind you that there is still a lot of work to be done, to completely restore peace to the North-East, stem the activities of armed bandits in the North-West and North-Central, as well as deal with other security challenges across the country.”

More from Peoples Gazette

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma and Nnamdi Kanu

Enugu

Imo now safe; able to deal with future threats

Imo has come under heavy attacks from unknown gunmen who target government establishments and politicians.

Bandits (Credit: VOA)

States

Bandits attack Kaduna police division, officers injured

Mr Jalige said the attack, which occurred on July 23, at about 11:00 p.m., involved a large number of bandits who came in three Sharon utility vehicles.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed

Education

Only best students from North used to get admission into federal schools: Lai Mohammed

Mr Mohammed stressed that in his time, only the very best from the 13 Provinces in the North made it to the college and not by any other consideration.

Dapo Abiodun

States

Ogun governor pledges local government autonomy

The governor said he would ensure the new local government chairmen who would emerge from the just concluded election got autonomy to administer their council areas.