The Nigerian Army has banned yearly leave and permits for soldiers assigned to the North-East Joint Task Force, Operation Hadin Kai.
In military terms, a pass is a permission to be away from one’s unit for a limited period of time.
When on pass, the majority of the country’s soldiers and commanders deployed for Operation Hadin Kai are anticipated to travel countless miles to visit their family.
In an internal memo obtained by SaharaReporters, the army said the ban was for the soldiers to prepare adequately for Operation Desert Sanity 11. The signal dated October 30, 2022, was signed by one Col SO Bello.
The signal partly read: “JTF (NE) OP Hadin Kai. Ban on leave and passes. Eye am directed to respectfully convey subj wef date to enable fmns/units under command frep adequately for OP desert sanity 11.”
While speaking to SaharaReporters some soldiers expressed their displeasure at the latest development.
“This very signal originated within the 7 Division, Maiduguri for their selfish interest and to punish the soldiers. We doubt if the Army headquarters is aware of this,” a soldier told SaharaReporters.
“Imagine, we soldiers are being treated like slaves in the bush, some of us for over five to six months have been here without seeing our families in the barracks and now the present GOC 7 Div Maiduguri raise this signal that no leave and passes. Please who does that? Hasn’t he been seeing his family members?
“Leave and passes are part of our welfare and that will enable us to travel and see our loved ones. We kindly appeal to the Chief of Army Staff to wade into this, we are also human beings, and the terrain isn’t so friendly to stay more than three months without seeing our family members.”