The Nigerian Army will investigate a mutiny that occurred on Wednesday in military barracks in Maiduguri.
This was disclosed by the army spokesperson Major General Christ Olukolade.
He said the inquiry will be on "the circumstances surrounding the conduct of soldiers who fired some shots while the General Officers Commanding was addressing troops in Maimalari cantonment Maiduguri."
Two soldiers told SaharaReporters that some soldiers of the 7th Division shot sporadically into the air at the Maimalari Barracks when they were being addressed by their General Officer Commanding (GOC), Major General Abubakar Mohammed.
Olukolade said that the incident occurred right after the corpses of four soldiers killed in an ambush on their way back from patrol duties in Chibok were being conveyed to the morgue.
A 'reliable source' told Premium Times, however, that not four but 12 soldiers perished in the ambush. According to the source, the angered soldiers opened fire on the vehicle of the GOC. The military dismissed this version of the events as an "unfounded rumour".
The 7th Division was established two months ago specifically for combating Islamist insurgents Boko Haram. GOC Major General Mohammed was appointed in February.
The reason for the mutiny among the soldiers is believed to be the lack of adequate weaponry, delay in payment of allowances, and discontent with the troops rotation system that makes it very hard for soldiers to be redeployed and take a break from exhausting war against Boko Haram.
"We the soldiers don’t have the kind of arms and ammunition that [Boko Haram] fighters have. So everyday, they kill our men anyhow, but it is never published in the media," a source told Sahara Reporters. Another source said that the commanding officers "are too busy ‘eating’ money. And they do not pay our allowances on time. And once [a soldier dies], nobody knows what happens to his allowances again."
Premium Times learned from its sources in the military that the aggrieved soldiers blamed the death of their colleagues on the military hierarchy in the division.
According to the sources, soldiers were ambushed while on a special operation in Kalabalge LGA where residents had on Tuesday killed some 150 insurgents.
After the operation the soldiers were told to return to the barracks in Maiduguri, but they allegedly pleaded with their higher-rankings to wait till the morning saying that a night trip might be too risky. The request was reportedly turned down, said a ranking soldier who requested anonymity.
Half way through their journey Boko Haram ambushed the soldiers and 12 of them, the sources added.
"When the corpses of the slain soldiers were brought to Maimalari barracks in the morning, the GOC had to go there to address the troops. As soon as they spotted the vehicle of the GOC driving into the barracks, some of the vexed soldiers suddenly started shooting at the approaching vehicle; it took an extra effort by the GOC’s driver to retreat back and luckily helped the GOC survive by the whiskers," the ranking soldier added.
Another top security personnel in Maiduguri who spoke off the record said described that action of the soldiers as "misplaced and unprofessional because, the time of the day does not determine when soldiers or troop should move from one point to the other."