The Nigerian Army has accused one major and 21 soldiers have been declared wanted for running away from the scene of a Boko Haram attack in Gubio, a community in Borno State that is now partly controlled by insurgents, since on September 29.
According to Premium Times, a military source said 18 soldiers were killed during the attack on a military outpost in the community.
It was unclear how many soldiers were manning the outpost in Gubio at the time insurgents struck at about 4:30 p.m. on September 29, but military sources said the soldiers so far believed to have deserted were 22.
The 22 soldiers who fled were declared as deserters bound to face dire consequences if found.
A list of those declared wanted and obtained from military commanders who demanded anonymity because the disclosure was not authorized includes:
1. Major U.A. Nagogo, a major;
2. Mallam Turaki, a staff sergeant;
3. Benjamin Afolabi, sergeant,
4. Christian Nwachukwu, sergeant;
5. Patrick Kosin, sergeant;
6. Awuwa Orin, sergeant;
7. Ibrahim Amodu, sergeant;
8. Nasiru Umar, sergeant;
9. Bello Suleiman, sergeant;
10. Josiah Seth, sergeant and
11. Muazu Nura, sergeant.
12. Ayodeji Ogunsuji, corporal;
13. Michael Friday, corporal;
14. Wakili Saul, corporal;
15. Akyen Zamani, corporal;
16. Yahaya Abubakar-Doia, lance corporal;
17. Isikuru Venture, lance corporal;
18. Aminu Isiaku, lance corporal;
19. Usman Suleiman, lance corporal;
20. Maigari Markus, lance corporal;
21. Edward Ofem, lance corporal
22. Adams Shehu, lance corporal
They were all accused of absconding from duty to an unknown destination and should be arrested if found and returned in military escort to face disciplinary action.
It was unclear whether the alleged desertion of the major and his men was informed by previous threats from Tukur Buratai, the head of the Nigerian Army, that soldiers would be severely punished if they abandon positions during a Boko Haram attack.
Mr Buratai repeated the warning in June, accusing some soldiers of exhibiting an alarming level of cowardice that had made it difficult to win the 10-year war against insurgency.
The Army boss warning followed a string of successful Boko Haram attacks on military bases that left hundreds of soldiers killed and communities devastated since July 2018.
More than a dozen allegations of desertion involving hundreds of soldiers had been formally raised by the military within the same period.