The Nigerian Army has recalled about 149 soldiers of the 153 Infantry Battalion, Marte, accused of absconding from warfront in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency, over alleged inadequate provision of arms and ammunition.
It was gathered that the soldiers had absconded from duty after the terrorists attacked their camps, leaving scores of their colleagues dead.
The insurgents had, on Monday, February 15, overran Marte.
While most of the villagers ran away for safety, some were held by the insurgents.
It was also gathered that the gunmen came with heavy machine guns and trucks, and took possession of the military formation in the community, including high profile fighting equipment and vehicles.
At least 10 soldiers were reportedly killed during the attack.
The gunmen also set ablaze two battle tanks and a pickup van belonging to the Nigerian Army.
“We lost about 10 soldiers in the fight, the troops were outgunned by the gunmen. It was an intense battle, the terrorists also suffered casualties but they were able to overwhelm the soldiers,” a military source had said.
It was also learnt that soldiers were moved to Maiduguri few days after the attack while those from Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna State, were used to replace them.
The Army authorities subsequently dismissed them and retrieved their uniforms and identity cards.
“We were overwhelmed and could not withstand the superior firepower of the terrorists. Sufficient weapons were not provided for us to fight the terrorists and we ran out of weapons. Some of the weapons provided for us were obsolete, so it was not really our fault.
“We have been told to resume, I’m so happy,” one of the dismissed soldiers said.