A video showing hungry Nigerian soldiers descending on a military helicopter conveying food, water and other essentials has emerged on the Internet.
The footage was first uploaded on Facebook around midnight on Thursday by online newspaper, The Herald, and it came three days after the one about soldiers making desperate appeal for food and water drew widespread condemnation of the Nigerian Army.
The two videos lend their respective corroboration to this newspaper’s exclusive reports about the plight of Nigerian soldiers on the battlefront.
In the latest video, soldiers could be seen swarming on the helicopter. They jostled for the supplies first amongst themselves before turning on the occupants of the helicopter.
While the video was largely inaudible due to the noisy confusion, the following quotes could be clearly heard.
“Come out here! Come out here!” A soldier said while hitting the helicopter with punches.
“You people are not going anywhere,” another one said.
“Kon jade now (Let them come out),” a soldier said in Yoruba.
“Na so the thing be. This is how it is in the bush, life and direct,” a soldier could also be heard as saying.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the General Officer Commanding of Nigerian Army 7 Division in Maiduguri, Victor Ezugwu, was aboard the chopper.
This newspaper also reported that the incident happened in Sambisa Forest last week Friday and further reported the circumstances surrounding the protest.
Most of the soldiers involved in the revolt were deployed to Sambisa from 21 Brigade in Bama, Borno State.
PREMIUM TIMES obtained new details of the incident on Saturday, that show that the soldiers went from 9:00 a.m. on December 14 till 6:00 p.m. on December 15 — more than 24 hours — without food.
When Mr. Ezugwu, a brigadier general, eventually arrived in a helicopter bearing food and other supplies on Friday morning, the troops swooped on him and scavenged the snacks, food and water he brought. They removed all the supplies, including parts for operational vehicles and other equipment, before moving towards the GOC in an attempt to attack him, our sources said.
But Mr. Ezugwu denied that such incident ever played out and accused PREMIUM TIMES of allegedly working to deface the Army and ‘promote’ Boko Haram.
“I want to assure that nothing like mutiny happened in Bama. Nothing happened,” he told reporters in Maiduguri on Friday. “I just came back from Bama and nothing like that happened.”