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Soldiers protest unpaid allowances

Some Nigerian soldiers on Thursday protested against the non-payment of allowances and poor equipment, Channel TV reported.


The aggrieved troops, according to sources at the Maimalari barracks, besieged the headquarters of the Theatre Command in Borno State, shooting sporadically into the air on Thursday night.


Sources said the troops of an unidentified battalion in Operation Lafiya Dole, protest after they were posted to a location in the Theatre of Operation.


Some of the soldiers who spoke under anonymity recalled how a whole unit that went for reinforcement when Marte was captured last month, perished under superior firepower of insurgents.


This protest came when kidnapping has been a big threat to Nigeria’s security, especially in northern region of the country.


Since December 2020, gangs of bandits seeking lucrative ransom have kidnapped a total of 769 students from their boarding schools and other educational facilities across northern Nigeria in at least five separate incidents.


That figure changes every time with reports of more attacks and abductions.


The region has long been afflicted by violence fuelled by disputes over access to land and resources, among other factors.


Mining activities in Zamfara State have also been blamed for the uptick in violence in the region.


Criminal gangs have taken advantage of the lack of effective policing to launch attacks, pillaging villages, stealing cattle and spreading fear.


Boarding schools have been particularly targeted by the criminal gangs.


At least $18.34m was paid to kidnappers as ransom – mostly by families and the government – between June 2011 and March 2020, according to a report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence, a Lagos-based political risk analysis firm.


“The motivation of these groups appears to be purely economic,” Ikemesit Effiong, head of research at SBM, told Al Jazeera. “They don’t seem political. The high rate of poverty in this country has led many to resort to such criminal activities for economic survival.”

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