Lance Corporal Philomena Nnamoko, a 39-year-old female soldier serving in Ilese Barracks, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, has raised concerns over her mental well-being and is requesting her voluntary discharge from the Nigerian Army. Nnamoko claims that her numerous appeals for discharge have gone unanswered.
Nnamoko expressed her distress, stating, “I am gradually losing my mind, I am psychologically imbalanced, and people are saying they want to book me for AWOL. I cannot go through that torture again. I want to leave the service.” She has written over 10 letters seeking voluntary discharge, with her last letter submitted on December 11, 2022. Despite others being discharged, her name has not appeared on any discharge lists.
Her legal counsel, Kayode Oshiyemi, has expressed concerns about her emotional well-being and emphasized her strong desire to leave the service. He urged the Army to grant her a voluntary discharge to alleviate her distress.
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In response to the situation, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, clarified that the Nigerian Army follows specific terms and conditions governing enlistment, service period, and discharge or retirement. He mentioned that once an individual meets the criteria for discharge or retirement, it will be approved.
The spokesperson for the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major Olaniyi Osoba, expressed a desire to hear directly from the female soldier, indicating a willingness to address her concerns.
The case of Lance Corporal Philomena Nnamoko underscores the importance of addressing the mental health and well-being of military personnel and highlights the need for a timely and compassionate approach to requests for discharge in the Nigerian Army.
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