Soldier writes Buhari – Says it is big shame we have joined the Army
The federal government through the Ministry of Defence, has finally released funds for the payment of operational allowances of thousands of Nigerian soldiers fighting in several theaters of operation including Operations Lafiya Dole, Sharan Daji, Harbin Kunama and the recently concluded special security operations in the South-South and South West.
Also an unknown soldier has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari lamenting the alleged corruption in the army and that this is the third month in a row that they have been denied operations allowance.
He lamented that they ‘rely on meagre salary for everything and that from battalion commanders, to Company and Sectors leaders, they are all in debt, because the salaries are not enough to sustain them at the battlefront and feeding thier families back at home.
‘It is a big shame that we have joined the Army to defend the civilians, yet we have to go to the civilians in town to borrow money to fend for ourselves at the battlefront.’ he said.
But the Ministry of Defence on Monday said the funds released was to be used to pay the third quarter operational allowance of soldiers partaking in international peace-keeping and peace-enforcement operations in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and others.
It would be recalled that for some time, there had been murmuring by troops in the frontline concerning the delay in the payment of the allowances which is regarding as a potent morale boosting factor for troops who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis in battle.
The release of the funds is coming just as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai on Sunday, dispatched a ‘Special Message of Assurance, Encouragement and Commendation’ to troops of the Nigerian Army engaged in various operations both within and outside the country.
According to the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, This letter was sent to various Formations and Corps Commanders, as well as Commanders of the various training institutions of the Nigerian Army on Sunday 5th November 2017.
“In the letter, Lt. General Buratai showered encomiums on the troops for the unflinching loyalty, perseverance, courage and dedication to duty which brought about the desired success in the fight against terrorism, insurgency and other criminal activities.
The Army Chief also paid glowing tribute to those troops stationed outside the shores of our great nation assuring the troops especially those on Operation Lafiya Dole, of their welfare. Consequent upon the release of the funds for the payment of operational allowances and logistics for the Third Quarter 2017 from the Ministry of Defence, Buratai stated “That this would facilitate the payment of operational allowances owed to them for the last 2 months this week accordingly”.
The COAS while thanking the troops for their patriotism, patience and understanding, further reiterated that he will ensure that as usual, all funds meant for the troops and the Operation Lafiya Dole will always be paid promptly when received from the appropriate Ministries.
He further stated that the Nigerian Army High Command under his leadership will continue to remain responsible, responsive and accountable to troops’ operational requirements. Commending the troops for their bravery, discipline and loyalty, the COAS nevertheless reminded them to always have confidence and trust on the leadership of the Nigerian Army and indeed that of the nation, adding that they must work hard to flush out the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists wherever they are hibernating including the cyber terrorists.
Soldier writes Buhari ..soldier writes Buhari says it is big shame we have joined the Army to defend the civilians
An unknown soldier has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari lamenting the alleged corruption in the army.
In the letter by the soldier decried the corruption level in army saying ‘due to corruption in the system, some unfortunate soldiers, mostly from less privileged backgrounds, are left to fend for themselves.’
Soldier letter to Buhari
Having read the online correspondence between Dr. Idris Ahmed of CUPS and our Army spokesman, Brigadier General S.K. Usman, I have decided to take a major risk and write to your Excellency directly over this issue. Sir, I am a course-mate of Pvt. Abdulrauf Aliyu, who Oga S.K. claimed that he has gone AWOL.
We trained at the same company, Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, Kaduna State. We are presently posted to Operation LAFIYA DOLE. On behalf of all the colleagues of Pvt. Abdulrauf Aliyu, I categorically refute the allegation that Pvt. Abdulrauf Aliyu deserted the Army.
The Sections 59 – 63 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, as quoted by Oga S.K., has always been mentioned by our superiors, to protect themselves and antagonise us, whenever they have done mischief.
Your Excellency, the case of Pvt. Abdulrauf Aliyu is actually not an isolated one. There are many such cases of soldiers who got wounded on the battlefront. It is true, some are well looked after, as mentioned by Oga S.K. Usman in his press release. Unfortunately, due to corruption in the system, some unfortunate soldiers, mostly from less privileged backgrounds, are left to fend for themselves.
Like myself, Pvt. Abdulrauf Aliyu comes from a humble family. He sustained life-threatening injuries in the abdomen during a routine operation. The initial first aid treatment and medical care that he received was very inadequate. With full Army permission, Pvt Abdulrauf Aliyu and his family paid for his transfer to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. Unfortunately, the care he received in Maiduguri Teaching Hospital too was inadequate.
Eventually, his family had to pay for his transfer to a specialist facility in Sokoto. Your Excellency, corruption in the Army is REAL, and it is killing us. Every man and woman who decided to join the Army knows the risks. While we expect to die in the hands of the enemy, we don’t expect to die in the hands of the Nigerian Army, due to corruption and criminal negligence.
Just the other week, about 14 (I am not sure of the exact numbers) of our colleagues died in the hands of Boko Haram, who attacked the Army camp. The circumstances surrounding their unnecessary death warrants a full investigation by his Excellency. Sir, you will be shocked of the outcome. The bodies of the slain heroes are still lying here in Damaturu, Yobe State.
The story of this incidence has hardly been officially published by the Army or Nigerian media. Attached is the picture of the commander of the camp. He too died in the attack. Your Excellency, this is the third month in a row that we have been denied of our operations allowance. We have to rely ONLY on our meagre salary for everything. From battalion commanders, to Company and Sectors leaders, we are all in debt, because our salaries are not enough to sustain us at the battlefront while feeding our families back at home.
It is a big shame that we have joined the Army to defend the civilians, yet we have to go to the civilians in town to borrow money to fend for ourselves at the battlefront. Take for instance the food that we are fed. Most of the times it is not fit for human consumption. I attach for your perusal, your Excellency, the lunch that was fed to us this afternoon (3/11/2017).
As you can clearly see, there is not a single piece of meat or fish in it. The taste of the food is so bad that we have to add surplus salt to be able to eat it. This is also dangerous for our health. A plate of our food per soldier is probably about two hundred Naira (N200). It is said that the Federal Government spends about fourteen thousand Naira (N14,000) on each prisoner in Nigeria.
Here, at the battlefront in Operation LAFIYA DOLE, the Army spends about six hundred Naira (N600) per day per soldier on feeding us, while in reality billions of Naira is appropriated per year for this purpose. Your Excellency, we are treated like animals.
Most of us are afraid to talk because of the dire consequence. As the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, your Excellency, kindly investigate. There is corruption in the Army.
Brave soldiers are needlessly dying.