Nigerian Army is an arm of service constitutionally responsible for maintaining peace and defending the country against external aggression on territorial land.
The personnel of this arm of service especially noncommission officers cadre have suffered maltreatment in terms of welfare: social security and income support from bad leadership. The successive ministers of Defence, Finance, Justice/Accountant general, Chief of Defence Staff and National security Adviser who are supposed to check the excesses of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on the proper implementation of govt policies have all entangled themselves in these sharp practices denying Soldiers their welfare and diverting same to personal use. This has been going unabated resulting in dissatisfaction and untold hardship among junior army officers.
The emergence of General Farouk Yahaya, current COAS has worsened the decay system in the Army. He is known to be the worse Chief of Army Staff apart from Gen Ishaya Bamaiyi since Nigeria got her independence in 1960.
Under gen Yahaya, Soldiers who are returning from Operation Hadin Kai , Joint Task Force, (JTF) North East theater have accused him of diverting their disembarkation allowances which were worth more than five hundred million naira to his personal pocket apart from poor feeding, accommodation and inhuman treatment meted against his men at Jaji Military Cantonment Kaduna State in the name of “post-trauma reduction” training for a period of three weeks each batch.
It would be recalled that since May 2023, almost two thousand combatants who have completed their duty in NE operation are currently undergoing rotation exercise. Each Soldier is entitled to seven hundred thousand naira as a disembarkation allowance which General Farouk Yahaya (COAS) denied them.
On their arrival at Jaji Cantonment, the already exhausted or fatigue Soldiers from the counter-insurgency operation, were compelled to harsh or dehumanise treatment such as eight hours of tracking, inadequate feeding, poor medication, and poor sanitary facilities.
Servicemen who have sacrificed their lives for the peace of Nigeria for many years on the battlefield only to be subjected to slavery at Jaji, Kaduna. Even when these military personnel had endured short payment of their operational allowances in the North East for years, the authority at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry under Maj Gen O.A Olatoye (Commandant) still denied them disembarkation allowance which would have ease their transportation to their various units.
It was so bad and unethical that Soldiers who returned from war had to transport themselves to many formations/Units out of their meager salary in our unsecured roads which had become terrorists, bandits and kidnappers hub. Soldiers were used at the theatre and dumped at the so-called Jaji military cantonment as they scramble for food daily like refugees. It is the responsibility of the authority to provide adequate feeding, protection/safety, transportation and medical care to personnel but the reverse was the case.
Unlike Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air force who cares for their men, the Nigerian Army has not been taking proper care of its personnel for years in all ramifications. Most personnel live in dilapidated houses especially barracks situated outskirts of the cities even when govt has provided enough funds for soldiers’ welfare.
Additionally, NA since 2017 has failed to implement (MAFA 2017) Manual Financial Administration document which former president Muhammadu Buhari signed into law. In the said document, personnel salary/wages/allowances has been increased but only 30 % is being paid to soldiers despite billions of naira released to the Army yearly. Till date, Soldiers don’t know their actual salary as the payment varies in figures of personnel on the same rank. The authority under the watch of Lt. Gen F. Yahaya had continued to impoverish their subordinates to misery. Many personnel has turned to robbers, kidnappers and criminality of all sorts because their entitlement are not given to them by the authorities concerned. This is the reality of NA as Soldiers are always being treated like thrash.
Soldiers are appealing to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a matter of urgency to direct NA authority to fully implement MAFA 2017 documents to avert the looming danger in the system.
Each year FGN has been giving enough funds running into trillions/billions naira for the welfare of servicemen only to be shared among few generals in the army who are not only unpatriotic but never cares for the welfare of their subordinates’ officers. NA as an institution has contravenes its core values….courage, discipline, respect for others, selfless service and loyalty by its very leaders who are supposed to uphold it.
My identity remained undisclosed for security reasons.
Mr President, NA is in urgent need of reforms for the present generation of generals have destroyed the system as it is today. Thank you in anticipation, Mr President, for coming to our aid in eradicating massive corruption in the system..
Signed; A Patriot writes from Maiduguri.
Headquarters Joint Task Force, (Operation Hadin Kai ) North East Theatre.
June 2023.BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis