The Nigerian Army has denied reports that 25 of its soldiers resigned due to poor welfare and corruption.
This is coming after a report by an online publication claimed that 25 soldiers manning war vehicles in the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps resigned to protest corruption and poor welfare conditions.
In a statement on Thursday by its spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, the Nigerian Army said the soldiers resigned voluntarily, stressing that retirement in the service is routine.
“The Nigerian Army is compelled to respond to insinuations in a publication attributing the resignation of 25 soldiers to allegations of corruption against the Nigerian Army,” the statement said.
“While it is true that approval was given for the voluntary discharge of the soldiers, the insinuation that the soldiers are proceeding on voluntary discharge due to alleged corruption is an implausible effort to frantically dampen the morale and fighting will of the loyal, dedicated, and patriotic troops of the NA, engender disaffection in the ranks and ultimately put the nascent Nigerian Government and nation in a panic mode,” it said.
The Nigerian Army said it was not an aberration for the Chief of Army Staff to approve the voluntary discharge of soldiers, who willingly applied and met the terms for discharge from Army.
Refuting the poor welfare allegation, Onyema said the Army recently raised the ration cash allowance and provided a conducive environment for its personnel to effectively carry out their constitutional duties.
“It is on record that the NA has continuously strived to provide a supportive and conducive work environment and conditions for its personnel. This is evident in the NA’s continuous efforts to improve its operational capabilities, including the injection of equipment into the theaters of operations, prompt payment of operational allowances, including the Ration Cash Allowance recently increased by the new Chief of Army Staff, massive construction of new accommodation and extensive renovation of old and dilapidated buildings.
“These are in addition to the huge financial commitment to the medical needs of wounded-in-action soldiers, including medical evacuation overseas, award of scholarships to children and wards of fallen heroes, and other unique interventions in the theatres of operations to sustain troops’ morale,” the statement added.
He also said the Army had implemented a policy aimed at rotating troops on the frontline.
“Equally important is the deliberate implementation of the Army Headquarters plan for troops’ rotation from the frontline. Hence, issues of overstay and battle fatigue are gradually being surmounted and becoming a thing of the past,” The statement said.
“Suffice it to state that the NA under the leadership of Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, probity, and professionalism by providing exemplary and pragmatic leadership, Sound Administration, that will continue to boldly guarantee the welfare and motivation of NA personnel, as well as provide requisite enablers for operational effectiveness, while maintaining public trust,” it said.