Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
THE allegation that soldiers of the Nigerian Army (NA) are proceeding on voluntary retirement due to alleged corruption, poor service conditions and low morale has been described as untrue.
The refutation was made in a statement signed by Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu and obtained by Stonix News on Saturday.
It will be recalled that some news outlet (Not Stonix News) reported that military soldiers were retiring from the NA due to corruption, fatigue and poor service condition.
According to the Nigerian Army, the allegations were nothing, but “a concoction of the imagination of the unrepentant enemies of the nation and mischief makers and should be outrightly discountenanced by the public.
“The subjective and unethical report is a distraction and another failed attempt at dampening the morale and fighting will of the loyal, dedicated and patriotic fighting force of the NA.
“Perhaps these impenitent mischief makers need to be schooled to understand that the NA is not a conscript Army and that recruitment into the NA is voluntary with extant policy on discharge and retirement of soldiers and officers respectively, like other organisations.
“This provides its personnel the opportunity to apply for voluntary discharge, when they deem fit and meet the terms and conditions as stipulated in the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service soldiers/ratings/airmen (Revised) 2017.
“It is, thus, the inalienable right of a personnel to voluntarily or on medical grounds apply for discharge, if they meet the terms. It is, therefore, not an aberration that the COAS granted approval for 91 NA/32/4792 WO NDAGANA ISHIAKU and 242 others to voluntarily discharge from the NA, as being unprofessionally manipulated by some media.
“Given the pedigree and mannerism of the publisher of the ill-fated report, it is clear, that it is targeted at deflating the high morale of troops by downplaying recent critical interventions by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya on troops’ welfare, which include car loans, housing loans, extensive construction of new accommodation, massive renovation of old and dilapidated accommodation, building of befitting residences and issuing of vehicles to Regimental Sergeant Majors, scholarship awards to children and wards of fallen heroes and other unique interventions in the theatres of operation to sustain the heightening morale of troops.
“These interventions evidently account for troops’ game changing onslaught in the Noth-East.”
Brigadier Nwachukwu further noted “that the quantum of equipment that have been injected into the theatres and prompt payment of operational allowances, have all turned the tide against the insurgents.”
“Also worthy of note is the welfare flight for troops, which has significantly reduced the burden of troops travelling in and out of the theatres, in addition to huge commitment on the medical needs of wounded-in-action soldiers and the barracks communities.
“Equally important, is the fact that troops are now being regularly and consciously rotated from the frontline, hence, issues of overstay and battle fatigue are gradually being overcome,” he added.
While extending COAS’s congratulations the discharged personnel for their gallantry, patriotism, loyalty and courage while in service, Brigadier General Nwachukwu reiterated NA’s determination to “continue to have direct impact on the welfare and wellbeing of both serving and retired personnel.”