The Nigerian Army (NA) has averred that as far as the welfare of its personnel is concerned, they have never had it so good.
This was contained in a statement issued Wednesday, by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, in response to reports alleging plans by serving officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to storm Abuja to protest over unpaid emoluments, poor working conditions and other unsubstantiated allegations.
TheFact Daily reports that the Nigerian Army, in refuting the ‘mischievous’ reports of the online news media, which it calls ‘phanthom’, and ‘a failed attempt at institutional blackmail’, posited that officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army under the leadership of its Chief, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, like never before, have witnessed exceptional positive changes in the moral and physical components of the force.
The Nigerian Army in its statement, said that, as an institution, given the quantum of combat and logistics equipment that have been injected into the theatres of operations – a circumstance that has evidently turned the tide against the complex array of threats facing the nation – it was enjoying the best of times.
“This is in addition to welfare packages introduced by the current leadership of the Nigerian Army. More also, aside prompt payment of salaries and operational allowances, welfare flights have been inaugurated, which significantly reduced the burden of troops travelling in and out of the theatres to see their loved ones”, Nwachukwu said.
The Nigerian Army further mentioned huge commitment on the medical needs of wounded-in-action officers and soldiers and the barracks communities, as well as scholarships that are also being awarded to children of officers and soldiers killed in action in the ongoing operations, as inclusive of the welfare packages enjoyed by its personnel.
“It is worthy of note, that across all NA Barracks there are deliberate efforts at providing conducive working and living conditions for troops and their families. These interventions in the form of massive barracks construction and renovation works, with visible footprints are bringing succour to NA personnel nationwide”, the statement read.
Nwachukwu further stated that “the desperate effort by the authors of this unpatriotic report to give ethnic and religious coloration to the activities of the Nigerian Army, is nothing but an inglorious attempt to woo unsuspecting members of the public with bigotry”, and emphasized that the NA remains a symbol of national unity and therefore cannot afford to be divided along ethnic or religious lines.
He affirmed that the NA under the current leadership has remained resolute in carrying out its constitutional role and will vigorously continue to implement welfare programs for the benefit of all personnel.
“Troops deployed in ongoing operational engagements are putting in their best for the nation and should be encouraged, rather than plotting disaffection amongst them. All personnel are urged to remain steadfast and unswayed by the antics of unpatriotic elements, who for selfish gains want to plunge the nation into chaos”, he said.
The NA noted that it would ordinarily have ignored the reports, “judging by the unprofessional and irresponsible manner in which the release was made, citing faceless persons”, but for the weighty nature of the claims, which demands some clarification for the sake of well meaning Nigerians.