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Soldiers protest over unpaid allowances, obsolete equipment, Nigerian Army responds

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Soldiers

Some Nigerian soldiers during the week protested against the non-payment of allowances and poor equipment, Channel TV reported.

The aggrieved troops, according to sources at the Maimalari barracks, besieged the headquarters of the Theatre Command in Borno State, shooting sporadically into the air on Thursday night.

Sources said the troops of an unidentified battalion in Operation Lafiya Dole, protested after they were posted to a location in the Theatre of Operation.

Some of the soldiers who spoke under anonymity recalled how a whole unit that went for reinforcement when Marte was captured last month, perished under superior firepower of insurgents.

This protest came when kidnapping has been a big threat to Nigeria’s security, especially in northern region of the country.

But the Nigerian Army has dismissed reports of obsolete equipment or alleged unpaid operational allowances.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, in a statement on Friday, said the media reports were unsubstantiated and did not represent the true situation of the incidents.

Yerima said that what some media reports described as the protest was a mild complaint by few soldiers of the Mobile Strike Team (MST), deployed for Exercise Tura Takaibango in the frontline of operations.

According to him, at about 3 p.m. on March 25, some of the troops of Mobile Strike Team 10 and 11, who were primed to conduct phase 2 of Exercise TURA TAKAIBANGO in Bama after the first phase of the exercise, raised some concerns.

“The concerns were quickly addressed before they were relaunched to the second phase of the operations. On the issue of ‘obsolete weapons’ as reported in some media, the position of Army Headquarters is that soldiers have right to demand proper weapons to prosecute the operations.

However, the Federal Government was making concerted efforts toward deploying new fighting equipment to augment the existing ones in the theater of operation.

“The Army wishes to also deny report that any soldier was owned any operational allowances. No soldier has owned any allowance in the theatre,” he said.

Army spokesperson gave assurance that the Nigerian army would continue to remain focused and determined to perform its constitutional roles and responsibilities professionally in the protection of the sovereignty of Nigeria.

He added that the army was also committed to ensuring the safety of lives and property while clearing the terrorists, their cohorts, and collaborators in the country.

 

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