Army fumes over claims of owing soldiers fighting Boko Haram

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The Nigerian Army says it is untrue that troops under Operation Lafiya Dole protested over unpaid operational allowances as well as obsolete equipment in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

A popular television station had reported Friday that the protest occurred on Thursday night when angry soldiers allegedly besieged the headquarters of the Theatre Command, shooting sporadically into the air.

However, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, in a statement, 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 a protest was a mild complaint by few soldiers of Mobile Strike Team (MST), deployed for Exercise Tura Takaibango in the frontline of operations.

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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 for 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 was owned any allowance in the theatre,” he said.

Army spokesperson gave assurance that 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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