•Soldiers now eat like beggars
The senior officers of the Nigerian Army have been accused of alleged massive corruption and embezzling of nearly N10 billion meant for the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram terrorists in the North East Nigeria.
According to the sources the fund was allocated by the federal government to execute the task of wiping out the terrorists in Borno State “without delay”.
This accusation was contained in an open letter by an eyewitness soldier deployed to Operation Lafiya Dole to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Defence and Chief of Army Staff and obtained by Global Sentinel on Tuesday.
The soldier with a pseudonym ‘Kumshe Warrior’, called on the federal government to launch a thorough investigation into the ongoing operation in Borno State, to detect the corruption and atrocities involved and bring to book all the perpetrators.
He described the corruption by the army generals as deadly, lethal and gruesome. He revealed that their lives are being endangered as the army generals refused to supply them with adequate instruments to fight terrorist so as to prolong the fight against boko haram terrorist for their selfish interest.
He also added that their selfish need to make money endlessly and unjustly has continued to frustrate the fight against terrorism and is the same reason the fight against Boko Haram in the northeast has not ended
He said: “The DHQ has received a huge amount of money ,almost 10 billion naira from the federal government to execute the task of wiping the terrorist without delay. Sadly, the Army generals have turned it into a business for their selfish interest.
“The game is: the more they delay the fight, the more the money they make; through allocation received from the Government.
“In order to achieve the delay, they have refused to supply us with the necessary equipment required to face the terrorists.
“They have not brought the fighter jets for aerial bombardment. They have also refused to bring supporting weapons that would aid the fight, the likes of GPMG, RPG, AA etc.
“We are being endangered, because the camps of the terrorists are not far from our location. We didn’t have vehicles in our camps, so we cannot move in to attack them; because it would be suicidal.”
“These terrorists have enough equipment; so, we cannot match them. Since March till now many soldiers have been killed by the BHTs because they have seen we don’t have the right tools.
“This is unfair! The federal government has been trying to end killings, by spending much on security. The DHQ has the largest fund allocation for security purposes, especially during this period of security challenges, but the monies are being embezzled,” he lamented.
He also revealed that in addition to their lives being endangered, they are also unjustly denied their rightful allowance and basic welfare which has been going on unnoticed
“Our allowance is another issue; we learnt each person is entitle to ninety thousand naira 90,000 per month, but we are being paid 30,000 naira. This money is readily available, but the Army generals in charge are just too wicked and heartless. People have been grumbling, but to no avail. No one dares talk.
“On our welfare, there are items that are supposed to be given to us like Desert uniform, Boots, fragmental jackets, helmets etc, but they refused to give us when we are on the field, inside the bush fighting for our nation, Nigeria.
“We are the ones who need it, not them. They will end up selling these materials, once they succeed in not giving them to us.
“Our feeding is not what we can write home about, soldiers that are fighting for the country eat like “Almajiris” the Commanding Officers embezzle soldiers feeding allowances and use it to build mansions in the city , (Reference to Battalion Commanders under 21Bde Bama LGA Borno).
“Soldiers are working like elephant and eat like ants, ‘enough of all this catastrophic situation ‘
“It is part of welfare granted to soldiers that are in the operation ground to be issued pass once in every three months, but the current Commanding Officers under 21 Brigade Bama especially 152Bn CO Lt Col I Ogundele denied soldiers of this benefits and it has drastically reduced their fighting morale .
“I keep wondering if it’s a crime to fight for the nation, because of what we are going through in the course of service. The federal government allocated billions of naira for this assignment, if not more.
“Why are we being maltreated for no just reason? Virtually everyone is broke; yet the so-called token 30 thousand is not paid as supposed .
“We beseech the Federal Govt, CDS, COAS, GOC 7 DIV, and the Comd 21Bde to carry out thorough check and balance in all the concerned authorities in order to motivate soldier’s morale towards their duties,” he pleaded.