•Army urges troops to redouble efforts
Some soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the North East have opposed the approval given by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for the promotion of soldiers who unraveled the disappearance and subsequent death of the retired former Chief of Administration of the Army, Maj-Gen. Idris Alkali (rtd).
This is coming as the Nigerian Army urged the troops of Operations Lafiya Dole to redouble their efforts in the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts in order to earn promotion.
But some of the soldiers deployed to the theatre of war on Sunday, said they were dissatisfied that despite the sowing of their sweat and blood to fight insurgency, they are made to harvest nothing.
They said it was like a case of adding insult to their wounds and bruised egos that Buratai would approve special promotion for soldiers sent to Jos, Plateau State, and unravelled the disappearance and subsequent death of retired fo Alkali.
The aggrieved soldiers who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, said: “The Chief of Army Staff promoted soldiers that went for the rescue and search operation of Major General IM Alkali in Jos but neglected the soldiers in the northeast whose lives are in danger everyday and are also dying everyday.”
“This is unfair and even added to further demoralized us. What death has the soldiers sent to Jos faced, what threat on the nation have they ward off?
“We are daily being killed by threat from insurgents who have only one mission to disintegrate this nation and to wreak havoc on it’s citizenry. What has been our rewards.”
“Many of us have not seen our wive and children for years, some of us our family are not sure we are still alive and the COAS just show of what worth we are to the nation by not thinking of promoting first before those given a much more easier task in Jos.”
They lamented that they have had to face “soulless Boko Haram, sleep in trenches for months, leave on rations, where is our reward.”
Just at the weekend, a video surfaced on the social media which showed the level of dissatisfaction among the soldiers.
The soldiers, in the video protested that the equipment given to them are obsolete and that their task was made difficult by this.
Some of the soldiers, who were apparently aggrieved, asked that the federal government should come to their aid, lamenting that they were been used by greedy officers to make money.
They said: “The T72 tank was made in 1983 by Slovakia, you can’t fire more than two rounds before it will hang.
“We are all graduates and millennium soldiers so we know what is going on, all the arms given to us is outdated.”
They lamented that “they (BH) call us Zombies, that we do not know our right. Nigeria Army is buying nonsense from Innoson motors, all their vehicles are substandard and cannot without the heat.”
Army charges troops to redouble efforts for promotion
The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole Sector 1 have been charged to redouble their efforts in the discharge of their duties.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Brig-Gen. Abdulmalik Biu, gave the charge recently while decorating the newly promoted Master Warrant Officers (MWOs) with their ranks.
Six Warrant Officers benefited from this year’s promotion.
Biu in a statement on Sunday by the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, stressed to the affected personnel the importance of being few selected from the pool of Warrant Officers that participated in the promotion process.
He added that promotion was a reward for hard work, commitment and dedication to duty.
The GOC also noted that, the new status comes with additional responsibility, advising them to uphold military ethics and tradition.
In his vote of thanks, one of the beneficiaries, Master Warrant Officer Effiong Ikpe on behalf of the other beneficiaries, expressed appreciation to Almighty God and the leadership of the COAS for considering them worthy of such elevation.
Ikpe assured of their unalloyed loyalty and commitment to duty, adding that they would strive to improve their performance to actualise the overall objectives of the Nigerian Army.
Present during the ceremony were some Principal Staff Officers of 7 Division.