Soldiers Protest over Non-payment of Allowances


Daji Sani in Yola
About two hundred soldiers who fought in the AU Peace Keeping operation in Guinea Bissau in 2015 have been denied six months allowances.

Some of the affected soldiers of 158 Task Force Battalion situated at Guboi Local Government Area of Borno State told journalists in Yola, Adamawa State that the failure by military authority to pay the allowances was already generating tension in the affected battalion.

One of the affected soldiers said they were in Yola to express their displeasure to the media so that those concerned would release their outstanding allowances.

He lamented a situation where soldiers committed to fighting Boko Hara
m have been starved of their allowances despite their sacrifices adding that the development was also affecting the fight against insurgency.

“There is monumental corruption still going on in the system, we fought in Guinea Bissau between 2014 and 2015. They promised to pay our allowances immediately we arrived in Nigeria but when we returned, they sent us to Jaji for training and promised to pay us before the end of the training. Soon after the training, we were posted to fight in Yobe and Borno and nobody is talking about our allowances any more,” one of the soldiers said.

It was gathered that the soldiers were further enraged when they heard that eight of the affected soldiers lost their lives in a recent Boko Haram attack in Kareto town in Borno State when their allowances had not been paid.
The soldiers appealed to the federal government to wade into the matter so as to stop corruption which had been a major reason why the insurgency still thrived in the North-east.

A soldier said: “Boko Haram are still hiding under caves in Sambisa forest, they only come out from their hiding to attack when they are hungry and have no food to eat. They are in their thousands and scattered across the forest because the forest is very big and long forest which starts from Cameroun down to Abuja.”
However every attempt to get the army authorities proved abortive.