AFCON: Soldiers Also Deserve National Rewards

AFCON: Soldiers Also Deserve National Rewards

A Nigerian soldier, identified as Adie Paul, last week decried the decision of President Bola Tinubu to reward the Super Eagles with houses, plots of land, and national honours after they came second in the recently-concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON). The soldier’s displeasure stemmed from what seems like the abandonment of soldiers in the battlefield.

Recall that Tinubu had on Tuesday conferred the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger on every member of the Super Eagles team that won Silver medal at AFCON.

The soldier who said he sustained a bullet injury while serving in the North-east took to his X handle to express his frustration, while reacting to a post by an X-user, drpenking, who tweeted, “Even Ahmed Musa wey no kick ball once for AFCON follow collect flat, land and OON. Wonderful times.”

Reacting to the post, the soldier, while sharing a picture, wrote, “Yet, as a soldier, I stayed in the North-east fighting Boko Haram for four years plus; I was shot and I am still carrying the bullet in me till date, not even a medal from the Army/Nigeria government.”

In the past, many soldiers had complained about poor welfare and wage structure. Recently, another soldier based in Maiduguri expressed his frustration for being unable to visit his family due to the transport fare. The soldier had in a trending video lamented how he spent one year in the bush in Borno State and was given a pass to visit his family but could not go because his salary of N50,000 was not enough for transport fare.

He said he was told at the motor park that the transport fare to his hometown was N35,000, which implied that the trip would cost him N70,000. After the video went viral, the soldier was promptly arrested and detained.

But the points raised by these soldiers were valid. Given the fact that soldiers are putting their lives on the line defending the country, the current welfare and wage structure which can only engender poverty has to be reviewed immediately.

Given the nature of their job, their salaries and allowances should be reviewed upwards.

What is good for the members of the national football team is also good for Nigerian soldiers.

Related Articles