The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said funds have been released from the Ministry of Defence to pay the outstanding operational allowances of troops fighting Boko Haram for the third quarter of 2017.
Buratai, in a release signed by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, said the army would this week begin the payment of “allowances owed the troops for the last two months accordingly.”
Our correspondent had reported on Monday that a letter was written by a soldier currently attached to Operation Lafiya Dole, the military anti-insurgency operation in the North-East, to President Muhammadu Buhari, lamenting the poor welfare of troops.
The anonymous soldier, who claimed to be a private in Damaturu, Yobe State, had alleged that soldiers in the frontline were being poorly treated as a result of massive corruption in the army.
“Your Excellency, this is the third month in a row that we have been denied of our operational allowances. We have to rely only on our meagre salary for everything. From battalion commanders to company and sector leaders, we are all in debt, because our salaries are not enough to sustain us at the battlefield, let alone feeding our families back at home,” he had written.
Buratai, on Monday, while confirming that some troops were owed allowances, assured the soldiers of maximum welfare, noting that their “unflinching loyalty, perseverance and dedication to duty brought the desired success in the fight against terrorism, insurgency and other criminal activities.”
Buratai said this in a letter sent to various formations and corps commanders, as well as commanders of the various training institutions of the army on Sunday.
The statement by the army spokesman, Usman, partly read, “The COAS has assured troops, especially those on Operation Lafiya Dole of their welfare. This is coming from the good news of the release of funds for the payment of operational allowances and logistics for the third quarter of 2017 from the Ministry of Defence.”