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In an opinion piece that was published on NAIJ.com on November 2, 2016, by a man who claimed to be a Nigerian army soldier had alleged that the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Tukur Yusufu Buratai was ‘exploiting’ Nigerian soldiers.
The spokesman of the Nigerian army, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, as reacted to the allegation via a Facebook post. The reaction read in part:
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a deliberate and calculated attempt to drag the name of the Nigerian Army and indeed the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai into disrepute through a fabricated news story based on an imaginary complaint by a fictitious soldier of the Nigerian Army on an online news medium, naij.com, titled “Buratai exploits us, steals our money and throw us away-Nigerian soldiers.”
Colonel SK Usman called the mentioned publication a blatant lie, continuing:
“It is imperative to unequivocally state that all the contents of that news piece were far from the truth. The Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff take pride in the comfort and general well being of troops wherever they might be. It is therefore very wicked and unimaginable for anyone to allege otherwise.
“The Chief of Army Staff since assumption of command on 15th July 2015 has made probity and accountability his hallmark and has left no one in doubt on transparency and accountability and would not tolerate anyone doing otherwise.
“In their efforts to smear the Nigerian Army and Lieutenant General Buratai, they failed to take into account that the Nigerian Army does not have hand in the release of funds for payment of allowances and remunerations of troops on Peacekeeping Operations, and as such, the situation they were talking about does not even arise.”
Speaking on how payments are made within the Nigerian army, he said:
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Ministry of Defence through the Defence Headquarters is responsible for foreign operations and troops allowances are paid according to availability of funds and schedule of payment given by the Defence Headquarters.
“The last one received has been credited into the respective troops accounts. Therefore, Nigerian Army troops on various peacekeeping and other operations have to the best of our knowledge been paid up to date as released by Ministry of Defence through the Defence Headquarters.”
In conclusion, he assured Nigerians of the uprightness of the Nigerian army and its officers, saying:
“We want to assure the general public that the Nigerian Army will remain focused and never to be distracted from it’s noble cause of defending and securing the country from all forms of criminality.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com earlier reported how General Tukur Buratai who is the chief of army staff has said that 150 students of the Command Science School, Lafia in Nasarawa will get automatic admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) when they graduate.