Nigerian soldiers of Battalion 38, United Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) who recently came back from a peacekeeping mission have allegedly written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari expressing dissatisfaction over the non-payment of their five-month allowances.
Premium Times reports that the troops threatened to resort to lawlessness if the issue of their outstanding allowances by the Nigerian Army was not resolved. They also urged the president to take his anti-corruption war to the armed forces
Nigeria had deployed 700 soldiers and officers for peace-keeping operations in Liberia last year. The troops completed a seven-month mission and returned to Nigeria in February 2017.
Reacting to the Letter, Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, said the issue of the unpaid allowances is the responsibility of Defence Headquarters.
“But that notwithstanding I am investigating the matter as soon as we wrap up the investigation, we will make it available to you,” Mr. Usman, a brigadier general, added.
The letter read in part: “Mr. President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
“Since we completed our mission for 7 months but only 2 months of service were paid. Is it not disgraceful that the UN had paid defence headquarters mission allowances for complete 12 months and only 2-month payment was given to the troops?
“Dear Mr President, the Army has refused to pay us the balance of our allowances for 6 months. We urge you to look into these issues to make your anti-corruption campaign in the armed forces a success.
“If nothing is done very soon, we will be forced to take the law into our own hands — which is not good obviously because the Nigerian Army specialised in owing its troops their allowances.
“We have waited for 3 months now nothing has changed, or do you expect us to storm the National Assembly in the name of protest? No.
“We can’t. His Excellency, address this issue of payment of outstanding allowances by the Nigerian army.