The Nigerian Army has dismissed claims of protests by an unidentified battalion under Operation Lafiya Dole over alleged unpaid operational allowances stating rather that what was called a protest were mild complaints.
The report had also suggested that soldiers had protested against obsolete equipment in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The country’s army rather described what was referred to as protests as mild complaints.
Director, Army Public Relations, Mohammed Yerima, in a statement on Friday, said the media reports were unsubstantiated and did not represent the true situation of the incidents.
He said that what was reported as protests were mild complaints by few soldiers of the Mobile Strike Team (MST), deployed for Exercise Tura Takaibango in the frontline of operations.
“At about 3 p.m. on March 25, some of the troops of Mobile Strike Team 10 and 11, who were primed to conduct phase 2 of Exercise TURA TAKAIBANGO in Bama after the first phase of the exercise, raised some concerns.
“The concerns were quickly addressed before they were relaunched to the second phase of the operations.
“On the issue of ‘obsolete weapons’ as reported in some media, the position of Army Headquarters is that soldiers have the right to demand for proper weapons to prosecute the operations.
“However, the Federal Government was making concerted efforts toward deploying new fighting equipment to augment the existing ones in the theatre of operation.
“The Army wishes to also deny report that any soldier was owed any operational allowances. No soldier was owed any allowance in the theatre,” he said.
Mr Yerima assured that the Nigerian army would continue to remain focused and determined to perform its constitutional roles and responsibilities professionally in the protection of the sovereignty of Nigeria.
By Abel Ejikeme