By Kingsley Omonobi
***Assures perpetrators of ‘Strange Act’ will be uncovered.
Authorities of the Nigerian Army have decried the resort to use of social media by some “agent provocoteurs” within the Army to demonize a housing scheme being proposed for the benefit of personnel and their families and the claim that the scheme has been rejected.
Expressing curiousity that a scheme meant to benefit soldiers and families could be so fragantly twisted in the social media using names and numbers that are alien to the Nigerian Army, the Army headquarters disclosed that members of the Nigerian Army have established mechanisms of responding to administrative issues and resort to social media is not one of them.
Consequently, the Army has warned that any personnel caught using social media to engage the authorities will be severely dealt with even as it assured that “The motive for this kind of strange act will ultimately be uncovered”.
A statement in this regard signed by Brig General Mohammed Yerima, Director, Army Public Relations, and titled, ‘Re: Rejection Of The Proposed Nigerian Army Welfare Housing Scheme (NAWHS)’ was issued on Saturdag.
It reads, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to the referenced story being circulated in the social media and the following is our response which is simply to disabuse the minds of members of the general public.
“That the signatories who claimed to be writing on behalf of NA soldiers are fictitious names and numbers which are non-existent in the Nigerian Army records. .
“That the current Chief of Army Staff met an Army Housing Scheme in the pipeline and constituted a Committee to understudy its feasibility and desireability.
“Questionnaire was subsequently designed by the Committee for soldiers to bare their minds on the scheme and to ascertain those who are interested in it.
“It was still at this stage of administering the questionnaire to soldiers that agent provocateurs seized the moment to demonize the scheme with toxic narratives.
“That members of the Nigerian Army have established mechanisms of responding to administrative issues and resort to social media is not one of them.
“Any personnel caught using social media to engage the authorities will be severely dealt with.
“It is however curious that a scheme meant to benefit soldiers and families could be so fragantly twisted in the social media using names and numbers that are alien to the Nigerian Army.
“The motive for this kind of strange act will ultimately be uncovered”.
It would be recalled that some persons claiming to be soldiers with such designations as 05NA/57/2084 SGT YUSUF SHETIMA, 04NA/55/0925 CPL JAMES IBOK
09NA/62/5578 LCPL DANLADI IBRAHIM
11NA/66/10622 LCPL AFOLABI SHOWUMI
13NA/70/11034 PTE LUCKY DOLPH had written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue claiming it was on behalf of all Non Commissioned Officers.
The letter reads, “On behalf of the entire Non Commissioned Officers (NCO), and the Senior Non commissioned Officers (SNCO), we write to reject the proposed plan of the Nigerian Army to further increase their tempo in a way of continuous swindling and to put us and our family into persistent suffering of hunger and starvation.
“Putting into consideration, the high rate of inflation in Nigeria market today, we the NCO and the SNCO are finding it difficult to feed our family and as well pay our children school fees from our meager salary.
“Yet, the Nigerian Army have devised a means of taking or collecting it back from us the Scarce Skill Allowance (SSA) under the guise of a fraudulent and so called Nigerian Army Welfare Housing Scheme (NAWHS).
“It is pertinent to note that the Army cannot exist or stand in the absent of the NCO and the SNCO, but the Army can stand or exist and function effectively without the commissioned Officers.
This is to say that, the SNCO and the NCO are the pillars or the Nigerian Army and without them the NA cannot exist and yet, they suffer the most.
“The NCO and the SNCO are not well paid and yet the Army wants to deduct a whopping sum of #15,410.30k, #16,703.92k, #17,103.92k, #18,868.97k, #21,516.27k, #26,732.74k, #30,000.00k and 49,086.49k on monthly basis and according to the rank respectively.
“After this deduction, they still want us to feed and also buy our military uniforms from the remaining change.
“The officers of the NA are happy seeing us the NCO and the SNCO suffering all the days of our life, they can never and will never come up with a good plan that will ever benefit the other ranks instead, they prefer to cheat without regards to our suffering.
“We are using this medium to call on the Federal Government, the house of representatives, the Senate and all other stakeholders to come to our aid and stop the Army under the leadership of Lt Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru from the proposed fraudulent plan. And if they must continue, it must not be compulsory.’