Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), has taken swift action in response to disturbing reports of substandard feeding and inadequate welfare for soldiers stationed on the frontlines in the Northeast region of Nigeria. The COAS ordered an immediate investigation into these allegations, emphasizing the importance of the troops’ well-being under his command.
The catalyst for this inquiry was a report revealing the discontent among soldiers from the 154 Taskforce Battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Northeast. These soldiers expressed their frustration, stating that despite an increase in the allocation for their feeding allowances, they were being provided with meagre and unsatisfactory meals.
The soldiers disclosed that their breakfast consisted solely of bread and tea on Mondays and Thursdays, while dinner comprised rice. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, they were served plain white rice with stew, and for the remaining weekdays, they were given “concussion rice.” Photographs shared by the soldiers with SaharaReporters depicted the dismal quality of the food they received, exacerbating their grievances, including unpaid allowances.
In response to these concerning revelations, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, issued a statement on Tuesday. The information conveyed the Army Chief’s directive for an immediate investigation into the soldiers’ claims, reaffirming that the welfare of troops under his leadership was of utmost importance.
General Lagbaja stressed the Nigerian Army’s commitment to transparency and accountability and declared zero tolerance for negligence or misconduct within its ranks. The statement highlighted the core principles of the COAS Command Philosophy, emphasizing the need for sound administration to ensure a highly motivated force.
The statement from the Army read, “The NA therefore takes these allegations very seriously, and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has directed immediate investigation into the complaints to ascertain its veracity and unravel the circumstances.”
It continued, “The NA wishes to assure the public and all NA personnel that a thorough investigation will be conducted to get to the bottom of these claims.”
Acknowledging that isolated incidents may occur, the statement outlined an ongoing internal investigation to identify the root causes of the alleged issues and ensure corrective measures are taken. The Army pledged to examine the supply chain, food quality, and other contributing factors to rectify the situation.
The Army’s commitment to its soldiers’ welfare and nutrition was underscored, promising to promptly address legitimate concerns. The statement encouraged all personnel to report grievances or worries regarding their food arrangements through established channels.
In conclusion, the Nigerian Army emphasized its unwavering dedication to the fight against insurgency and security challenges, pledging to provide soldiers with the necessary support, care, and equipment to effectively defend the nation. It assured the public that immediate corrective measures would be taken to prevent similar incidents and reaffirmed its commitment to the troops’ well-being and motivation.
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