Army berates mischief makers over report on soldiers’ retirement

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The Nigerian Army has said that it will not be deterred by mischief makers and enemies of the country trying to create disharmony in the service.

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The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said this in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu was reacting to a fake report by some online media that the voluntary retirement of some personnel was due to corruption, poor condition of service and low morale in the Army.

The spokesman said the enemies of the country have again failed in their efforts to dampen the morale and fighting will of loyal, dedicated and patriotic fighting force of the Nigerian Army.

Nwachukwu said that Nigerian Army was not a “conscript army”, but an organisation entered into voluntarily and with clear policy on discharge and retirement of soldiers and officers.

He said that Army personnel have the right to apply for voluntary discharge, when they deemed it fit and also met the terms and conditions.

The Army spokesman advised the mischief makers to be abreast of the Army’s 2017 revised Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service of Soldiers/Ratings/Airmen, so as to stop embarrassing themselves in the eye of the public.

“It is thus, the inalienable right of a personnel to voluntarily or on medical grounds, apply for discharge, if they meet the terms.

“It is therefore not an aberration that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt;-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, granted approval for 91 NA/32/4792 WO Ndagana Ishiaku and 242 others to voluntarily discharge from the Nigerian Army, as being unprofessionally manipulated by some media,” he said.

Nwachukwu said that the COAS had made critical intervention on troop’s welfare to raise their morale in the theatre of operations.

He added that the interventions included provision of car and housing loans, construction and renovation of accommodations, as well as residences and vehicles for Regimental Sergeant Majors.

Others include the provision of scholarship to children and wards of fallen heroes and other unique interventions in the theatres of operation to sustain and heighten the morale of troops, he said.

“These interventions evidently account for troops’ game changing onslaught in the North East.

“It must also be mentioned, that the quantum of equipment that have been injected into the theatres and prompt payment of operational allowances, have all turned the tide against the insurgents.

“Also worthy of note is the welfare flight for troops, which has significantly reduced the burden of troops travelling in and out of the theatres.

“In addition to huge commitment on the medical needs of wounded-in-action soldiers and the barracks communities.

“Equally important, is the fact that troops are now being regularly and consciously rotated from the frontline, hence, issues of overstay and battle fatigue are gradually being overcome,” he said.

Nwachukwu said that some of the recently discharged soldiers were beneficiaries of the COAS’ giant strides in welfare interventions.

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He said that the COAS congratulated those leaving the Army for their gallantry, patriotism, loyalty and courage while in service and wished them the very best.

Nwachukwu said the COAS would continue to make direct impact on the welfare and wellbeing of both serving and retired personnel.

He said a luncheon has been planned for retired commanders to honour them for their services to the nation. (NAN)