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Soldiers go wild over allowances

Posted by By PHILIP NWOSU on 2008/01/23 | Views: 315 |

Soldiers go wild over allowances


What the authorities of the Nigerian Army initiated as a face-saving measure to dissuade soldiers from embarking on a mutiny almost went bloody, as soldiers in the Lagos area on Wednesday attempted to manhandle the force’s Director of Finance and Account, Major General John Lartey.

What the authorities of the Nigerian Army initiated as a face-saving measure to dissuade soldiers from embarking on a mutiny almost went bloody, as soldiers in the Lagos area on Wednesday attempted to manhandle the force’s Director of Finance and Account, Major General John Lartey.

Venue was the Ojo Military Cantonment and the time was 11.30am as the soldiers assembled at the parade ground of the 149 Battalion Ojo to hear explanations from the Director DAFA on what had happened to the 11 months allowance the Federal Government had directed the Army to pay them.

General Lartey had arrived the venue with the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Azubuike Ihejirika, and other top hierarchy of the Army command in Lagos to explain the reason the army had not paid the 11 months allowance.

Just as he stood at the parade to explain the issues, Lartey became short of words and could not immediately explain what the problem was.

The soldiers who had been waiting for the explanation since 8am when they were assembled at the parade ground attempted to manhandle the officer, but for the quick intervention of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Major General Ihejirika who stepped in to calm them.
The explanation that the soldiers will not receive the 11 months allowance but will receive only nine months aggravated the matter and the atmosphere became charged.

Angrily, some of the soldiers questioned the rationale behind paying them only nine months when their colleagues in the Navy, the Police and Immigration Services were being paid for 11 months.
Apart from this, they could not understand the rationale behind cutting furniture allowance from the nine months arrears of allowance being owed them.

Major General Ihejirika calmed the soldiers with soft words and clear explanation, but declined to tell exactly when the payment will commence.

Some of the soldiers who spoke with Daily Sun on condition of anonymity reminded the Army hierarchy that it was just rice that sparked off the crisis in Sierra Leone, urging the government to intervene and save them from the slavery in the Army.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.