‘GOC Eats with Soldiers,’ Army Denies Poor Feeding of Troops
The Nigerian Army has debunked some online reports of poor feeding of troops, especially that of Operation Hadarin Daji fighting insurgents in Zamfara State.
This was contained in a statement signed by the spokesman of the 8 Division, Lt Colonel Ikechukwu Eze, and made available to newsmen in Sokoto State on Thursday.
An online newspaper (not PUNCH Online) had accused Army authorities of not paying the December salary and feeding allowance of the troops.
But in faulting the report, the Army’s statement reads: “The attention of Headquarters 8 Division has been drawn to a report being circulated online alleging that troops deployed in Zamfara State are being poorly fed and have not been paid their December 2023 allowances.
“It is pertinent to state that contrary to the claim of poor feeding of the troops, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, who is physically at the vanguard of on-going clearance operations in Zamfara State to ensure socio-economic activities continue to flourish in the state for the past two weeks, has been feeding from the same source as the troops, demonstrating his commitment to their well-being and morale.
“Furthermore, in his commitment to ensuring the inclusiveness and accessibility of his troops, he runs an open-door policy that encourages any officer or soldier to approach him with their concerns, ideas, and challenges regardless of rank or appointment, to ensure that they effectively discharge their responsibilities.
“Accordingly, it is baffling that this headquarters which has earnestly prioritised the welfare of its troops has been alleged of depriving them.
“However, while we acknowledge that there could be gaps in dispensing troops ration, they could be isolated cases that would have received prompt attention if brought to the knowledge of the authority through available channels of communication, as the GOC places a premium on the well-being of his troops.
“We must, however, clarify that troops’ operations allowance for December is still being processed and will be disbursed as soon as it is ready.”
The PUNCH reported in October 2023, that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, directed an investigation into complaints of poor feeding of troops on the frontline in the North-East region, fighting insurgency.
He assured the public and all personnel that a thorough investigation would be conducted to get to the root of the complaints.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, said the COAS took the allegations seriously, adding that the Army under his leadership placed a premium on the welfare of troops.
“It is crucial to point out to the general public that the welfare of troops under the present leadership of the NA takes a premium place amongst other important schemes and considerations as it is one of the vital pillars of the COAS Command Philosophy, which is to provide ‘sound administration’ to ensure a highly motivated force,” the statement read.