The Nigerian Army (NA) has said the recent resignation of 25 soldiers was voluntary and not due to any misdemeanor in the service, as insinuated by online media.
The Army said as a professional military organisation, it was guided by extant policies on the discharge and retirement of soldiers and officers, like other organisations.
The Nigerian Army said this in a statement yesterday in Abuja by its spokesperson, Brig.-Gen. Onyama Nwachukwu.
An online media had, on Wednesday, reported that 25 soldiers, all from the Armour Corps, applied for voluntary retirement due to alleged corruption in the NA.
But the Army said such allegation was “an implausible effort to frantically dampen the morale and fighting will of loyal, dedicated and patriotic troops of the Nigerian Army, engender disaffection in the ranks and ultimately put the nascent Nigerian government and nation in a panic mode”.
It added: “Evidently, the medium and its owners need to be schooled to understand that the NA is not a conscript Army and that recruitment into the Nigerian Army is voluntary, with extant policies on discharge and retirement of soldiers and officers, respectively, like other organisations.
“This provides its personnel the opportunity to apply for voluntary discharge or retirement when they deem fit and meet the terms and conditions stipulated in the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service Soldiers/Ratings/Airmen (Revised) 2017.”
“It is thus the inalienable right of personnel to voluntarily or on medical grounds apply for discharge.
“Therefore, it is not an aberration for the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to approve the voluntary discharge of soldiers, who willingly applied and satisfy the terms for discharge from the NA, contrary to the mischievous manipulation of the occurrence by the media in question.”
According to the statement, the Nigerian Army has continuously strived to provide a supportive and conducive work environment and conditions for its personnel.
It said this was evident in the army’s continuous efforts to improve its operational capabilities, including the injection of equipment into the theatres of operations, prompt payment of operational allowances, treatment of wounded-in-action soldiers and medical evacuation overseas, and provision of descent accommodation for its troops.
“Suffice to state that the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, probity, and professionalism by providing exemplary and pragmatic leadership, sound administration that will continue to boldly guarantee the welfare and motivation of NA personnel, as well as provide requisite enablers for operational effectiveness, while maintaining public trust,” the statement added.