Soldier Lament Unpaid Monthly Palliative, Writes President Tinubu
- ‘We’re Suffering; For Some Of Us, Our N50,000 Salary Can’t Even Buy 50kg Bag Of Rice’
THE soldier also urged Tinubu to take his anti-corruption war to the armed forces, lamenting the non-payment of the government’s N35,000 monthly palliative to workers.
An aggrieved soldier of the Nigerian Army has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the issue of poor treatment of military personnel sacrificing their lives daily for the country.
According to the unnamed soldier in an open letter written on behalf of his colleagues to the President, the reason why some soldiers are involved in criminal activities is because of poor welfare and remunerations.
The letter dated January 27, 2024, was titled ‘Expression of Concern Regarding Poor Welfare and Salaries of the Armed Forces Soldiers’.
The soldier also urged Tinubu to take his anti-corruption war to the armed forces, lamenting the non-payment of the government’s N35,000 monthly palliative to workers.
The letter read in full, “We, the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are writing this open letter to respectfully express our deep concern and disappointment regarding the ill-treatment experienced by soldiers, particularly those serving in the Nigerian Army.
“We believe it is crucial for you, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to be aware of the challenges we face in our daily lives.
“Firstly, we would like to emphasize the discrepancy between our poor welfare and salaries compared to the hazardous conditions under which we work. It is disheartening that a soldier is being paid a mere fifty thousand naira as their monthly salary, which is insufficient to purchase even a single bag of rice in the market.
“As dedicated soldiers sacrificing our lives for the peace and security of our great nation, we find it immensely difficult to provide for our families and meet their basic needs. Some of us struggle to afford our children’s school fees due to the meager compensation we receive.
“Furthermore, it is alarming that soldiers serving Nigeria must use a significant portion of their salaries to purchase uniforms and other necessary equipment required to carry out our duties.
“A soldier’s uniform costs more than their one-month salary, leaving very little for their family’s upkeep. We question how soldiers are expected to cope with the financial burden they face while serving their country.
“If Nigeria is unable to cater to the well-being of its soldiers, we respectfully request that the recruitment of younger individuals into our ranks be halted. It would be unjust to subject them to a system that neglects their welfare. Moreover, for soldiers who have dedicated their lives to the service, we propose a reduction in the years of mandatory service to a maximum of 10 or 15 years. Alternatively, provisions should be made to allow soldiers to engage in side hustles that can provide additional income for themselves and their families.”
According to the letter, the military requires “comprehensive reform, as there are several areas that require urgent attention to prevent further complications”.
It said, “Rank and file soldiers, who shoulder the majority of the workload, are often unrecognized for their hard work and dedication.
“Additionally, they are not well compensated or provided with adequate time to visit and care for their families. It is disheartening to witness Master Warrant Officers, who have risked and dedicated 30 precious years of their lives to serving this great nation, being assigned only menial tasks without proper consideration.
“Meanwhile, young officers with significantly less experience receive higher salaries and are treated with respect and dignity.
“We implore you, Mr. President, to take our grievances seriously. In this era, where slavery is a thing of the past, soldiers cannot be subjected to such inequality.
“If the military is designed solely for the betterment of officers and neglects the welfare of the other ranks, we will be left with no choice but to seek other endeavors that provide a better life for ourselves and our families. We all have responsibilities and aspirations to raise good and responsible families, just like the officers.
“Additionally, we would like to remind you of your promise to pay all federal government workers the sum of thirty-five thousand naira per month for a period of six months as palliative for the hardships we faced in the past year.
“However, we, the soldiers of this great country, have only received a single payment thus far. Therefore, we humbly request your assistance in investigating this matter of great concern.
“As soldiers deeply committed to the welfare and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we sincerely hope that you will take immediate action to address our concerns.
“We believe that by rectifying these issues, you will enhance the morale within the Armed Forces and ensure its continued effectiveness in securing the peace and security of our nation.