Defence Minister Promises Improved Welfare For Soldiers
The Minister of Defence Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd) says the Federal Government will improve on the welfare of officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces to enhance their efficiency.
Magashi made the promise at a dinner organized by the Nigerian Army during his visit to the Theatre of Counter Insurgency Operation in Maiduguri, along with the leadership of Borno Elders’ Forum.
He revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his commitment to pay entitlements like pension and gratuity of officers, as well as provide kits and other operational requirements including weapons and logistics.
“I want to pass this message through the Commander to the field that the Commander-In-Chief is willing to take your welfare and motivation more seriously than ever before.”
“He is ready to improve your feeding, your kits and your operational requirements, be it weapons or otherwise in order to give you the motivation that whatever you do the government is not unaware to reward you”, said Magashi.
Speaking further, the Defence Chief promised that the government will look into the case of soldiers who died in the line of duty and also assured on prompt payment of officers and soldiers, especially those retired.
He said: “In this regard, all of those who lost their lives during this operation, we see it as sacrifice and government will do something in respect of these officers and soldiers who died in the course of this war.”
‘We will also make sure that entitlements of officers and soldiers are promptly paid and who retired, their pension and gratuity are well taken care of.”
Magashi further revealed that the North-East, especially Borno had remained the focal point of security in the country, adding that President Buhari had given a marching order for the Counter Insurgency Operations to perform efficiently to end insurgency once and for all.
According to him, the President also promised to give all assistance needed for the Armed Forces to succeed in the operation.
“I will vouch for my officers that they are competent and capable to carry out all the insurgency operations very squarely.”
He continued: “The belief in all insurgency operations is that their tactics is to surprise you, take you unaware and create some noise that the world community will see them as efficient or make their way on the people of the area per time.”
“We will not allow that to continue anymore, we will take the war to them and do our best in that regard”, concluded Magashi.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who spoke about the event said it was organized to honour the elders who had an important role to play in the socio-economic development of the state and the country at large.
Buratai noted that the relationship between the military and the elders have led to the successes so far recorded in the Counter Insurgency Operations in the North-East.
While commending the Borno state government for the logistic support given the Army, Buratai also called for closer partnership to clear the remnant of Boko Haram insurgents in the region.
Furthermore, the Army Chief assured that the Army and Armed Forces was ready to support the Minister in his policies and Programmes in addressing security challenges in the country.
Alhaji Ashek Jerma- Chairman of Borno Elders’ Forum and Former Governor of Borno state- in his reaction commended the minister for the visit to the state, noting that the visit signified government’s commitment to counter insurgency operations.
Jerma pledged the forum’s continued support to the government and the military to resolve the insurgency activities in the state.