A heart-wrenching video which shows some Nigerian soldiers lying lifeless on the ground, not as a result of bullets, or bomb attacks by Boko Haram, but of lack of food and water, has gone viral on the internet.
The video has continued to spark outrage among many Nigerians who felt the situation was the worst any serious government could mete out to soldiers who sacrifice their lives for the country.
In the video which was uploaded on YouTube on Tuesday, some soldiers were seen round some of their colleagues, about three of them, who according to them fainted due to lack of food and water.
Several of them were seen complaining, saying they were no longer killed by Boko Haram but by hunger and thirst.
While one of them specifically said that over 70 soldiers had fainted due to lack of water having spent three days at their location without ordinary water to drink, another begged that their message should be sent to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari
Reacting to the video however, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director Army Public Relations said the clip was “shot more than six months ago by some mischievous and disgruntled elements when 29 Task Force Brigade captured Alagarno Forest and environs in Borno State.”
He lamented that “it is disheartening that some mischievous elements have decided to circulate it now, creating the false impression that it is a recent occurrence.
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“We wish to state further that the matter was conclusively investigated at the time, several months ago. The Board of Inquiry actually showed that, as at the time of the incident, the unit’s water tanker still contained water, but a soldier mischievously concealed it. That soldier was charged and punished accordingly.
“In addition to the unit’s water tanker, a borehole was subsequently drilled at the location and it is still serving both the military and adjoining communities”, he stated.
This video is coming just days after it was reported that Victor Ezegwu, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Nigerian Army 7 Division in Maimalari, allegedly escaped being lynched by angry Nigerian soldiers who were angered by poor welfare plan given to them.
The GOC however denied the allegation, saying that though he was at Bama on December 16, the day the alleged event took place, he did not witness any outbreak of violence among the troops, much less against his person.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday cautioned against delay in payment of salaries and allowances of troops engaged in the fight against insurgency in the North East.
The Army Chief stated this when he gave an opening address at a seminar on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for army personnel, in Abuja, insisting that prompt and accelerated payment of salaries and allowances to the fighting troops was one of the ways of boosting their moral.
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