The Nigerian Army says it has always ensured that troops are properly kitted with supplies and other weapons as much as possible.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, made this assertion in a statement on Thursday to counter a media report that “Nigerian Army mandates soldiers visiting families to bring N6,000 torch light before travelling’’.
Nwachukwu, who described the reports as ridiculous, mischievous and misleading, said that all essential kits that would aid troops in effectively carrying out assigned tasks were routinely issued and prioritised to troops in the front lines.
“Leaves and Passes are command’s responsibilities that are taken seriously by the Nigerian Army, especially in operational theatres.
“Personnel who intend to go on Leave or Pass are listed in a roster well ahead of the anticipated time of travel and are usually released without any fuss.
“Furthermore, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, also recently approved welfare flights for personnel going on pass or leave.
“This is also being strictly implemented and monitored by the Department of Operations at the Army Headquarters.
“Therefore, to assert that the Nigerian Army mandates soldiers to purchase torch light for their units before proceeding on Leave or Pass to see their families, is ridiculous, mischievous and outright misleading.
“This spurious allegation should therefore be discountenanced by the public,’’ he said.
Nwachukwu said that the COAS had since the assumption of command spared no effort at improving the welfare of troops fighting in the frontlines.
The spokesman said that the army remained motivated to achieve the task at hand, which is to decisively curtail the activities of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in the North-East theatre of operations.
“We equally wish to use this medium to call on media organisations to exhibit professionalism through balanced and fair reportage,’’ he said.