A soldier of the Nigerian Army believed to be serving in the North-East has written the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, over injustice in the recent military's promotion exercise.
The soldier lamented that the army authorities failed to promote soldiers and officers who are due for it and even injured in the ongoing Boko Haram war since 2018, simply because they have "no connection."
The soldier, in an open letter to the army chief, decried the high level of injustice in the promotion exercise carried out by the army – the list of which was released last Friday by the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja.
The personnel in the letter noted that the army surprisingly failed to comply with the Harmonised Terms and Condition of Services which was promulgated by Nigerian Armed Forces and which regulates a "smooth and well-deserved promotion exercise as and when due among the other rank cadres."
The soldier said, "It is disheartening that while other members like the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force adhere strictly to the policy, the Nigerian Army never deemed it fit to do the right thing. This nonchalant attitude of Nigerian Army has rendered many senior soldiers, who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the policy, irrelevant in their various units, including some soldiers who were wounded in multiple operations in the course of defending this nation.
"Sir, Chapter 4, Paragraph 2 of HTACOS states clearly the years which a soldier would spend on a rank before he or she would be promoted to the next rank as shown below. But the policy is rather demoralising soldiers because every year when the army headquarters requests every unit and formation to forward the names and particulars of soldiers that are due for promotion, the army would purposely send back lesser number of vacancies.
"Thus, senior soldiers with no connection and injured ones suffer innocently because oftentimes, junior soldiers who are influential in terms of religion and ethnicity are more and always favoured. A critical example was what happened in the last promotion where senior and injured soldiers that are due for promotion for the past two years and this year respectively were denied of promotion in some units because they don't have anybody to speak or stand for them.
"Sir, in view of this, I urge you as a matter of urgency to look into these irregularities and do the needful so that the Nigerian Army can uphold its humble status."