According to the soldiers who spoke to SaharaReporters, the army general has been diverting 50 percent of their special assignment allowances for his personal use
Some Nigerian soldiers serving in the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army have accused the garrison commander of the division, Brig. Gen. M.K. Ibrahim of corruption and financial mismanagement.
According to the soldiers who spoke to SaharaReporters, the army general has been diverting 50 percent of their special assignment allowances for his personal use.
“There's always allowance for every outside assignment a soldier is sent to. Like when we go to guard all these Chinese companies, mining sites, checkpoints and others.
“Unfortunately, Brigadier General M.K. Ibrahim, the commander of 82 Division garrison has been extorting us by reducing our allowances by 50%. Those entitled to N50,000 monthly now get N25,000, some now get N15,000 instead of N30,000,” one of the affected soldiers told SaharaReporters.
“The allowance is mostly cash and not usually paid into our accounts. So sad, while you are risking your life on a special assignment, somebody who is sitting comfortably in the barracks would still be stealing money meant for you. Definitely, our God will judge him and others extorting us,” another affected soldier said.
The aggrieved soldiers called on President Muhammadu Buhari, National Assembly members, Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff to save them and their family members from Ibrahim.
The accusation comes a few weeks after some personnel of the Nigerian Army accused President Buhari of failing to check corruption and financial mismanagement among some top military officers while soldiers continue to cry on a daily basis.
The soldiers in an open letter to the President accused top army officers of corruption and extortion.
They said despite their numerous complaints, nobody is saying anything about their unpaid allowances by the military finance corps.
The letter read, “We want to start by saying that it is a shame on General Muhammadu Buhari for failing to address the financial mismanagement of Nigerian soldiers while they continue to cry on the (sic) daily basis.
“Soldiers of the Nigerian Army have complained severally (sic) how their money is being short pay (sic) by the Army Finance and nobody is saying anything about it.
“Nigerian soldiers have complained severally (sic) how they have been given 20% of the 100% allowance which was signed into law by the President Buhari since (sic) 2017 which is known as MAFA. No one is saying anything and the President is not interested to follow up or investigating (sic) the matter.
“The salary of our soldiers is being paid through POS, phone transfer in connection with banks by the army finance department. Our soldiers have been crying but no one is saying anything.
“Our Soldiers continue to buy their uniforms themselves and every other kit needed to protect the people and the nation. No uniform allowance, no boot allowance, and nobody are (sic) saying anything.
“The soldiers we don't see as anything are the ones that are keeping this country moving. They are using their lives as a wages (sic) between Nigerians and our adversaries.
“When these boys will strike, they won't be able to enjoy all the money they are stealing and hiding for (sic) their children. When they will strike, running to another country will be too late for us. When they will strike, they (sic) won't be room for amendment.
“Pay our soldiers their money in full and do it now. Army finance should not have anything to do with our soldiers’ salaries and allowances.”
Efforts to get the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu to react were not successful as he did not answer calls made to his mobile phone nor reply to the text message sent to him.