Group decries plot to blackmail Buratai, other former service chiefs


The Nigeria First Movement has said that a grand plot is underway to blackmail former Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai (rtd) and other immediate past retired service chiefs.

The group revealed that a well-orchestrated campaign of calumny is already in motion with a report aimed to denigrate their personalities and credible track record while in service to Nigeria.

Nigeria First made the revelation in Abuja at a press conference on Friday.

In his address, Comrade Richard Adie Augustine, the group’s Secretary-General, said it was alarmed that such a plot could be hatched despite the great sacrifices of the ex-service chiefs in addressing Nigeria’s security challenges.

The group’s statement reads in part, “The Leadership of Nigeria First welcomes you all to the important press conference put together in light of the recent campaign of calumny launched by some despicable elements bent on dragging the immediate past service chiefs into a disjointed narrative all in a bid to malign their character and rubbish the numerous successes recorded by the Nigerian Military during their tenures.

“Nigeria First wishes to state that the report indicating that allowances of soldiers and officers under the Manual of Financial Administration for the Armed Forces of Nigeria 2017 (MAFA) hadn’t been paid since 2017 remains a figment of the imagination of the propagators of the campaign as under no circumstances could such happen given the transparent way and manner the finances of the Nigerian Army was administered during the tenure of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai (rtd).

“Nigeria First wonders how allowances of soldiers and officers would be left unpaid over 5 years, and it would go undetected given the periodic scrutiny of the expenditure of the Nigerian Army in the prosecution of the war against terrorism and other acts of criminalities across the country.

“It’s thus becoming evident that the promoters of the campaign of calumny didn’t do their homework well to realize that under the leadership of Buratai, the Nigerian Army indeed responded to a Freedom of Information request by a coalition of civil society organizations led by the SERAP, BudgIT and Enough is Enough (EiE), requesting for information on spending on military operations across Nigeria, particularly in the Northeast.

“We wish to state that not only was the request honoured, but the coalition of civil society groups went further to commend Buratai, wherein it stated that “while we ascertain the level of compliance of the information provided, we welcome Buratai’s demonstrated commitment to the Freedom of Information Act by responding to our request.

“Nigeria First wishes to state that this is indeed the height of mischief that all well-meaning Nigerians must resist as it’s tantamount to insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians.

“It’s also a statement that the performance of the former service chiefs while in office remains outstanding.

“Nigeria First wishes to put it on record that Buratai ought to be regarded as one of the heroes of our democracy in Nigeria for his efforts at entrenching transparency and accountability while in office.

“Nigeria First wishes to inform members of the general public to disregard the recent attack launched against the former service chiefs as it’s dead on arrival for lacking in merit.”

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