Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Burutai, on Tuesday explained why soldiers of the Nigerian Army were strategically located in 32 states of Nigeria saying they were combating terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling, pipeline vandalism, communal crises and any form of uprisings.
Gen. Buratai who disclosed this when he appeared before the House Committee on Army Tuesday, explained that this development had overstretched the army, which had made it mandatory to recruit 12,000 able-bodied young men.
The COAS noted that timely and complete implementation of 2017 budget will enhance the fulfilment of the mandate.
Buratai further noted that in the past eight years, the country had been grappling with various security challenges that had continued to stretch the development of Army’s assets.
“Currently, the Nigerian Army is deployed in about 32 states fighting to eradicate terrorism, cattle rustling, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, armed banditry and communal clashes among others,” he disclosed.
Buratai while giving the breakdown of the 2016 budget before the House committee on Army chaired by Kwewum Shawulu, said the percentage performance of Nigeria Army budget was 100 per cent.
He said 62.01 per cent of the budget was for personnel emolument and 39.39 per cent for overhead capital budget.
He expressed concern that the limited funds released to the Nigeria Army had continued to jeopardize welfare efforts with attendant dampening of personnel morale.
Meanwhile, eight military officers are to appear before a Kaduna High Court to testify in a case involving 92 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as the Shiite sect.
The Shiite members are standing trail following their alleged involvement in a clash with the Nigerian Army in Zaria in December 2015.
The clash allegedly led to the death of over 300 members of the Shiite members allegedly killed by soldiers as well as an army corporal allegedly killed by the accused Shiite members standing trail.
The Shiite members, who have been in prison custody since their arrest in December 12, 2015, are standing trial for alleged culpable homicide (killing of one Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna), rioting and unlawful assembly.
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