The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, said on Thursday that he believed the funds allocated for the welfare of security personnel were not being judiciously utilised, for political reasons.
He observed that the problem contributed to the “low morale” of troops deployed to confront members of the Boko Haram sect killing and maiming innocent Nigerians in the North-East of the country.
He disclosed that the House had received ‘bitter complaints’ from soldiers indicating that “their welfare is not being taken seriously.”
Tambuwal noted that despite the huge funds appropriated for military operations by the National Assembly regularly, there was evidence that security personnel were not getting adequate welfare to prepare themselves for the task of confronting insurgents.
He added, “Somebody is playing politics with the welfare of soldiers.
“Or the money meant for the welfare of our soldiers is not being applied judiciously.
“The House will not take this matter lying low and we are prepared to take on those involved.”
Tambuwal barred his mind when he met with members of the Unity Schools Old Students Association at the National Assembly in Abuja.
He disclosed that the House was set to investigate how the funds allocated to soldiers’ welfare was utilised.
“When we resume plenary, we are going to take some motions from our members on the welfare of our troops.
“This has become a serious issue because soldiers are complaining that what is meant for them is not getting to them”, he said.
The speaker declared that the National Assembly was always ready to assist the Executive in every way possible to bring an end to the insurgency.
“Every effort of government must be supported by the National Assembly.
“We are ready to do everything possible to end this insurgency.
“We cannot commandeer troops, but we can appropriate funds.
“What is meant for the welfare of our soldiers should be improved”, he stated.
He applauded the foresight of Nigeria’s founding fathers for initiating the unity school system.
According to him, the unity schools, more than the National Youth Service Corps, promote the unity of the country by bringing children from diverse backgrounds together early in life.
The President-General of the association, Mr. Kabir Nuhu-Koko, had condemned the latest resort of insurgents to attacking secondary school children.
He recalled the attack last month, on a Government College in Yobe state, which claimed the lives of 59 students and left many others maimed.
“The killing of citizens anywhere is not acceptable. The massacre of the students was so terrible.
“That was why we called on government to shut the unity schools in the state and transfer the students to other areas”, he added.
He appealed for more resources to be channelled to unity schools, urging the Federal Government not to allow “lofty ideals” of the unity schools to fade away.