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 involved in restoring peace to the North-East were not being judiciously utilised, for political reasons.
Tambuwal, who met with members of the Unity Schools Old Students Association in Abuja, added that the problem had contributed to the “low morale” of the troops.
He disclosed that the House had received “bitter complaints” from soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents indicating that “their welfare is not being taken seriously.”
Tambuwal noted that despite the huge funds appropriated by the National Assembly for military operations in the North-East, there was no evidence that the security personnel were getting adequate welfare.
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.
“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.”
The speaker assured the nation that the National Assembly would always assist the Executive in every way possible to bring an end to the insurgency in the North-East.
He said, “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 also 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 pupils.
He recalled the attack last month on the Federal Government College in Yobe State, which led to the killing of 59 pupils.
Nuhu-Koko said, “The killing of citizens anywhere is not acceptable. The massacre of the students was so terrible.
“That was why we called on the government to shut the unity schools in the state and transfer the students to other areas.”
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