EXCLUSIVE: Hardship mounts as poorly-fed Nigerian troop in Mali are unpaid for three months

Nigeria soldiers army

Five months after the deployment of Nigerian troops as part of the Africa-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) to fight Islamic insurgents, there is no respite in sight for soldiers who have suffered untold hardship and total neglect of the contingent.

PREMIUM TIMES can exclusively report that the 873-man contingent is still making do with poor nutrition, and unpaid allowances of up to three months.

The overwhelming perception of other participating countries in the mission is that the Nigerian contingent has fallen short of the United Nations’ standard.

“They are struggling to remain in Mali,” a defence source said. They are not being fed good food. They have been eating plain boiled spaghetti twice daily without condiments.”

PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported the abysmal condition of the troops and the lack of morale caused by the absence of logistics and basic provisions. But defence authorities had denied it, saying the soldiers were well taken care of.

Four months after our initial reports, nothing seems to have changed, as the condition of the soldiers seems to have worsened.

Our source said allowances haven’t been paid for up to three months.

The Commanding Officer (CO), of the contingent, Colonel T. E Gagariga, has been particularly fingered as encouraging soldiers to keep mute and pretend things are fine.

“Commanding Officer told soldiers to pretend that everything is all right because been promised a good appointment.  They’re really suffering.”

Morale is said to be at an all time low within the 333 Arty Regiment with the codename NIBATT 1.

It is not true

But the battalion commander says claims of hardship and low morale by troop are untrue.

“All that is pure lie,” said Col. Gagariga, when contacted by PREMIUM TIMES.

“We are doing our very best in every circumstance. My soldiers are of high morale.”





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  • concernednigerian

    Na wa ooO,when politicians spend billions monthly on feeding,Nigerian soldiers r staving abroad

  • arewethishopless

    What is all this nonesense? We cannot even feed our people we sent to war???? !!!!!

  • akpos1

    The country, sorry continent is just too large. Companies downsize when restructuring in order to plan again & to succeed. Continent Nigeria should ‘downsize’ by breaking up into its component countries. There is no country in the world with up to 15 different languages. Not even India & China with over 1 Billion peoples each. But Nigeria with 200 million peoples has 279 different ethnic groups & languages. How can you have peace?

    When the Chinese President speaks, everyone understands. When the India President speaks, more than 2/3 understands. When the Russian or British PM speak, everyone in their countries understands. But in Nigeria, regardless of the language the President chooses to speak, English inclusive, more than half of the population will not understand.

    Still believe Nigeria is a country? See a psychiatrist before it is too late.

  • Guest

    Make Jonathan carry im big belle go fight for Mali na. No be 1billion naira im dey use chop? Useless glutton.

  • leroy

    don’t believe any of this foolish propaganda , the nigerian army feeds its soldiers well