- Nigeria First has alleged plans to blackmail the past service chiefs by some individuals
- The group said some individuals have been paid to make minor sacrifices made by the service chiefs
- According to Nigeria First, such a blackmail plot is 'total rubbish'
The Nigeria First movement on Friday, May 21, alleged that there are well-orchestrated plans by some individuals to blackmail the immediate past chief of army staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (retired) and other former service chiefs.
Speaking at a press conference attended by Legit.ng in Abuja, the secretary-general of the group, Richard Augustine said a grand plan is already in motion to belittle the personalities of the past service chiefs and their records while in office.
Augustine said Nigeria First is surprised that anyone in his or her right mind would harbour such a plot irrespective of the sacrifices made by the service chiefs during their tenure in office.
He said reports that claimed allowances of soldiers and officers under the Manual of Financial Administration for the Armed Forces of Nigeria 2017 (MAFA) had not been paid since 2017 is total rubbish.
He noted that shortly before leaving office, Buratai had responded to a Freedom of Information request by a coalition of civil society organizations led by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT, requesting information on spending on military operations across Nigeria.
Augustine said the then army chief had also received commendation from the civil society groups for his prompt response to the matter.
"Nigeria First consequently wonders how allowances of soldiers and officers would be left unpaid over five years, and t 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."
Further describing Buratai as an 'incorruptible Nigerian', Augustine urged Nigerians to disregard these attacks for lack of merit.
"Nigeria First, as an organization, reckons with the fact that the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, remains an incorruptible Nigerian who would never deny anyone his rights and privileges as well as earned entitlements."
"We stand by this position and wish to advise those bent on castigating him to desist from such uncharitable endeavours as a matter of urgency and necessity. This despicable campaign of calumny must stop."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the former chief of army staff had debunked claims that he was involved in a case of missing $1 billion under his leadership.
The former army chief's lawyer said his client was never mentioned by the National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, in connection with the missing funds.
He also urged members of the public to discountenance such allegations against the former army chief.
Also, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had called for a probe of the past service chiefs over the deplorable state of the nation's security.
The PDP said the security situation in Nigeria has degenerated into an abysmal state that has resulted in a huge loss of lives and property.