Following the admission by the Nigerian Army that Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and his two wives acquired two properties in 2013 in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from savings, the Internet has been agog.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, described the report of wrongdoing against the Army Chief has mere smear campaign. That Lt. Gen. Buratai neither lodged huge money in any bank account nor operated a Skye Bank account.
He stated, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to another round of campaign of calumny against the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai and his family by some unscrupulous elements as contained in an online medium story titled “Revealed: Buhari’s Chief Of Army Staff, General Buratai, wives own Dubai property”, alleging that Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Tukur Buratai, and his two wives are joint owners of a Dubai property that was paid for in one transaction posted on the website, this evening.
“It is important to know that these baseless allegations were not new. In March, some groups of individuals under the aegis of “Concerned Citizens”, tried same smear campaign.To their disappointment, it could not fly, because it is not true.
“Therefore, the latest round of smear campaign by the online medium is one of the series of campaigns of calumny by these faceless individuals to malign the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army.
“The online news medium this evening (yesterday) uploaded another campaign of calumny allegedly based on a petition by obviously fake and non-existent group it described as “Concerned Soldiers and Officers from the North East”.
“The allegations contained in the write up are baseless and not correct. It is a fact that the Buratai family has two properties in Dubai that were paid in instalments through personal savings three years ago.
“This, along with other personal assets, has consistently been declared by General Buratai in his Assets Declaration Form as Commander Multinational Joint Task Force Commander and as Chief of Army Staff.
“It is pertinent to state that the Chief of Army Staff does not have any account with Skye Bank as alleged, let alone making deposits in the imaginary bank account to the tune of the amount stated in the write up.
“Similarly, he has not been involved in any form of shady or dishonest transaction, not to talk of ‘contract scam’.
“In addition, General Buratai was never near either Defence Headquarters or Army Headquarters in 2013. It is pertinent to also note that he was never a Director of Procurement in Army Headquarters as alleged.
“As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Army never had a Directorate of Procurement till when he established one last year when he became Chief of Army Staff.
“In a bid to rubbish the hard- earned reputation and good name of the Chief of Army Staff, these blackmailers will stop at nothing hence all these kinds of mudslinging.
“It is really worrisome that some people could condescend so low to fabricate baseless allegation against the Chief of Army Staff for reasons that could best be described as mischievous.
“It is equally worrisome that the medium could lend space for this obvious mischief. We really do not believe that it is because the price is right.”
But many have described the story of personal savings as far fetched as the salary of Lt. Gen. Buratai couldn’t have bought the two Dubai properties valued at $1.5 million (N427.5 million at N280 exchange rate).
Here are the unconfirmed salaries of soldiers…
Private Soldier earns about N48-49,000
Lance Corporal earns about N54-55,000
Corporal – N58,000
Sergeant – N63,000
Staff Sergeant – N68,000
Warrant Officer – N80,000
Master Warrant Officer – N90,000
Nigerian Army Salary Structure for
Second Lieutenant- N120,000
Lt. Colonel- N350,000
Brigadier General- N750,000
Major General- N950,000
Lt. General- N1 million
General- N1.5 million