…As gov insists Abia not owing any security agency
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Both the Army authorities and the Abia State Government, have dismissed as false, social media reports, that soldiers involved in the ‘Operation Crush’ were being owed.
The Army authorities and the Abia State Government in separate statements, refuted the report which they said was being sponsored by mischief makers.
Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 14 Brigade Ohafia, Lt. Innocent Omale, in a statement urged members of the public to disregard the “misleading report.”
Similarly, Gov. Alex Otti, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, said he was not owing any security agency in the state.
The statement by the Army read: “The attention of Headquarters 14 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to the fake, malicious, untrue news story in the media domain of troops of ‘Operation Crush’ in Abia not paid their allowances by the government.
“The story is maliciously calculated to dent the image of the Nigerian Army and the cordial relationship that existed between the Brigade and the Government led by Dr Alex Chioma Otti OFR.
“This nefarious story is orchestrated by some undesirable elements who are egocentric in nature and want to soil the long time cordial relationship between the Military and the State Government.
It is also pertinent to advise that the public should verify information before embarking on such nefarious publications which misinform the public.
It is expected that balance and objectivity are some of the tenets of a good media publication. It is worthy to also state that it is unprofessional and a form of lazy journalism to publish a one-sided story.
“To put record straight, all allowances have been paid to troops as and when due once the funds are released by the State Government.
“As such no troops of ‘Operation Crush’ are owed any allowances as acclaimed by the wicked publication.
“To this end, journalist looking for cheap publicity should verify their stories before publication. Than dishing out untrue and malicious statements in the media domain.
“The Nigerian Army is calling on well meaning Nigerians to cooperate, support Abia State Government led by Dr Alex Chioma Otti OFR, in the focus and fight against all criminal elements in the State towards creating an enabling environment for all citizens to go about their businesses in a peaceful and favourable environment.”
Gov. Otti, in his statement, said: “My attention has been drawn to a misleading report on the social media, alleging that the Abia State Government is owing soldiers attached to the multi-agency security task force, code-named Operation Crush.
“The General public is advised to disregard this falsehood as the state government is up-to-date in meeting its obligations to the anti-crime task force, which has been instrumental in dealing with incidents of violent crimes and dislodging the kidnapping ring around the Umunneochi-Uturu-Okigwe axis, especially on the Enugu-Umuahia-Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway.
“It is worthy of note that the Government of Abia State, under the able and dynamic leadership of the Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, has continued to pay workers salaries, pensions and all outstanding verified benefits accruing to Abia workers and retirees, since the assumption of office by Dr. Otti.
“Only two days ago, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the umbrella association of judicial workers in Abia State, wrote to thank Governor Otti for living up to his promise to pay the arrears of their Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary Structure (CONJUSS), which had remained outstanding since 2015.
“The workers, through their union leader and Chairman, Oracle Chinedu Eze, expressed their gratitude to Governor Otti and government of Abia State for fulfilling the promise of salary payments.
“It is with a grateful heart full of joy and happiness that I, on behalf of the entire Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria members and executives, wish to inform and appreciate you for the first batch of the CONJUSS arrears paid yesterday (November 15, 2023).
“Sir, we are most grateful and thankful Sir. May Almighty God bless you mightily. Amen and remain lifted,” Mr. Eze wrote in a message to the Abia State Governor, through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ikechukwu Uwanna.
“Abians are not lost in the fact that the falsehood being peddled on the social media is the handwork of the enemies of the State, who have lost their hold on political power in the state and have now chosen to see nothing good in Governor Otti, their Achilles heel.”