Obasanjo to Ivoirian soldiers: Return to barracks


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday appealed to the grumbling soldiers in Cote d’Ivoire to return to the barracks and allow the democratic government in the country to look into their grievances.

The West African country is currently facing mass protest by soldiers over wage and bonus dispute.

Obasanjo, in a statement made available to journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun State, urged the soldiers to take path of peace and await the government’s consideration of their complaints and demands.

The ex – President, who expressed worry over the stand- off between Cote d’Ivoire soldiers and the government with the attendant sporadic shooting, described the crisis as obvious threat to the civilian population.

He said: “I believe most of us in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, have been worried and felt concerned about the standoff and unwholesome situation in Cote d’Ivoire where the disgruntled soldiers broke out of their barracks and embarked on sporadic shootings and threats to civilian lives over a wage and bonus dispute.

“While as a former comrade of those soldiers, I would wish that they have their required bonuses and enhanced wages but as military men, they must act within the code of good conduct and military discipline.

 “I appeal to these disgruntled soldiers to peacefully return to their barracks and await the Ivoirian government’s consideration of their complaints and demands.

“Collectively and individually, our countries in West Africa make peace for development, growth and progress and nothing must be done to reverse the progress so far made by the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire under President Alassane Ouattara.

“I, therefore, urge the government of Cote d’Ivoire to speedily attend to the complaints of the agitated soldiers to bring the country to normalcy.”


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