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Return to your barracks, Obasanjo appeals to soldiers in Cote d’Ivoire

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Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta

A former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed concern over soldiers protest in Cote d’voire over wage and bonus.

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

The soldiers had reportedly broke out of their barracks and embarked on sporadic shootings and threats to civilian lives over a wage and bonus dispute.

This was contained in a statement signed by Obasanjo in Abeokuta, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent on Wednesday.

 The former president who described the protest as unwholesome, appealed to the soldiers to embrace dialogue, and allow the government to look into their complaints.

He noted that though they were entitled to their wages and bonuses, they must act within the code of good conduct and military discipline.

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 the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire where the disgruntled Ivoirian 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.”

Obasanjo, however, urged 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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