From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday evening, expressed concern over the mass protest by soldiers in Cote D’Ivoire, over wage and bonus dispute.
He further described the situation as “the stand-off and unwholesome situation in the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire”.
Obasanjo, who stated this in a statement he personally signed in Abeokuta, however, called for calm and appealed to the protesting soldiers to return to their barracks urging them to await government’s consideration of their complaints and demands.
“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.
“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.” The former president stated.