Military Veterans to Embark on Protest Over Non Payment of Pension
By John Femi Adi:
The Coalition of Concerned Veterans said it has concluded plans to embark on a two-day peaceful demonstration to draw attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to plights of the veterans , especially non payment of their pension .
The veterans , who are from various pressure groups within military retirees , said the demonstration has become necessary in view of high cost of living because due to fall in the value of naira .
Addressing journalists at a press conference held at Women Multipurpose Hall ,Kaduna ,Spokesmans of the veterans , Comade Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts stated , “‘We are not unaware of the dwindling economic fortunes of the country and the far reaching effect in addressing numerous challenges in a country like ours .However , the welfare and wellbeing of military veterans is top priority because of their sacrifice in nation building and sustainable democracy .
” Therefore , if democracy must continue to thrive , concerted efforts by government must be geared towards not sending wrong signals to those still serving and would soon join us .Doing otherwise would definitely dampen their morals towards their primary responsibility of protecting territorial integrity of our country on land , sea and air .We the retired , remain their beacon of hope .
“However, considering that veterans served up to 10 years in active capacity and were either retired by military or left service voluntarily , but are not catered for in the present military pension policy , whereas , their biafran comrafea are taken care of “.
While urging President Buhari to consider putting all machinery in motion to bring the veterans back on pension payroll as most of them fall in this category, he appealed to President Buhari to urgently look into the constitutional provisions of pension review of 5 years with the view of directing relevant government organs to commence immediate review which was last done in 2010.
” However, let us first acknowledge the efforts of the President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria , who incidentally is one of us ,over his concern towards addressing the pitiable plight of the veterans , which he inherited from previous administration .
” We also commend the efforts of Minister of Defense and Chief of Defense Staff as well as management of military pension boards for organizing an interactive session ,where stakeholders bare the minds .” he added .