By John Femi Adi:
The Coalition of Concerned Veterans said it has suspended the planned two-day peaceful demonstration to draw attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to plights of the veterans , especially non payment of their pension .
The veterans , from various pressure groups within military retirees , said the suspension became necessary considering security situations and the effects on its members who would participate in the peaceful rally.
According to them , it was against the background that ” We hereby suspend our planned rally which was earlier slated to take place on the 14th and 15th of January, 2017.”
Addressing journalists at a press conference today ,Spokesman of the veterans , Comrade Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts stated the decision was taken to allow for further dialogue with relevant government bodies.
He recalled that about two weeks ago, precisely on the 30th of December, 2016, they addressed a press conference ob plans to come out on a peaceful rally on the 14th and 15th of January, 2017, to demand from government some pressing issues to be addressed.
Among them ” – Restoration of the 20.37% deduction from the pension review of 2015.
– Bulk payment of 33% arrears.
– Pension review which is due since 2015 to be based on 53.37%
– Veterans affairs department to be managed by vets
– Consideration of civil war vets to be placed on pension payroll.”
Noting ,”This became necessary in view of the prevailing high cost of living that our members have been forced to contend with as a result of the fall in the value of the Naira.
“Worse still, government is yet to conduct pension review which was due in 2015 and as a result, our members are worse for it.”
He however said , ” after a wide consultation with the leadership of the coalition group and having thoroughly reviewed the security situations and the effects on our members who would participate in the peaceful rally, we hereby suspend our planned rally which was earlier slated to take place on the 14th and 15th of January, 2017.
” This is to allow for further dialogue with relevant government bodies.
” We therefore wish to thank all our members for their patience and understanding.”