Military pensioners in Nigeria have given an indication to proceed on a sustained peaceful protest to protest the non payment of sundry outstanding allowances owed them by the federal government. The veterans in a release by the spokesman of the coalition of veteran groups in Nigeria, titled “We have reached the end of the road”, Comrade Sedisyne Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, expressed the disappointment of the veterans community in the inability of the Minister of Defense to attend to the request of the leaders of the various veterans groups to meet and discuss the various issues concerning retired armed forces pensioners.
In the release, Comrade Durowaiye-Herberts lamented that “Two letters to the HMOD in a space of 6 weeks, yet no response”, adding that “We wish to ask, whose interest the HMOD serving if he cannot dialogue with representatives of Veterans groups who are part of his primary constituency as the Minister of Defense?”
He further revealed that “Our membership cuts across the ranks which include his juniors, Coursemates and indeed his Seniors. We, as representatives of these highly respected Senior citizens are saying, this is unacceptable to us and we are going ahead to mobilize our members at both State levels and FCT for a sustained peaceful protest to press home our legitimate demand from government in the first week of August, 2020”.
The CCV spokesman blamed the Minister of Defence for the impasse; “It is unfortunate that the HMOD, who incidentally is also one of us, is obviously working at a cross road and against the good intention of Mr. President”, he said, insisting that it was unfortunate that “a simple administrative norms of responding to letters have been disregarded by the office of the HMOD, giving the impression that we mean little or nothing to him.”
The release further stated; “As responsible leaders, we have shown appreciable level of regard for the office of the HMOD, just so we don’t wash our dirty linen in public and we expect same in return.
“If the authority have refused to dialogue with us in their offices, we shall meet on the street of Abuja and other State capitals and in the full glare of the International community.
“COVID or not, we are not afraid of death. We have been there before in the face of obvious threat to our lives. We are ready to once again lay down our lives for others to live.”
Some of the owed allowances include, three months of outstanding areas, minimum wage increase and the resultant areas and Debarment Allowance, an allowance paid to retired personnel to ensure that they do not use the skills and trainings acquired during active service against the state.