Ex-service men protest against non-payment of pensions, gratuity

Protesting retired military officers at the Rutam House, headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Retired military officers yesterday appealed to the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to address the non-payment of their pensions arrears and gratuities.They made the appeal at a rally to mark the 2017 Nigeria Army day and sent a letter to Osinbajo in which they lamented the neglect and insensitivity to their plight on the part of the Federal Government.

The retired officers said they would have no other choice than to embark on demonstration if government fails to address their situation, adding that it was unfair to be treated with disdain after serving the nation meritoriously.

According to them, the issue of gratuity and pensions had been a painful sore on the landscape of the military from the time the pensions office was located on Bourdillon Road Ikoyi, Lagos.

Leading the retired officers to Rutam House, headquarters of The Guardian newspapers, the Director of Communication, Lagos State Liaison office of the veterans, Evang Awo (rtd), Peter Ogwoni and others like Lamidi Adedeji, Charles Odey and John Ajibo appealed to the Federal Government to use the event to resolve the lingering issue of non-payment of their pensions and gratuity.

They said Nigeria was the only country in the whole world where military officers were turned to beggars after retirement, without recognition for partnership in the development of their fatherland.

The retired officers, therefore, urged Osinbajo to ensure the payment of the backlog of their contributory pensions with Pensions Fund Administrators (PFAs) and Pensions fund Custodians (PFCs), as well as the Military Pension Board.

They are also asking for the payment of 40-year arrears to battlefield soldiers of the Nigerian Civil war who were verified for military pensions.They added that 20 per cent balances of pension increment since 2010 should also be calculated and the arrears paid to them in lump sum.

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