26th September, 2022
Military veterans under the aegis of the Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces and the Coalition of Concerned Military Veterans protested the non-payment of their Security Debarment Allowance in Abuja on Monday.
The protest took place at the Ministry of Defence located at Ship House on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in the country’s capital city.
The retired soldiers pitched a tent and blocked access to the ministry.
Speaking to newsmen during the protest, the spokesperson for the CVV, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, said the retired soldiers were determined to sleep over at the entrance of the Ministry of Defence.
He said, “We’re here, alongside our wives and children, and the widows of late military personnel and veterans who died in service, some of whom died fighting Boko Haram terrorists.
“We’ll be sleeping over at this place until the Minister of Defence, Magashi accede to our demands.”
A young woman, Anna Nanven, whose husband, a Corporal, was killed by Boko Haram terrorists during an attack on a military barracks in Borno State, 2015, told newsmen that she had only received one allowance disbursement since her husband’s demise.
Mrs Nanven said, “My husband was a young man, a Corporal that was killed by Boko Haram terrorists during an attack on the barracks where he worked.
“I now live with his parents, and I bore five kids, three females and two males for him until his demise. The children are aged, 22, 20, 18, 15, and seven years olds, and the two eldest, both girls, that are done with High School can’t afford going to the University because I can’t afford their school fee.
“I am pleading that the President, the Minister of Defence, and Nigerian citizens come to our aid. I and my five children are suffering and living in poverty because I can’t afford starting a business, and I have no job.”
The National Secretary, REMENAF, Ambassador Roy Okhidievbie, who also spoke during the protest, noted that the demonstration was to demand the payment of their security debarment allowance owed them by the Federal Government.
He added that the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.) had refused to disburse the allowances despite approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Okhidievbie said, “We have had meetings with the Defence Minister, Magashi, but he appears to be headstrong, heartless, and unperturbed concerning the grievances of retired military officers, as he never paid nor showed any interest or concern to pay these allowances, especially the Security Debarment Allowance.
“Interestingly, President Buhari-led regime has approved the payment of this allowance, but Magashi has refused to make disbursements.”