Nigeria: Veterans from the Civil War plan to demonstrate on January 15th, demanding overdue pensions
By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
A group of retired soldiers who fought on the side of the Federal Government during the Civil War hasdeclared their intention to stage a protest on January 15, 2024.
The protest is in response to the veterans’ grievances over the non-payment of their pensions, a situation that has persisted for 40 years since the conclusion of the war.
Expressing their dissatisfaction, the national coordinator, Babawande Philip, and National Secretary, Okewuyi Bayo, criticized the Federal Government for neglecting their contributions to maintaining the unity of Nigeria. Despite numerous letters and appeals to authorities, including the President, National Assembly, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Military Pension Board, and Ministry of Defence, the veterans claim to have received no response.
The group finds the treatment by the government unfair and considers it a disservice to the sacrifices they made during the Civil War. They highlight the paradox of their counterparts who fought against the government receiving monthly pensions while they have been grappling with neglect for four decades, resulting in the loss of some members during the struggle.
In light of these grievances, the veterans have resolved to initiate a new series of nationwide protests starting from January 15. They assert that this action is their last resort to demand what they rightfully deserve. The government has been given until January 14 to address their concerns; otherwise, the veterans promise massive and prolonged protests until their demands are met.