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Ex-military men plan protest over exclusion from pension board

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Ex-military men who fought on the side of the Nigerian government during the Nigeria-Biafran War have berated the Federal Government for not paying their entitlements since they left the military about 44 years ago.

The aggrieved war veterans, who addressed journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday, called on the government to ensure they were paid their entitlements before they all die of hunger.

Dome Media Services

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Operating under the umbrella of the First Intake Able Voluntary Retired Or Discharged Ten Or More Years In Military Service, the National Coordinator, Pa Babawande Philips, and other group leaders said all their efforts to ensure that they were included in the Military Pension Board had proved abortive.

He said many of their members had died of hunger because many could not afford to buy basic drugs to treat themselves.

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Babawande said since the Federal Government discharged them 44 years ago, their members had not received their entitlements from the government.

He said while the Federal Government had paid the Biafran soldiers who fought against Nigeria, those who fought on the Nigeria’s side and were mainly from the North, South-West and South-South had not been paid.

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The war veterans who insisted that they worked directly under the supervision of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), during the civil war, urged him to look into their case and ensure they were enlisted in the Nigeria Military Pension Board.

Babawande said, “We are suffering. Many of us who defended the Nigerian nation during the civil war cannot boast of a house. We laid down our lives to defend Nigeria but see how they are paying us back. We have all the documents which qualify us to be included in the pension board. If all our people die in poverty, God won’t forgive Nigerian leaders.

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“We have done many biometric screenings, but they did not produce any fruitful results. Are they waiting until we all die? At this age, the Federal Government is sending us up and down.

“I was in Abuja last month. But as we speak, we are at a crossroads. We will soon begin to stage protests to register our displeasure over the refusal of the Federal Government to give us our entitlements.”

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