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Retirees lay siege to Defence ministry over non-payment of benefits

By Odita Sunday, Abuja
28 September 2022   |   5:28 am
Some military retirees have blocked the entrance gate of the Defence Ministry, demanding payment of their benefits by the Federal Government.

Retired soldiers at Defence Ministry…yesterday PHOTOS: ODITA SUNDAY

Some military retirees have blocked the entrance gate of the Defence Ministry, demanding payment of their benefits by the Federal Government.

 
The ex-soldiers , who retired between 2000 and 2005 gathered at the Defence headquarters main gate under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned Veterans (CCV).
 
Some of the senior citizens travelled from different parts of the country to Abuja to demand for what they said was their rights.
 
They laid their praying mats at the two gates in front of Ship House, denoting that they may not leave until their demands are met.
 
A passerby said: “These are retired members of the Nigerian Armed Forces and Coalition of Concerned Veterans, laying siege to the premises of the Ministry of Defence, Abuja.
 
“This is what these loyal Veterans have sadly been reduced to over the non-implementation of their Security Debarment Allowance, which President Muhammadu Buhari graciously  approved N134 billion for, but the Ministry of Defence has deliberately refused to push for its quick implementation.
 
“The Veterans, blocking access to the Ship House, have vowed, for the sake of the sick and bed-ridden amongst them, never to vacate the premises until their demands are met.
 
“Mr. President has approved the money and we are aware of it, but the Ministry has refused to pay us,”said a retired staff Sergeant who left service in 2000.
 
Also, a retired Master Warrant Officer,  Walli Raymond said: “The president approved the money to be paid to retired soldiers, up till now, the ministry has refused to pay us our security debarment allowance.”
 
At press time, the Director in charge of Press in the Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Vivian Agba, was yet to respond to calls and text messages sent to her phone.