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Retired soldiers protest, call out Defence minister, Magashi, over unpaid allowances



Military veterans on Monday staged a protest at the Ministry of Defense in Abuja over the non-payment of their Security Debarment Allowance and other issues under the auspices of the Retired Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Coalition of Concerned Military Veterans.

The Ministry of Defence is housed in Ship House on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in the nation’s capital city, and protesters set up a tent there and blocked the entrance with it.

In January 2022, the retired military personnel picketed the National Assembly, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Defense over the same demand.

The National Secretary of REMENAF, Ambassador Roy Okhidievbie, who spoke during the protest on Monday, said that the demonstration was held to demand that the Federal Government pay the security debarment allowance owed to them. He added that the allowances had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration but had been withheld by the Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (ret.d).

Read also:Nigerian military to discharge disgruntled, unmotivated officers, soldiers

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.”

Also, the spokesperson for the CVV, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, explained that Monday’s protest was focused on the non-payment of the Security Debarment Allowance, adding that they were determined to sleep over at the entrance of the Ministry of Defence.

Durowaiye-Herberts 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.”

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