From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s, Abuja Bureau)
As Nigeria celebrates 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day on Friday January 15, a group of Ex-Service Men & Families Welfare Association of Nigeria on Wednesday protested against 20 months of unpaid pension arrears and Security Department Allowance (SDA) in Abuja.
The protesters who retired under the Ministry of Defense appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in the payment of their pension arrears.
The Chairman of the association, Mr. Anthony Agbas who spoke with The New Diplomat on behalf of the protesters said, “We come here to demand for the payment of our pension arrears.”
“The minimum wage approved by the President is now at 20 months and we have not been paid. We have laid complaints to the ministry many times and we have not been paid.” he said.
Agbas further stated that, “SDA which is to be paid to retired soldiers not to use the skills they acquired against the state were only paid to officers who retired from November 2017 till date. This is to be paid to all discharged officers.”
Furthermore, the protesters demanded the immediate refund of deducted pension of medically discharged officers and the inclusion of retired officers who fought during the Nigerian Civil War in the military Pension Board.
The protesters were also seen with various placards such as: “Graciously pay all retired officers and soldiers, SDA”, “Pay us 20 months Arrears of Approved Minimum Wage”, Refund Monies deducted from pension of Medically retired soldiers”, We have sacrificed our youth years to Defend our Nation, we should be Celebrated”, When we remember the dead, remember the living”.