By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna.
Military pensioners under the auspice of Coalition of Concerned Veterans, on Friday said, they are no longer going ahead with their planned Arm Forces Remembrance Day, peaceful protest slate for 14th and 15th January, 2017.
Addressing journalists in Kaduna, Spokesperson of the group, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts explained that the decision to shelve the plan was necessary, due to the security situations and the effects on their members who would participate in the peaceful rally.
“After a wide consultation with the leadership of the coalition group and having thoroughly reviewed the security situations and the effects on our members who would participate in the peaceful rally, we hereby suspend our planned rally which was earlier slated to take place on the 14th and 15th of January, 2017. This is to allow for further dialogue with relevant government bodies.” He said.
Recalled that the group had on 30th of December, 2016, told the press that they shall be mobilising their members across the country to protest against, among other things, nonpayment of pension arrears of some of their members to draw to attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to the plight of military pensioners in the country.
According to Durowaiye-Herberts, “the protest was aimed at demanding from government some pressing issues to be addressed, they are;
“Restoration of the 20.37% deduction from the pension review of 2015, bulk payment of 33% arrears. Pension review which is due since 2015 to be based on 53.37%, Veterans affairs department to be managed by vets, consideration of civil war vets to be placed on pension payroll.”
He added, “this became necessary in view of the prevailing high cost of living that our members have been forced to contend with as a result of the fall in the value of the Naira. Worse still, government is yet to conduct pension review which was due in 2015 and as a result, our members are worse for it.”