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Civil war veterans protest 44 years unpaid pensions in Ibadan

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Some retired military men who fought during the Nigerian civil war protested their 44 years of unpaid pensions on Wednesday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

The group under the umbrella of the First Intake Able Voluntary Retired Or Discharged Ten Or More Years in Military Service, and led by their national coordinator, Babawande Philips, took to the streets of Ibadan with placards bearing various inscriptions.

Mr Philips said the ex-military men had continued to suffer in the last 44 years when those who rebelled against the country had been paid.

“We have been so much deprived of our pensions for the past 44 years. They have denied us of our pensions. We laid our lives for the unity of this nation.

“Those who fought from the Biafran side have been paid. Why were they paid, and they left us unpaid. We that laid our lives for the unity of this nation,” he said.

He faulted the recent claim that they were not qualified because their service was less than 15 years, saying they wanted to use Decree 102 against them.

“They are claiming that anyone that doesn’t serve up to 15 years is not qualified to receive pensions. They have forgotten that there was a circular that came out in 1977.

“The circular stated that any soldier that clocks 10 years or more, but less than 15 years is qualified to receive pensions.

“And they would be entitled to 40 per cent of their terminal salaries. I don’t know whether they are not aware of this circular or not,” he said.

Mr Philips said they had no fewer than 780 of them yet to be paid, appealing to the federal government to heed their clarion call.

(NAN)

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