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Retired military officers protest non-payment of allowance by Buhari regime

Retired military officers on Monday protested the non-payment of their allowance by the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The protestors, under the aegis of Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces and the Coalition of Concerned Military Veterans, stormed the Ministry of Defence, blocking the entrance of the building with anti-government songs. 

The retired military officers had picketed the office of the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, for refusing to pay their Security Debarment Allowance.

“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 have refused to make disbursements,” Roy Okhidievbie, spokesperson for the retired military officers told journalists in Abuja. 

The protesters were also joined by children and widows of late military officers who died in service fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east.

Peoples Gazette could not immediately get comments from the Ministry of Defence in relation to the protest and the accusation by the military retirees. 

The military retirees on January 5, 2022, also protested the non-payment of their security allowance at the Ministries of Finance and the National Assembly.

During the period, they vowed to disrupt the celebration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day on January 15 but later suspended the protest following the intervention of Mr Magashi. 

In May 2022, the defence ministry, through the permanent secretary, Ibrahim Kana, announced to journalists at a function in Abuja that President Buhari had approved the payment of debarment allowance for retired military personnel. 

“Recently, the President unanimously approved the debarment allowance for all veterans. For the veterans, I think better days are ahead,” the ministry said.

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