Thursday, January 20, 2022

Nigerian Military veterans plan nationwide protest over non-payment of debarment allowance

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A Coalition of Concerned Veterans, comprising Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers, RANAO; Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces, REMENAF and Association of Military Pensioners of Nigeria, AMPN, is set to stage a peaceful nationwide protest over non-payment of their debarment allowances.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that debarment is an allowance payable to retired members of the Armed Forces to debar them from using acquired special military skills against the state.

It is calculated as 10 percent of annual salary (at the time of retirement), multiplied by the number of years served.

It was initiated during President Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2012, and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.

However, the CCV spokesperson, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, in a statement signed at the weekend, lamented none or selective implementation of the law.

According to him, the group had sought audience with the Defence Minister Bashir Magashi in order to address the ongoing controversy but all efforts proved abortive.

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The group, therefore, planned to organize a nationwide peaceful protest on August 13 to press home their demands.

Giving guidelines to participating state chapters of the group across the country, the group urged members for full compliance.

The statement said: “All state Excos are to mobilize members for full participation in the forthcoming peaceful protest across the country and in full compliance as will be directed by the central body of CCV in the course of the exercise.

“Participating States are to nominate only one Spokesperson that will be expected to speak to members of the press on behalf of the State Chapter all through the exercise.

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“Letters to Mr. President through Various State Governors shall originate from CCV Headquarters and shall be delivered to State Governors by the State Chapter Chairmen or State Coordinators as the case may be.

“Similarly, letters to all security agencies, informing them of the planned peaceful protest will also originate from the CCV Headquarters for uniformity.

“All letters addressed to the Commander-in-Chief and all security agencies will be endorsed by key leaders of participating State Chapters including the CCV President.

“Branded T-shirt with faze cap, bearing the names of participating associations under CCV will be the official dress code (and a must for the Exco members), for the exercise.

“Members of the State Exco should be visibly seen leading protesting Veterans with close observation against infiltrators. Others without T-shirts and or fazecap should join the train in the middle.

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“Coalition leaders have also agreed that, for us to maintain a peaceful protest we must avoid blocking of traffic as doing so may attract no sympathy, but anger from the populace.

“Preferably do a sit down protest with good logistics provision. This might give the event more credibility while ensuring good security by being very vigilant to avoid hooligans taking over the show.

“In addition to the coverage of the exercise by both print and electronic media, members are encouraged to publicise the event on social media real time.

“Areas of protest concentration and specific government organisations to be picketed as well as further guidelines will be made known to us as we count down,” the statement read.

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