Retired Military Officers Block Defence Headquarters Over Unpaid Allowances
The headquarters of the Ministry of Defence, Abuja on Monday morning was blocked by some retired military officers.
The aggrieved retired military officers expressed their grievances over the non-payment of their Security Debarment Allowance, among others.
The protesters who were joined by some relatives of retired officers who are dead blocked the access road to the Ministry located at Ship House on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in Abuja.
The Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi was accused by the military veterans under the aegis of the Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces (RMNAF) and the Coalition of Concerned Veterans (CCV) of being insensitive to their plight.
The spokesman of the CCV, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts while speaking on behalf of the protesters noted that they would not leave the ministry’s entrance until their demands are met.
Durowaiye-Herberts further stated that the retired military officers have made arrangements to sleep overnight if the situation warrants.
He said, “We are here alongside our wives and children, and the widows of late military personnel and veterans who died in service, some of whom died fighting Boko Haram terrorists. We’ll be sleeping over at this place until the Minister of Defence, Magashi accede to our demands.”
The National Secretary of RMNAF, Roy Okhidievbie, while speaking on the reason for the protest said the demonstration was to demand the payment of their security debarment allowance owed them by the Federal Government.
According to Okhidievbie, the Minister of Defence has refused to disburse the allowances despite approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Okhidievbie said, “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.”