Retired soldiers protest, demand payment of pension arrears

Retired soldiers on Wednesday took to the streets of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, protesting unpaid pension arrears by the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army officers took their protest to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, agitating the non-payment of their pension arrears by the government, as well as stoppage of deductions from their earnings.

The retired soldiers demanded the approval of the payment of minimum wage arrears accruing to them since 2019 by Federal Government.

The ex-servicemen further told the federal government to stop on all deductions from the pension of retired medical officers; they made a case for the inclusion of army officers who fought the civil war on the military pension scheme.

Anthony Agbas identified as representative of the retired soldiers on protest, had delivered a letter to the Ministry of Finance for onward presentation to the Minister of Finance. The protesting ex-servicemen were said to have argued that having fought for the country, defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria, the deserve to be paid their pension. He had added that they have held peaceful protest in anticipation that their demands would receive urgent acceptance and implementation by the government.

The protest had taken place two days to the January 15 ritual of the colourful Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration for the year 2021. The protest is apt because remembering the bourgeois Army Officers and neglecting the retired soldiers sends dangerous message to others not among the military brass who are still in service.