Nigerian Retired Military Officers Storm Defence Headquarters Over Unpaid Allowances

By Damilare Adeleye

Some aggrieved retired military officers under the aegis of the Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces (RMNAF) and the Coalition of Concerned Veterans (CCV), on Monday, blocked the Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence, Abuja over non-payment of their Security Debarment Allowance, among others.

The protesters, who also comprised some relatives of retired officers who are dead, blocked the access road to the Ministry situated at Ship House on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in Abuja.

They accused the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, of being insensitive to their plight as veteran military officers.

While speaking on behalf of the protesters, the spokesman of the CCV, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, 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, also said the demonstration was to demand the payment of their security debarment allowance owed them by the Federal Government.

He noted that 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.”