By SIMON EBEGBULEM
THE National Association of Military Pensioners, NAMP, has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the Ministry of Defense to pay all military pensioners the 53 per cent pension increment and arrears owed to them.
The pensioners in a communiqué by its National Acting President, F.E.Ugbokplor and National Acting Secretary, Comrade P.O.Okpaiyo, urged the Federal government to cushion the effects of the petroleum subsidy removal which according to it “is adversely affecting the military pensioners.”
While describing the way and manner in which military pensioners are being treated as provocative, the communiqué lamented that “a situation where the military pensioners who fought for the unity of the country, are denied their right amounts to frustration. Those ex-soldiers who fought to keep this country united are dying in abject poverty as there is nothing to show for laying down their lives in service to the nation.
“The Ministry of Defense and other agents saddled with the responsibility of payment of military pension should pay the pension increment of 53 per cent with the arrears to military pensioners with effect from 1st July, 2010. It is noted that the increment of 2003 was not paid until 2010 with much anomalies while the 2010 increment is yet to be paid despite being budgeted for in 2011 and approved and passed into law.
“Now that the Defense has directed the general verification of military pensioners coming up from 27th February-12th March, 2012, we strongly appeal to the President to direct the Ministry of Defense to pay all military pensioners our arrears along with the verification exercise” it stated.
They appealed to all military pensioners that the “proposed military pensioners protest nationwide against the delay and nonpayment of the 53 percent is hereby suspended”.