By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—The Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations in Oyo State almost went sour, yesterday, as a female soldier collapsed in front of Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, while on parade.
Vanguard gathered that the soldier and her colleagues had been at the arcade for about five hours before the commencement of the programme around 11a.m.
Her colleagues surrounded her to give helping hands. Newsmen at the parade were prevented from moving closer to the visibly exhausted soldier.
She was later rushed to the hospital on the premises of Government House, where doctors attended to her.
The state chairman of Nigerian Legion, Pastor Michael Olagunju, used the occasion to make a fresh appeal to the Federal Government to ensure the payment of the arrears of 37 percent increment in the pensions of the retired soldiers, who had spent all their useful years serving the country.
The cleric, said: “The government has been paying our pension, but the 33 percent increment was not paid from July 2010 to July 2013.
“The government began payment of the increment in August 2013. So, we have not been paid 37 months arrears of the 33 percent increment.”
Among those who attended the ceremony were Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Mrs Monsurat Sunmonu; other members of the cabinet and several others.
Governor Ajimobi also lent credence to the call by the cleric, saying “you can only improve the lives of those that are alive. You cannot improve the lives of those who are dead.
“For those that are dead and their families, we are still helping by relating with the military and all the Armed Forces, providing them support in terms of facilities and infrastructure from time to time; donations and the general improvement of those that they left behind.
“We must ensure we have peace and security in Oyo State.
“In the past 10 years, you will discover that it is only during this administration that there has not been violence and assassination in the state.”