By Ola Ajayi
SCORES of retired military men most of whom are deformed,caused a stir in Ibadan Monday as they blocked major roads in protest of non-payment of their 12.5 per cent arrears and non-implementation of the Federal Government’s monetisation policy.
They issued a 40-day ultimatum to the FG to ensure the payment of their arrears or be prepared to witness civil disobedience.
The ex-soldiers from South West and South-South stormed the ever busy Dugbe, Molete, Mokola roads defying all pleas by the police to allow free vehicular movement.
Allegding inhuman treatment in the hands of the FG, the ex-military men led by the union’s Chairmen, South West, Col. Dauda Ajao (rtd.) and Gabriel Oaikhene, from South South, forced many motorists to a standstill.
Armed with various placards with inscriptions depicting their untold hardship in the hands of the FG, they stormed the streets at about 8.30am.
Some of them who shunned deformities such as blindness and amputated legs continued pleading with President Goodluck Jonathan to show them some goodluck and order the immediate payment of the said arrears.
Ajao explained that they were short-paid during the payment of the 12.5 per cent arrears. According to him, instead of being paid six-and-a half years with effect from October 2003 till date, they were paid only one year and three months.
He said, “Only God knows how they reduced it to one year and three months. We want the balance to be paid to us. Now that another 53 per cent has been granted for pay since July 2010, up to date, the money has not been paid to us”.
“Many of us cannot feed our families, our children are being sent away from school because our present allowance is too small”, they lamented.
The presence of policemen led by Mr. Olubunmi Apapa, could not stop the angry retired soldiers as they refused saying they would remain there until the relevant authorities heeded their demands.