By Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
Following the planned protest by military Pensioners to express their angst against the Ministry of Defence to pay their arrears and Debarment Allowance, the Minister of Defence has formally invited a Coalition of Concerned Veterans of Nigeria (CCV) for a meeting.
The meeting scheduled to hold on the 6th August, 2020 in Abuja will address issues that border on the non-payment of Debarment Allowance to pensioners.
A letter to this effect signed by Brig Gen AJ Fagge on behalf of the Minister of Defence and dated 28th July, 2020 is titled: “Invitation to Attend a Stakeholders Meeting to discuss issues concerning payment of Debarment Allowance.”
The letter said the meeting will be held at the Hon Minister of Defence Conference Room, Ship House, Abuja by 1400 hours.
It said, “The Chairman is pleased to inform that the Ministry of Defence is organizing a Stakeholders meeting with Veterans Association in Nigeria to discuss issues concerning the payment of Debarment Allowance to retired members of the Armed Forces.
“In view of the above, I am directed to request the chairman to kindly nominate two Representatives to attend the meeting as scheduled.”
It would be recalled that military pensioners have been agitating against what they termed flagrant disregard to their welfare needs and failure of the Federal Government, Ministry of Defence and the Military Pensions Board (MPB) to pay outstanding arrears and other allowances.
The veterans are also demanding for the payment of their entitlements and better treatment which include balance of 2017/2018 arrears; Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment and its arrears dating from April 2019 to date and Security Debarment Allowance that was denied majority of military Pensioners.
However, Sunday Vanguard gathered that despite the scheduling of the meeting which has been welcomed by the veterans, plans were still ongoing by the ex-military personnel to embark on the protest.
Toward’s this end, a message signed by Amb. (Dr) Okhidievbie Oamien Roy, Director Media, Coalition of Concerned Veterans, titled, ‘We Can No Longer Keep it Locked” gave the phone numbers of coordinators of state chapters to members.
The message released on Saturday 01 / 08 / 2020 said, “The date is Set, the Military Veterans are Set, The Lord God Almighty is Set, This is the month of the Almighty Peaceful Protest! The Global Media Community has been contacted!”.
It listed the State Chapters and Coordinators as FCT Comrade Bamidele-08059598395, Lagos State, Comrade Joseph Esho-08023468212, Imo state, Comrade, Godwin Enwerem-08037430019, Kaduna state, Comrade Awwal Abdulahi-08030657494, Akwa Ibom state, Comrade Samuel Saviour-08081628310, Borno state Cmrd Yaduma Buduwara-08030599596 and Osun state, Comrade Famurewa Sam-08038627300.
Others are Edo state, Comrade Akpore Dickson-08055649454, Kano State Comrade Junaid Umaru-07087212012, Bauchi state Comrade Alhassan Inuah-08031145529, Kogi state, Comrade Ignatius Idakwo
07062212212, Enugu state, Comrade Ani Roberts-08086091927, Nassarawa state, Cmrd Benjamin Michakpu-08137329361 and Rivers state, Comrade Tamuno Tamuno – 08102888191 among others.
Others are Abia state, comrd Stanley Eze. 08130613834, Kebbi state, Cmrd Ango Ali Umar 08060723962, Oyo state Cmrd Ganiyu Ojeniyi 08065039751, Ondo state Cmrd Mamman 08037117141, Benue state, Cmrd Sardauna +234 810 188 7179, Cross River Cmrd Joseph Britto 08033487915, Ogun state, Cmrd Adeyinka Oguntubo +234 706 547 8452, Delta State Com Godwin Adi 08034740295, Anambra state: Cmrd Kenneth Eke, 08186938614, Cross river Cmrd Joseph Britto, 08033487915, Bayelsa state, Ebitukemi Deinsah. 08142622279