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Protest: Members of Ex-servicemen association dissociate selves, condemn leader’s action

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Retired soldiers protest pension arrears in Abuja

Some members of the executive of the ex-servicemen and Family Welfare Association, have dissociated themselves from the protest led by its Presiden Anthony Agbas on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Vice-President of the Association and Chairman of Bwari Chapter retired Master Warrant Officer Samuel Unubi and the Secretary, retired Sgt. Thaddaeus Gershom disclosed this while briefing Newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

Unubi said the protest led by the president was uncalled for, saying that issues of the minimum wage, arrears of pension and debarment allowances being raised were being attended to by the Military Pensions Board (MPB).

He said that the members of the executive had met with MPB where they were told about the progress and efforts of the Ministry of Defence, MPB and Salary and Wages Commission towards addressing the issues.

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“So, I see no reason why they should come out again to stage the protests because those who led the protest were equally in the meeting.

“That is why we have come to say no, we are not part and we don’t want such a thing to continue because it will not go well and also give a bad name to military retirees.

“This is our nation and our President is equally a retired military personnel, it’s a way of disappointing him and causing a disgrace to the nation.

“Our pension is not delayed but what it’s due for us is what we are talking about, if it comes or if it is supposed to come let it be handled speedily without delay, because this is what is grieving many of us (retirees).

“Any appropriate action taken at the appropriate time will always go well,” he said.

On his part, the Secretary of the Association, Garshom, said the protest was single-handedly organised and led by the president of the association, Agbas without the support of other members.

Garshom said that he rejected the idea of the protest when the president discussed it with him on the grounds that it was inappropriate to go on such protest.

“He called me to tell me about organising a protest which I told him, you can’t do things like that because I am the secretary and I am not aware but you went ahead to plan a protest.

“I don’t see the need for the protest, that twice MPB has called him to a meeting and told him that everything about what is happening and at the last meeting.

“He was there on Dec.11, 2020, where MPB invited all the associations, and we agreed that protest is never the solution to our problems now and that everything should be brought to the round table for discussion and dialogue.

“So why stage a protest, it is meaningless to me and I can’t be part of it,” he said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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