By Kingsley Omonobi

Abuja—Aggrieved  retired military personnel, yesterday in Abuja stormed the Ministry of Defence, protesting non-payment of their Security Debarment Allowance,  SDA, among others, threatening not to leave until government addresses their plight.

The ex-soldier’s under the aegis of the Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces, REMENAF, and the Coalition of Concerned Military Veterans, CCV, informed that yesterday’s protest was the third phase of their protests, noting that they brought mats and other needed materials to spend the night if necessary.

The protesters erected a tent and blocked access to the Ministry of Defence, Ship House on Olusegun Obasanjo Way.

The ex-servicemen  recalled that in January, they picketed the ministries of Finance, Defence, and the National Assembly in pursuit of the same demand resulting in President Muhammadu Buhari approving payment of the debarment allowances.

Speaking, National Secretary, REMENAF,   Roy Okhidievbie,  said they  trooped out despite the rains to protest and  demand for the payment of their entitlements.

According to him, “We have had meetings with the Defence Minister, but he appeared to be heartless, and unperturbed about the grievances of retired military officers, as he never paid any interest or concern to pay these allowances, especially the SDA.

“The surprising part is that President Buhari has approved the payment of this allowance, but the Defence Minister has refused to make the disbursements.”

Also speaking,  the spokesman for the CCV,  Abiodun Herberts, noted that the protest was on the non-payment of the SDA, pointing out that they were prepared to sleep over at the gate of the Ministry of Defence to make the government pay their entitlements.

He said, “We’re here, alongside our wives and children, and the widows of late military personnel and veterans who died in service, some of whom died fighting Boko Haram terrorists.

“We will be sleeping over at this place until the Minister of Defence, Magashi accede to our demands”.

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