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44 Years Unpaid Pensions : Over 100 Of Us Have Died Of Hunger- Oyo Ex- Soldiers 

Hundreds of Nigerian ex-servicemen who defended the nation during the 1966 Civil War  have staged a protest in Ibadan, Oyo State, over 44 years of unpaid pensions.

Armed with placards bearing poignant messages, the retirees expressed frustration at being neglected despite their sacrifices, questioning why they were left in anguish while those they fought against had been compensated. 

National Coordinator Cpl. Babawande Phillip (retd) highlighted the painful disparity, noting that Biafran soldiers had received payments while they, with bullet wounds from defending the country, were left without pensions.

Phillip lamented, “For the past 44 years, we have been deprived of our pension rights. In 2015, we were issued genuine certificates in Abuja, acknowledging our retired status, but since then, we have been waiting.

“Over 100 of us have died because there’s no money to take care of ourselves.”

The retirees, including physically challenged individuals, emphasized their plea to the government for attention, expressing desperation born out of necessity. 

Philip   warned, “If nothing is done, we will use the remaining strength to get the attention of the government, and if necessary, stage protests on all Federal Government roads in Oyo State before the Army remembrance day.”

One of the physically challenged retirees, 81-year-old Mr. Rafiu Olabamiji, shared his heart-wrenching story of blindness since 2004, having lost his family. 

Another emotionally charged plea came from two widows, Mrs. Racheal Adejumo and Elizabeth Adedayo, who questioned the fairness of paying Biafran soldiers while leaving others to endure poverty.

The widows pleaded, “We beg President Tinubu to help us reduce this suffering. Our pains are too numerous to describe. No soldier’s wife can say she enjoys her husband while in service, and now they are dead.”

As the retirees await a response to their December 2023 letter to the Federal Government, Chief of Army Staff, Senate, and House of Representatives, they have given an ultimatum before the Army remembrance day, vowing to escalate their protests if their plight remains unaddressed.

 

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