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Wednesday, 9 January 2019

OLD SOLDIERS CRY OUT TO BUHARI 'IMPLEMENT APPROVED HARMONISED PENSION NOW'


All is not well with retired members of the armed forces. Sedisyne Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts the National Coordinator of REMENAF spoke their minds in a press release. We serve you the press release titled:

THE PERFIDY OF THE ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE WEEK CELEBRATIONS BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA OVER THE YEARS

Honourable members of the press you are welcome to this Brief by the
*RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES - REMENAF*
in Collaboration with the *COALITION OF CONCERNED VETERANS - CCV* on this occasion of the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Week.

*INTRODUCTION*

1. The Armed Forces Remembrances Week is a week-long celebration by the Federal Government in remembrance and recognition of the sacrifices made by our fallen heroes, living serving and retired personnel. Emblems are usually worn by patrotic citizens, members of the Diplomatic Corps, serving military and retired members of the Armed Forces to commiserate with and congratulate families of fallen heroes, serving and retired personnel respectively.

2. Although, this ceremony is a colonial heritage, it would appear that the importance, implications and true meaning of it has long been lost on our political and military leaderships, as it has now become an annual charade laced with empty rhetorics, deceit and insensitivity of the plight of the retired personnel of the Armed Forces. Why pretend they care so much for the dead when we, the living and retired members of the Country's military suffer and live in abject conditions as a result of failed promises, absence of adequate welfare schemes, non-implementation of enhanced pension approval, and lack of institutional provision for genuine dialogue. Also worthy of mention is the untold hardship and deprivations the surviving families of the so-called "fallen heroes" are going through. This perfidy against those who have nobly sacrificed the better part of their lives to serve this nation is highly sickening and disgusting.

3. The Armed Forces Week has become for us a charade and recurring decimal of cosmetic speech and lip service by politicians and military top brass. The often demonstrated show of pharisaical mien is betrayed by the lack of commitment to the very essence and objects of the ceremony; honor to the dead by showing how much honor has been bestowed on the living, retired and serving personnel of the Armed Forces and surviving families of the fallen heroes. This essence is lost to the powers that be the very moment the celebration is concluded at the venue of the ceremony. Retirees often regret that their service in Nigerian Armed Forces and sacrifices were mistakes they wished never happened having invested their youthful age for the service of their fatherland with little or no regard for their welfare. Although, various governments often celebrate during these weeks, it however serves as a bitter reminder of neglect, agony and insincerity of government and mistakes of the past for these retirees and fallen heroes' and their families.

4. Who are the living heros being celebrated today without the presence of the likes of Pa Mele Ture, the 98 year old Nonagenerian and oldest surviving Nigerian Civil/World War II veteran from Gombe State, who has never been mentioned by successive administrations as one of the living heros deserving of National honor. So also is Pa Thomas Onuora, the 86 year old Octogenarian from Enugu, who has never been paid pension in his entire life after serving his father's land, but thankfully, the MPB Chairman has recently began the process of correcting the anomaly? It is saddening that, the head of this democratic dispensation is one of us and highly respected by the veterans community. However, while other pensioners body in the country are being invited to the State house for interactions with Mr. President, not even the HMOD, Mansur Dan-Ali, who is also one of us, has deemed it necessary to interface with us, not even once in the life of this administration.

*MATTERS ARISING*

5. It's observed that salaries of retirees are often reduced immediately after service by almost 50% as their pension, contrary to Section 173 (sub section 1~ 4) of the Armed Forces Act and the Constitution which stipulates that the pension should be reviewed alongside the salaries of serving personnel. This situation often makes it difficult for the living, the maimed and handicaps among the retirees to meet up with their responsibilities and statutory obligations, such as acquiring beffiting personal accommodation once ejected out of the barracks, medical bills, and other commitments without further support. Many retirees are unable to take up other jobs due to age and health limitations , especially those who are handicapped and maimed during active service. The negligence, hardship and loss of faith in the system has often tempted some retirees to align with the nation's enemies such as terrorists, militant groups and other criminal elements. Furthermore, what we are suffering does not tell well on the psyche, physical well-being and commitment of our colleagues who are still in active service, knowing full well they will be joining us sooner or later.

*THE CURRENT SITUATION*

6. Alot of protests, presentations, discussions and conferences have been held to make our grievances known to previous governments which resulted to the approval of the harmonized pension by the current government in 2018. However, approval in itself is not adequate without implementation.

*OUR APPEAL TO THE PRESIDENCY AND GOVERNMENT OF GENERAL M BUHARI*

7. We therefore use the occasion of this Year's Remembrance Week to appeal to the Federal Government to please implement the approved Harmonized Pension as promised with effect from November, 2017 (as all efforts to reach the Presidency has proved abortive). This would ameliorate the situation of retirees, enhance the faith of our serving colleagues, and serve as a testimony of the genuine and sincere token of love for the fallen heroes, thus giving more meaning to the essence of celebrating the Armed Forces Remembrance Day. It could also improve the national security and enhance the fighting spirit of the serving personnel in operations.

Thank you for your kind attention.

*SEDISYNE ABIODUN DUROWAIYE-HERBERTS*
*National Coordinaror - REMENAF*
*Chairman BOT-REMENAF Foundation*
*Spokesperson~Coalition of Concerned Veterans*

*Powered By: Amb. Roy Oamien OKHIDIEVBIE~Director Media~Coalition of Concerned Veterans (CCV)/Secretary~REMENAF*


3 comments:

  1. This is a good write up by our national coordinator. Kudos to you my comrade.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think REMENAF has taken a great step to ensuring that vets are not forgotten. In the USA, Nov 11 is a national public holiday dedicated to Honoring and appreciating Veterans. Vets usually enjoy discounts, rebates and are hosted by the civil populace. It's time to start appreciating and honouring our own. Thanks to REMENAF.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good effort. I pray they will listen.

    ReplyDelete

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