Breaking: Pandemonium in Abuja As Mass Protest Hit Defence HQ

Breaking: Pandemonium in Abuja As Mass Protest Hit Defence HQ

  • A group of angry retired military officers staged a protest at the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja, the nation's capital
  • These ex-military officers said the Nigerian government has not been fair to them as they're being owed debarment allowance
  • Widows and families of deceased military officers were also present at the demonstration

FCT, Abuja - The Nigerian Defence Headquarters is currently under siege after some retired military officers trooped out in their numbers to protest over their unpaid security debarment allowance.

According to Daily Trust, the aggrieved military retirees on a wet Monday (morning), September 26 blocked all the access points of the Defence Headquarters in demand for their pay.

Defence HQ,Protest, Abuja
Front view of the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja, FCT. Photo: Defence HQ
Source: Facebook

The protesters were reported to have been joined by some relatives of some deceased personnel who are also agitating for the benefits of their beloved ones who served in the Army.

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The agitators under the aegis of the Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces and the Coalition of Concerned Veterans, accused the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Retd), of being insensitive to their plight.

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Spokesperson of the group, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts who spoke to reporters stated that their agitation will continue until their demands are met, stating that they are ready to sleep over at the Defence HQ.

Durowaiye-Herberts said:

“We are 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’ll be sleeping over at this place until the Minister of Defence, Magashi accede to our demands."

Meanwhile, the national secretary of the group, Roy Okhidievbie, also reiterated that the agitation at the Defence HQ was to prompt the federal government to clear the allowance it owes them.

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Okhidievbie alleged that the minister of defence was responsible for delaying payment despite President Muhammadu Buhari's approval.

He said:

“We have had meetings with the Defence Minister, Magashi, but he appears to be headstrong, heartless, and unperturbed concerning the grievances of retired military officers, as he never paid nor showed any interest or concern to pay these allowances, especially the Security Debarment Allowance.”
“Interestingly, President Buhari-led administration has approved the payment of this allowance, but Magashi has refused to make disbursements."

Relatives of deceased army personnel joins protest

A widow, whose husband was killed by the daredevil Boko Haram sect in 2015, Anna Nanven disclosed that since the demise of her husband, she has only received one allowance.

She said:

“My husband was a young man, a Corporal that was killed by Boko Haram terrorists during an attack on the barracks where he worked.
“I now live with his parents, and I bore five kids, three females and two males for him until his demise. The children are aged, 22, 20, 18, 15, and seven years old, and the two eldest, both girls, that are done with High School can’t afford going to the University because I can’t afford their school fee.

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“I am pleading that the President, the Minister of Defence, and Nigerian citizens come to our aid. I and my five children are suffering and living in poverty because I can’t afford starting a business, and I have no job.”

However, the ministry of defence is yet to react to this scandal as all attempts to reach the spokesperson of the minister proved abortive.

Police officers Protest in Kwara over non-payment

Similarly, police officers under the super Constabularies in Kwara state have taken to the streets of Ilorin to protest the non-payment of their salaries.

Calling on the state government to come to their rescue, the police officers said they have not been paid any salary for the past 18 months.

The police commissioner in the state said the concept of community policing and recruitment of special constabularies is voluntary in nature.


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