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Retired Soldiers Rally for Unpaid Pensions: A Cry for Justice

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As the nation marked the Armed Forces Remembrance Day on January 15, retired soldiers, known as “I’m Alive,” and the next of kin of those who lost their lives in active service took to federal roads to voice their discontent over unpaid pension arrears spanning 45 years. The disgruntled ex-servicemen, gathered at the Nigerian Legion Building in Ibadan, Oyo State, marched in protest against the neglect they have endured. Aged between 70s and 80s, these retired soldiers, facing various age-related health issues, marched under the scorching sun, brandishing placards and chanting solidarity songs.

The dilapidated state of the Legion Building served as a symbolic reflection of the neglect the retired soldiers and their families bemoan. The veterans, donning documents proving their eligibility for pensions, presented a disheartening picture of impoverishment and weariness. Corporal Babawande Phillip (retd), the national coordinator of The Able Voluntary Discharged Soldiers of Ten Years and Above, lamented that over 100 ex-servicemen had died in poverty during their relentless struggle for their rights. The veterans called upon the Federal Government, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and other stakeholders to address their plight and fulfill the long-overdue payment of their 45-year pension arrears.

These retired soldiers, who have served the nation with dedication, face a bleak reality of poverty and suffering. Their plea for justice and remuneration serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for the country’s unity and peace. As the ex-servicemen gear up for an aggressive protest on federal roads, their call for attention to their predicament highlights the urgent need for the government to address the longstanding issue of unpaid pensions and honor the commitment to those who have served in the military.

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