Retired troops who fought Biafran civil war regrets

Civil War Officers who retired or were discharged from service after the Biafran civil war (under the 1976 – 1979 decree) stormed the streets of Ibadan yesterday.

The group is querying why the Federal government has neglected them for over 38 years.

IN a statement made available to journalists, the group said the Nigerian Army stopped their pensions since 1978.

The statement was signed by its National Coordinator, retired Sgt. Kasali Busari.

They referred to the Federal Military Government circular No 4/1977, of March 30, 1977.

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The FMC circular qualified them as payable pensioners.

“We deserve to be paid a pension at the rate of 30% of terminal salary or 40% in the case of armed forces personnel.”

The group said that their representations to several governments over the years had not yielded positive results.

“We are a group of the first republic of Nigeria 1963 (intake) that practically prosecuted defunct Biafra civil war.

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“We were thereafter voluntarily retired or discharged from duty between 1978 to 1992.

“This was in accordance with the past military regime from 1976 to 1979 published circular No 4/1977 on 30th March 1977.

“The circular indicated that when such officers served for 10 years or more but less than 15 years, they will be paid.

“Their pension is supposed to be 30% of terminal salary or 40% in the case of Armed Forces personnel.

“Majority of the 1963 (intake) that actively prosecuted the Biafra civil war qualified as pensioners from 1978 till date.

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“It will be unfortunate to subject these courageous citizens to untold hardship in their old age.

“It is their right to receive a pension as guaranteed by the provision of section 173 of the 1999 constitution.

“We don’t want to regret fighting that war because we gave our all to keep Nigeria as one.

“Now the unity we fought has turned on us and forgotten us,” the group said.