Arrangement to pay ex-servicemen the security debarment allowance, as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, is ongoing at the Nigerian Army headquarters, in Abuja.
This was disclosed by Army authorities yesterday in Lagos, at the Fourth Quarter 2022 Veteran Affairs Directorate Seminar/Workshop held at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, NAFRC Oshodi, Lagos, with the theme ‘Harnessing the potentials of Nigerian Army Veterans in a Community Based Security’.
Recall that scores of retired military personnel under the aegis of the Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces (REMENAF) and the Coalition of Concerned Military Veterans (CCV) besieged the Ministry of Defence in Abuja, last Monday, protesting the non-payment of their Security Debarment Allowance, among others.
In an interview with journalists, the Director of, the Veterans Affairs Division, Defence headquarters, Maj. Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, said “They came to make their case, as they were informed that the President has graciously approved for them to get that debarment allowance for those who were captioned at inception. The approval is there, it is just awaiting cash packing. Any moment from now, once cash is available they will all be paid.”
Declaring the 5-Day workshop for retired military personnel within the South West zone open, the Commandant, NAFRC, Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo, described the theme as apt, noting that it would address the need to engage retired veterans who were still willing to contribute to the security of the country.
He said, “I believe that as we engage ourselves based on the theme, we are seeking ways through which we can get ideas. You are closer to the people and community you are residing. You have first-hand information in respect to all that is happening that will impede upon the security of the environment. Where else can we get to for first-hand information, if not you people.”
While encouraging the retired officers to be frank during deliberations, he assured that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, would listen to suggestions that would improve the security of the country.
In his opening remark, the COAS, Lieutenant General Yahaya, explained that the seminar was designed to build on previous editions with a focus on salient national issues, particularly security and also to leverage the experience of the veterans in furtherance of Military operations.
The COAS was represented by the Chief of Administration, Maj. Gen Mohammed Alli, added that the seminar which was in line with the COAS’s vision would focus on the importance of Nigerian Army veterans, “bearing in mind their enduring roles in community security especially, at this critical time when Nigeria is facing diverse but surmountable security challenges”.
Highlighting activities of Boko Haram terrorists, banditry, farmers/ herders clashes, and kidnapping for ransom, among the security challenges bedevilling the country, he said, “these relatives make the theme for this seminar to be timely as it provides the forum for continued synergy with our veterans in support of our operations which are already yielding positive results.
“You will all agree with me that through the combined efforts of our citizens, deliberate collaboration and synergy between those of us serving and retired but no tired discharged personnel, we are better positioned to tackle these security challenges. To this end, our activities will continue to have a direct impact on the lives of our veterans.”
In his welcome address, the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Maj. Gen. Obinna Ajunwa said the seminar would among other benefits consolidate the gains of the previous editions while addressing the gaps in the deployment of Nigerian Army veterans in information gatherings and other supporting roles in Military operations.
“It is also expected to boost the morale of the Nigerian Army veterans and to give them a sense of belonging while enhancing their productivity and welfare in retirement,” he stated.
He, therefore, expressed optimism that at the end of the seminar, participants would be better informed and equipped with the requisite knowledge to contribute to community-based security in the country.
The National Chairman, of the Nigeria legion, Major General Abdul Malik Jubril ( rtd), described the seminar as a forum where veterans in the South West would interact and be listened to, especially on issues pertaining to their welfare.
He said, “Programmes that touch on welfare, health and other opportunities that are available for veterans are brought out during seminars like this. So, it is very important as it gives veterans an opportunity to interact among themselves, having come out from their localities to see old colleagues.
“This program is ongoing and it is a continuation of what the Army veteran division has been conducting,” Jubril stated.Follow us on social media