Fulfill your campaign promise to us, ex-servicemen tell Buhari

[FILE PHOTO] President Muhammadu Buhari

Retired military officers have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill his 2015 campaign promise to alleviate their suffering.

Publicity Officer of Retired Army, Navy and Air force Officers of Nigeria (RANAO), Capt. Yusuf AbdulMalik made the appeal in an interview with The Guardian.

According to him, military pensioners are still being denied their entitlements, despite having a retired general in the realms of affair.

He stressed that Buhari had accused management of military pensions of complicity and warned that he would not tolerate the “out right embezzlement of funds meant for payment of pensioners, or delaying of such payment to fraudulently earn interest from deposit placement with banks.”

The ex-servicemen advocated an overhaul of management and disbursement of the funds running into millions of naira accrued from annual donations for armed forces emblem.

The publicity officer explained that Buhari has also not fulfilled his promised to invoke the provision of Article 1.5 of the All Progressives Congress (APC) manifestos to ensure the prompt payment.

The idea, the retired officers said, was to ensure that months before retirement of any officer, his or her entitlement would be worked out and accruing gratuity paid on the effective date of retirement, while pension will fellow as at when due.

He insisted the president has not matched his promises with action, as ex-service men who are still alive have suffered untold pains, while relatives of deceased officers demand have been denied their lawful entitlement.

Abdulmalik, 74, who retired from the Nigerian Army 34 years ago, lamented that the Ministry of Defence and Military Pension Board have not commenced the implementation of the revised Gross Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Scale (CONAFSS) for military pensions and Federal Government approved new salary structure in November 2017.

He added that the new review that was approved for immediate implementation in November 2017 has not been paid till date, including the one promised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“We are not politicians, even though 2019 general elections is fast approaching. We want the arrears of our entitlement to be paid immediately. We are proud of him because the military is the president’s constituency,” he said.

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