Ex-Biafran War Veterans Protest in Ibadan over Non-Payment of Entitlements for 44 Years
Scores of the Nigerian civil war veterans on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the non-payment of their entitlements by the Federal Government over the past 44 years.
The civil war, also known as Biafran War, was fought for 30 months between 1967 and 1970. The leader of the Biafran Republic then was Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, while the Military Head of State for Nigeria was General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).
The protest, which took off from the state secretariat of the Nigerian Legion at American Quarters, Idi-Ape, Ibadan, ended at the entrance of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
The civil war veterans trekked from their secretariat to NTA and the majority of them did not show any sign of fatigue at the end of the protest.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions calling on the appropriate organ of government to come to their aid.
A leader of the group, Pa Babawande Philips, told journalists during the protest that they have been deprived of their pensions for the past 44 years.
He accused the pension administrator of using Decree 102 against them, noting that this is inappropriate as they did not use it against the Biafrans that fought Nigeria.
Pa Philips said they have been on the agitation since 2002 saying In 2007, there was a biometric capturing and out of the population that were captured, few people were paid, and they have been collecting their pensions since then.
Also, another retiree, Lance Corporal Joseph Popoola, said the situation has been terrible for most of them adding that they have been suffering in silence.