Biafra

Federal Government to grant gratuities to 102 ex-Biafran soldiers! – Defense Minister

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The Federal Government has announced that 102 ex-Biafran soldiers who were given presidential pardons have been apprehended by the Military Pensions Board for payment of gratuities and other emoluments (MPB).

Major General Salihi Magashi (rtd), the Minister of Defence, said this at a ministerial briefing to kick off the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the Army War College in Abuja.

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He explained that because the conflict ended 51 years ago and many of those participating are no longer living, only 102 combat veterans were apprehended for payment.

Those with real grievances, on the other hand, should come forward with their claims for consideration, according to the Minister.

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Those with real grievances, on the other hand, should come forward with their claims for consideration, according to the Minister.

According to him, “payment of pensions and gratuities to retired military personnel is now prompt and regular. In line with the anti-corruption stand of the present administration, the Ministry of Defence in conjunction with the Military Pension Board conducts regular verification exercises for Military pensioners. The exercise is intended to streamline and check leakages in the system.

“It will interest you to know that the Military Pension Board just concluded the documentation of ex-Biafran service personnel totalling 102 who were pardoned by Mr President. The Ministry would continue to engage the pensioners through relevant organs like the Nigerian Legion, the Veteran Affairs Division and the Military Pension Board to ensure that government obligations to them are met.”

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is organized annually by the Ministry of Defence to honour our fallen heroes who laid down their lives in service to humanity during the First and Second World Wars, the Nigerian Civil War, Peace Support Operations, and various Internal Security Operations, particularly the current war against terrorism that is threatening the corporate sphere,” the Minister said.

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“As we remember our fallen heroes, we also appreciate the challenges being faced by the loved ones they left behind, and who have indelible loving memories of their departed breadwinners in their hearts. The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration helps to reassure the families and relations of the fallen combatants that the nation will continue to be with them in paying respect to their departed relations.

“The Celebration re-affirms the fact that their death was not in vain. It is also an avenue to encourage and appreciate Service personnel for their invaluable sacrifice to our fatherland. The Year 2022 Celebration will further afford us an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made in the current war against insurgency by our Service personnel in maintaining national peace and security.”

Magashi added, “it is worthy to mention that the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is not unique to Nigeria alone. It is a very important event that is celebrated and observed globally. It would be recalled that in the past, Nigeria, like other member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations used to hold the Celebration on the Eleventh Day of November every year to honour members of the Armed Forces who died during the First and Second World Wars.

“Going down through memory lane, it is understood that World War officially ended at the 11 hours of the 11th day of the 11th Month (November) 1918. However, in order to reflect our own peculiar historical experience as a nation, 15 January of every year was selected as the date to observe the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration to commemorate the end of the Nigerian Civil War.

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“The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration 2022 is significant at this moment when the military is working relentlessly to motivate its force and enhance the will of our troops to fight and overcome the various security challenges in the country. Currently, members of the Armed Forces are more determined now than ever to confront and end the menace of terrorism in the North East Region and other security challenges facing our great country, Nigeria. This is evident in the ongoing mass surrendering of Boko Haram fighters in the region and successes being recorded by our gallant military personnel against bandits in the North West, particularly in Zamfara and Katsina States.

“The contributions of members of the Armed Forces towards the return of peace to troubled spots in our country cannot be overemphasized. The nation remains eternally grateful to our gallant men and women who paid the supreme price for our survival and unity. Thus, the Federal Government looks forward to all our dear citizens in both the public and private sectors to support our veterans and the families of our fallen heroes tremendously. This is the time to also remember those who have been incapacitated in various operations conducted by our military and to contribute towards rehabilitating them.

“To all our forces and legionnaires, I urge you to take pride in the patriotic sacrifice you are making for the nation. You are all part of a force that is highly admired and respected both at home and abroad. To the husbands, wives, children and loved ones of our military, this is a step to recognize the sacrifices you make every day and for this nation to reaffirm its commitments to you.”

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