President Muhammadu Buhari with senior officers of the Nigerian Army
Efio-Ita Nyok|20 November 2016
On 15 November, a Nigerian journalist, Mr Inyali Peter, narrated his experience with a retiree of the Nigerian Army. His discussion with this former Army officer led to a disappointment with the system that resulted into a citizen who served this country so selflessly to degenerate to the deplorable condition of begging in the streets! In fact, Mr Peter broke down uncontrollably in tears after listening to a narration of this former soldier who served the country for 29 out of 35 years. Get to know why Journalist Peter cried. Excerpt:
'Yesterday evening was a very sad one for me. One of the worst evenings I have had this year. I'm naturally not an emotional person but I couldn't hold back my tears after interacting with a retired soldier who has been abandoned by Nigeria's government for six years', he began.
'I have always seen him but yesterday I muster the courage to ask him some questions about why he begs to survive. He said he was a retired Sergeant of the Nigerian army who retired after serving the country for 29 years. He couldn't reach the statutory 35 years because of a leg injury he sustained while defending this nation.
'He said since he retired about ten years ago, he only got his pension for four years. That's, he has not received pension for the past six years.
'When he finished narrating his story, I tried so hard to control my emotions but I couldn't help. A man who sacrificed his youthful age to defend this nation is now begging from one drinking joint to another to survive? The cruelty of Nigerian leaders is unimaginable.
'Some governors who served their states only for 8 years are enjoying regular and life pension and other remunerations. These are people who looted enough while in government that their generation can never be poor again. How we celebrate looters but neglect heroes is my greatest worry.
'When I imagined that one day, God willing, I will also be a pensioner, I even felt more frustrated.
'Friends how can we help to compel government at all levels to be paying pensioners regularly? I personally can not think of any straight solution now. Please let's take this issue serious because if it's not affecting us today, it will affect us or any member of our families tomorrow.', Mr Peter concluded.
Social, print and electronic media is awash with the report of the default in the payment of ten months allowances to four former presidents of Nigeria, namely, Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Badamosi Babaginda and Goodluck Jonathan by President Muhammadu Buhari. But, Nigerians are not talking about the failure to pay pensions for over six years! Is this how we appreciate our living heroes? Hmmmmm…
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