President of the National Association of Military Pensioners, Mr. Benson Eromafuru, yesterday, gave the Federal Government, till May 6, to pay the pension arrears of its members.
In a statement in Warri, Delta State, Eromafuru insisted that the Federal Government had no more excuses to give for its failure to pay the pension arrears, as the ex-service men were now set to confront government over the matter.
He regarded as untenable, the defence by the Chairman, Military Pensions Board, Commodore Simeon Audu, that the pension of the military pensioners was not captured in the 2013 budget, and therefore, unacceptable as they have been promising to pay over the last four years. He added that they had confirmed that the said pension was captured in the 2013 budget.
At the end of a meeting of members of the association in conjunction with ex-policemen and their civilian counterparts in service in Warri, Eromafuru said it was resolved that a nationwide protest was unavoidable.
The 21-day ultimatum given for the payment of their pension arrears expires on Monday, May 6, according to him, and nothing would stop them from embarking on violent protest if the arrears were not paid.
Eromafuru wondered why the Federal Government would pay ex-militants their stipends of N60,000 monthly, while the same government was toying with the lives of those who fought for the unity of the country.
He therefore urged President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently intervene and save the impending violent protest, adding that arrangement had been concluded to ensure that the country’s economy was grounded, if the pensioners were not paid.