These are certainly not easy times for members of the Coalition of Concerned Veterans (CCV) and they are determined to show their grievances against the system after waiting with unfulfilled endless hopes.
According to Amb. (Dr) Oamien Roy Okhidievbie the National Secretary of the Retired Members of Nigeria Armed Forces (REMENAF), the military veterans who hitherto chose to trudge the pact of negotiations and deliberations to secure approval for the numerous heartless infringement on veterans constitutional rights, have given up on such peace process and have therefore decided, to take the bull by the horns.
“In a situation where the National economy has now been mushroomed into private gardens of a selected few, unfortunately, serving officers and men of the Armed Forces look on desolately to our condition, and wonder about our lives and destination? How demotivating?” Asked one of their members.
“In the melee of the current political football games in Nigeria, everything that does not score is pushed aside, inclusive of our veterans plight. Unfortunately, daily, the decay and depreciation of our military, superiority and capability, keeps making a downward dive!” Said another, as he continued.
“Monies are being pumped into restructuring the military and equipping the troops all to no avail. The decay and decadence has eroded confidence which invariably reflects in the combat weaknesses observed today. Oh dear! What a National slap! So we are embarking on a nationwide peaceful protest and I must tell you, we have presence in the 36 states of the Federation. It will be massive and total.”
According to a message from Sedisyne Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, the CCV Spokesperson, a date is being set by the Coalition Of Concerned Veterans, for this purpose because, after weeks of extensive appraisal and discussion by the CCV leaders, “We have sadly come to that point, where we must take our destiny in our own hands.
“It is regrettable that things have to go the way it is headed already. Two letters to the HMOD in a space of 6 weeks, yet no response! We wish to ask, whose interest the HMOD serving if he cannot dialogue with representatives of Veterans groups who are part of his primary constituency as the Minister of Defense?
“Our membership cuts across the ranks which include his juniors, course mates and indeed his seniors. We, as representatives of these highly respected Senior citizens are saying, this is unacceptable to us and we are going ahead to mobilize our members at both State levels and FCT for a sustained peaceful protest to press home our legitimate demand from government in the first week of August, 2020. It is unfortunate that the HMOD, who incidentally is also one of us, is obviously working at a cross road and against the good intention of Mr. President. It is also regrettable that a simple administrative norms of responding to letters have been disregarded by the office of the HMOD, giving the impression that we mean little or nothing to him. As responsible leaders, we have shown appreciable level of regard for the office of the HMOD, just so we don’t wash our dirty linen in public and we expect same in return. If the authority has refused to dialogue with us in their offices, we shall meet on the street of Abuja and other State capitals and in the full glare of the International community. COVID or not, we are not afraid of death. We have been there before in the face of obvious threat to our lives. We are ready to once again lay down our lives for others to live.
“All the Veterans bodies in Nigeria made up of all the rank and file, from a Private to a General. We will strategically produce an organized, responsible and effective peaceful protest that the country has never seen before. All government security agencies that will be dispatched to monitor this event must act with decorum and respect for us, the highest and most lethal component of our National security architecture,” informed the Spokesperson.
“We call on Nigerians to pray for us and provide water and snacks in every state of the federation you see our representatives for we don’t know how many days we shall be on the streets! This injustice is the birth of the insecurity you see today!”
“We once again implore the government to respect this as an olive branch and respond with the only language necessary at this juncture, bank alerts for outstanding payments of our constitutional rights in backlogs plus the review and implementation of the debarment allowance to favour all!” He added.