By Chimezie Anaso
Awka, Jan. 15, 2021 Retired military officers in Anambra have called on the Federal Government to increase their pensions to enable them cope with the present economic realities.
Maj.- Gen. Benedict Agbogu, Chairman of the Nigeria Legion, Anambra Council, made the call during the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Celebration at the Alex Ekwuene Square, Awka on Friday.
Agbogu said their pensions should be increased proportionately with the recent increases in salaries of serving officers, as the old rates they were getting had become increasingly inadequate.
He said most widows and children of deceased soldiers were passing through hardship because of their inability to get their benefit as a result of the loss of their breadwinner.
He urged the federal and state governments to support the Legion so that members could reach out to the families of their deceased colleagues.
“Government is trying but their best is not enough; we are looking forward to better days.
“We are talking about people who laid down their lives for their fatherland to survive; we expect that they should take better care of us.
“We call on the government to support the legion to enable us to reach out to the widows and dependents of our fallen colleagues so that they will not regret their service to the country.
“Our pensions and gratuity have been regular but they have to beef it up in line with the minimum wage because most of us are still being paid based on old salary scale,” he said.
In his tribute, Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, who led Service Chiefs in the state to lay wreaths, commended the contributions of the military to national unity and development.
Obiano said the celebration was significant in Nigeria’s existence, adding that the military occupied a pride of place in national history.
The event was spiced with the traditional gun salute in memory of fallen soldiers and releasing of pigeons as a sign of peace.