Several retired Nigerian soldiers have raised their voices against the facade of the annual Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations.
The retired soldiers in Kano made an astonishing call through news media outlets to express their disappointment at the ways revenue generated from sale of armed forces emblems was being managed.
Speaking at Mallam Kato Square, a spokesman of the Retired Army, Navy and Air forces Association (RANAO), Captain Abdulmaliq Yusuf, accused the leadership of the Nigerian Legion for ex-servicemen of embezzling the annual donations. Hence, they advocated for abolition of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, tagging it as a waste of resources that should have been used to take care of retired soldiers.
One the retired soldiers, Abubakar Aminu told the Guardian that he never benefited from the yearly donations and questioned the credibility of those entrusted to manage the funds.
“We only hear millions of naira every year, we don’t know where the money goes. Nobody, not even the leadership of the legion would tell us where the money is going and when you ask the chairman, no serious response.”
Another ex-service man, Iliasu Tsoho said many of the soldiers can not even afford to feed well or educate their children. He said:
“The purpose of the money being generated we were told is to be used to assist families of the late soldiers. Many children who lost their fathers on active service don’t have any source of finance now. If you go to the state secretariat of the legion you will see how many of the retired soldiers who cannot feed themselves left alone send their children to school. Honestly, so many soldiers are suffering because they were unable to receive their pension for several years.”
Meanwhile, during the wreath-laying ceremony on Sunday, January 15, 2017, at J.D. Gomwalk Secretariat Round About Cenotaph in Jos, Plateau State, chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Col. Danladi Rwang (rtd) appealed to the Federal Government to pay them their nine-month pension arrears.
The country’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari lead the prayer session at the event. She prayed for the relatives of Nigeria’s fallen heroes, soldiers who died in the line of battle, and those who gave their all in service of the nation; that their labours, love and sacrifices would never be forgotten.