Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 21 October 2017 | 1,796 times
Over 47 years after the civil war ended and 11 years after their dismissal for fighting on the side of Biafra in the episode was converted to retirement by the Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration, the Federal Government on Friday began the payment of pensions to 176 retired war affected Police officers from the South-East and South-South geo political zones of the country.
Shortlisted for payment include 57 members of the group who had died within the period and another 155 others who are on the payroll but were being short paid. The 155 affected persons would be paid in the next batch as soon as their pension benefit computation was completed.
Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, who announced this while flagging off the payment of pension benefits to the retired war affected police officers, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to redressing the injustice done against them and had approved payment of all their entitlements.
Ikeazor stated that a full blown verification of the pardoned officers was carried out by the defunct police pension office and recently PTAD on one hand and the police service commission on the other hand.
She said that the verification exercise conducted in late 2014 and early 2015 resulted in identifying about 460 of the police officers who were caught up in the civil war.
“Despite the presidential pardon and the verification of these officers, many of them remained unpaid for years. However, the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval for the payment of the pension entitlements to these officers and their next of kin,” she said
She emphasised that the payment was another decision by the federal government to bring closure to the painful legacies of the civil war and a clear demonstration that the present administration was committed to ensure that Nigerians who spent their productive years serving the nation will not experience difficulties in getting their pensions.
Ikeazor thanked the leadership of the retired police officers for comporting themselves and supporting government in ensuring that their payment was realised.
President of the Association, Mathew Udeh said the fulfillment of the payment marked the end to the civil war memories, stressing that the members would continue to pray for a united Nigeria devoid of rancor.
He called on the government to fulfill her obligations towards other members who did not benefit from the first tranche, stressing that the gesture though belated was an encouragement to those now serving in various capacities in the country.
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