Following reports of presidential approval of pension for Biafra police personnel, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB and the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, among other organisations have expressed mixed feelings over the development.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had, Wednesday, approved the payment of pension for police officers who were granted presidential pardon in year 2000 after serving in the defunct Biafran Police during the 30 months civil war.
The personnel who were granted presidential pardon by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, have not yet received their pension.
But a statement released by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) Wednesday, said President Buhari has approved the payment of pension for the personnel.
It said a total of 162 officers will be payrolled, while 57 next of kin, who have also not been paid their death benefits, will be paid in the first batch. The statement also said the first batch of the payment will commence in Enugu today, October 20, 2017.
However, in its reaction, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, described President Buhari’s payment of pension to ex-Biafra policemen as an administration of medicine after death.
MASSOB in a statement made available, yesterday, through its National Director of Publicity, Samuel Edeson, said President Buhari used the carrot to placate what it alleged as Nigerian government’s atrocities against Ndigbo and Biafra.
Also, Reacting to the development, yesterday, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said although it was a good development, it was justice denied for too long.
He said: “It’s been 47years since the war ended and many of the people who should benefit from this pension are dead already. That goes to show you how the South-East region has been marginalised and that is why we are harping on it.
“It’s not good to be treated like a second class citizen in a country you are supposed to belong. We thank Buhari for this approval but he must tackle the issue of Igbo marginalisation headlong. Buhari must understand that justice delayed is justice denied.”
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