Former Biafran soldiers who were pardoned in 2011 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo are yet to receive the over N1.584billion approved for them as pensions.
Addressing newsmen at the end of their meeting in Enugu yesterday, the National Commander of Pardoned War Veterans Social Association, Col. Emmanuel Osita Ossai (rtd), flanked by his commanders from Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Delta, Abia, Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, and Akwa Ibom states, said they were granted presidential pardon in 2011 and that N1.584billion was approved for their pensions which had not been paid to them.
He said: “I, Col. Emmanuel Ossai, a veteran commander, I am hereby telling you that since we were pardoned in May 2011, till today, we have not been paid the approved amount. The Federal Government scheduled to be paying us the amount yearly but 2011 passed, 2012, 2013, 2014 and this 2015, and five years after, the Federal Government is still owing us.”
He therefore urged President Goodluck Jonathan to see that they get the money before he hands over power to the incoming administration.
Ossai lamented that since the money was approved for them, many of their members had died without benefitting from it, adding his members who were wounded during the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War are languishing at Okwe, Imo State.
The National Commander pointed out that they had submitted their nominal role to the Secretary to Government of the Federal and that they were promised that they will gazette it, “so that we will be receiving our monthly pensions.
“What we are appealing to the Federal Government is to make sure that we are given the money which has accumulated for five years before we start waiting for pension,” he said.
Ossai said that some groups are equally claiming to be the authentic group the Federal Government should pay the money thereby causing confusion in their fold.
He claimed that before the Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the Biafran warlord died, he, anointed him (Ossai) to lead the war veterans.
According to him, there are other groups formed by one Nwobosi, Okonkwo and Njokoma at Ogwashiukwu in Delta State, but pointed out that all of them are trying to throw spanners into the works because it is his group that got the blessing of Ojukwu before he died and
showed evidence that his organisation has been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, hence, it is the authentic group.
Ossai intimated that Ojukwu was the one that actually blessed and authorized him to lead the pardoned war veterans.
He continued: “Many people have been struggling to claim the money but God did not allow them, knowing full well that we are the right people. As my Chief of Staff earlier said, I am the General Officer Commanding, GOC. Ojukwu handed over the staff of office to me to lead others. After the handover, he embraced me and advised me that I should ensure that my men always obey the Federal Government. That we should not do anything that will provoke the Federal Government.
“Since then, we kept to this advice. The organisation is the only one recognised by Ojukwu. Let others show evidence that they were given power by Ojukwu,” Ossai stated.
He congratulated President Jonathan on behalf of his members for the bold stand he took by conceding defeat with honour. “We congratulate the president-elect, Gen. Buhari and we promise to work sincerely with the government of the day.”
Earlier, the “Chief of Staff”, Lt. Col. Mbina-Mbina, had corroborated that it was Ossai who was authorised by Ojukwu to lead the war veterans.
“When Obasanjo in 2011 went on air and granted ex-Biafran soldiers presidential pardon and prior to this in September 2009, the veterans asked Ojukwu who would led us when he was dead and that he said it is Col. Emmanuel Ossai. Ojukwu said this is your commander and he gave him the staff of office. That was how we continued the struggle and in May 2011, the Federal Government in conjunction with the Senate approved N1,584,992,100 for monthly pension to all ex-Biafran soldiers,” Mbina stated.


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  • Olalekan Ajiboye Oyewole

    http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/08/why-we-overthrew-gowon-obasanjo/ The
    original intention of Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun
    Obasanjo as his
    deputy fellow Northern Hausa-fulani coup-plotters seems to have been to engineer
    the secession of the Hausa-fulani Northern region from Nigeria as a
    whole, but several advisors, amongst
    which included a number of high-ranking civil servants and judges, and importantly
    emissaries of the British and American Democrat governments who had interests
    in the arbitrary form of Nigeria’s forced amalgamation polity, made subsequently no attempt to dissuade Brigadier Murtala Muhammad as head of the new government, and Brigadier
    Olusegun Obasanjo from overthrowing the Former Head of state, General Yakubu
    Gowon in a coup d’état on July 29, 1975, ushering in the government that came
    to be known as the Muritala/Obasanjo regime. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakubu_Gowon#Military_career General
    Gowon was overthrown and replaced by Brigadier Murtala Muhammad as head of the
    new government, and Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo as his deputy when he was attending
    an OAU summit in Kampala. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakubu_Gowon#Overthrow Garba came to national attention in Nigeria
    when, on July 29, 1975, he announced the coup d’état against the leader,
    General Yakubu Gowon.

    The original
    intention of Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun
    Obasanjo as his
    deputy fellow Northern Hausa-fulani coup-plotters
    seems to have been to engineer the secession of the Hausa-fulani Northern region from
    Nigeria as a whole. http://allafrica.com/stories/201408220105.html Murtala
    Mohammed(who later
    became head of state in 1975) and Olusegun
    Obasanjo as his
    deputy fellow Northern Hausa-fulani coup-plotters seems later formed another
    division (the 2nd Infantry Division) of
    soldiers of the Nigerian Army who defected to fight on the side of Nigeria
    during the Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970 and attack Biafra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_Civil_War#Nigerian_offensive General
    Gowon responded and also lauched offensive into Biafra south from the Niger
    Delta to the riverine area by asking Colonel Murtala
    Mohammed(who later
    became head of state in 1975) and Olusegun Obasanjo as his deputy to form another division of
    Nigeria (the 2nd Infantry Division) to secede the Biafrans from the West, as
    General Gowon attack Biafra from the West side of Yoruba. According to Dimka’s “confession”,
    he met with Gowon in London, and obtained support from him for the coup. In
    addition, Dimka mentioned before his execution that the purpose of the Coup
    d’état was to re-install General Yakubu Gowon as Head of State, in the coup d’état led by Lt. Col Buka Suka Dimka, which resulted in the death of the now
    Gen Murtala Mohammed.

    Federal
    governments of Nigeria have several billions of pounds owing on Biafra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakubu_Gowon#Later_life As a
    result of the coup and War tribunal findings, Gowon was declared wanted by the
    Nigerian government, stripped of his rank in absentia and had his pension cut off. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakubu_Gowon#Gowon_as_war_leader
    The corruption
    in Gowon’s administration culminated in the notorious treasury theft under the guise of sovereign
    immunity clause principles as enshrined in Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution
    of Nigeria’s government policy of deceit employed by the Federal Military Government (FMG) of
    Nigeria. General Yakubu
    “Jack” Gowon, as the head of the Federal Military Government (FMG) of Nigeria stole billions of pounds belonging to Igbos
    and the federal governments of Nigeria was giving only 20 pounds to Biafrans who had a bank account in Nigeria before the
    Nigerian war, regardless of how much money had been in their bank account after the Nigeria’s war, was criticized by foreign and local aid
    workers, as this led to an unprecedented scale of federal governments of
    Nigeria begging, looting and the gang of federal governments admitted Nigeria
    had committed bank robberies in a military coup that relied on mid-level of
    Gowon’s rank (of general) officers that Babangida had strategically positioned
    over the years after the war. Despite
    the fact that Hundreds of thousands of Biafran
    soldiers were killed by the General
    Yakubu Gowon led federal governments of Nigeria in the War, while
    the genocide of more than 2 million indigenous people of non-violent unarmed
    Biafra, half of them children.

    Following Thursday 6 July
    1967, Gowon declared war and attacked Biafra, thus on Thursday 15 January 1970 came the end of Nigeria
    waging civil war on another country’s Biafra. The non-violent
    unarmed Biafra anti-war agitation is beginning to worry the Federal Military
    Government (FMG) of Nigeria.
    General Yakubu
    “Jack” Gowon, as the head
    of the Federal Military Government (FMG) of Nigeria made the decision to wage war. Gen. Gowon was finally pardoned by the
    ex-Biafran President, Emeka Ojukwu) came the end of Nigeria waging civil war on
    another country’s Biafra. During
    the Second Republic under President Shehu Shagari that was overthrown by General Muhammadu Buhari in a military coup on December 31, 1983, now becoming the Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari and head of state in 2015.
    Yakubu Gowon’s rank
    (of general) wasn’t restored until 1987 however by Nigerian Army General Ibrahim Babangida who was President of Nigeria from 27 August 1985- 27 August 1993. http://nigerianpilot.com/biafran-soldiers-pardoned-by-obasanjo-yet-to-get-n1-58bn-pension/?wiziapp_display=comments&desktop-site-mode=1 The Federal Government has commenced payment of monthly
    pension to soldiers of the Nigerian Army who defected to support the
    non-violent unarmed Biafra anti-war agitation on the side of Biafra during the
    Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970. Since Gen Yakubu Gowon was finally
    pardoned by the ex-Biafran President, Emeka Ojukwu) came the end of Nigeria
    waging civil war on another country’s Biafra, till today, Biafra’s veterans have not
    been paid the approved amount. The Federal Government scheduled to be paying us
    the amount yearly but 2011 passed, 2012, 2013, 2014 and this 2015, and five
    years after, the Federal Government of Nigeria is still owing on another country’s Biafra.” The Biafra Independent Movement, BIM
    and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB
    are integral to the IPOB, Indigenous People of Biafra as a whole and Biafrans
    can’t do without IPOB, Indigenous People of Biafra, People’s Republic of which
    every Biafran is a citizen. All
    Biafrans have an integral IPOB leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB,
    Nnamdi Kanu. The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and director
    of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu is naturally self-effacing, even the most stoic
    supporters for an integral Biafra
    Republic system would locate Kanu Nnamdi himself when asking
    questions about the team’s successes, giving credit to the same position that
    the ex-Biafran President, Emeka Ojukwu and other IPOBs reached. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of
    the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) stands with all Biafran’s veterans. He said, “Ojukwu gave us a template. He is
    still alive in our minds in his honour bringing the time closer for the realization
    and restoration of Biafra. We shall keep the flag flying and we shall achieve
    it without shooting of gun.”