After 46 years the Federal Government of Nigeria is about to pay 450 ex-Biafran policemen their entitlements.
The ex-policemen during the Biafran era were ab initio officers of the Nigerian police who defected to the Biafran camp.
In 2000, the then Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, pardoned the officers for defecting.
Following up the pardon, President Buhari’s administration has announced their move to pay these ex-Biafran policemen their withheld gratuities and pensions after over 4 decades of the civil war.
According to Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), plans have been concluded to pay these men most of whom are in their 80’s and 90’s their denied pension and gratuities.
Sharon Ikeazor, PTAD, said:
“We have the issue of War Affected Pensioners. You know, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo gave amnesty to Biafran soldiers and policemen in 2000.
“The military has taken care of the pension of the soldiers of the defunct Republic of Biafra who were granted amnesty. But majority of the policemen have not been paid.
“So, when I came in, they have now brought up the case before me and we are working on that for them to get their dues.
“One of the men said to me that this is what he has been waiting for before he dies. These men are in their 80s, some in their 90s. Majority of them are from the South-south and South-east.
“I think they are about 450 policemen. The war is over, we have to reintegrate them. It is just like rebuilding the North-East now, we have to reintegrate these people from the South-south and South-east.”
She said PTAD would begin verification of pensioners in Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe states on Monday, Nov. 28. The verification of areas like Adamawa, with a little over 2,000 pensioners will probably last for a week.
Out of an enrolled number of about 220,000 pensioners, about 9,000 ghost payees were fished out by PTAD.