By Sunday Ochai

Bashir Magashi – Minister of Defence

Military retirees in Nigeria have urged the government to upgrade the Veterans Affairs Division in the Ministry of Defence to a full-fledged ministry to cater for their welfare.

The retirees made the call in a communiqué issued to journalists in Abuja at the end of a three-day retreat on “Unification of Military Veterans Associations.”

They also called on government at all levels to exploit the untapped resources that abound in them, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

The veteran said that they had resolved to operate under one umbrella body known as “Veterans Federation of Nigeria”.

They pledged loyalty to the government and readiness to contribute to national security and development.

At the opening of the retreat on Thursday, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, stressed the need to have a unified veterans’ body in the country.

Olonisakin had noted that the “proliferations of veteran associations have not yielded desired results hence the need to explore platform that can unify such associations.”

He charged the retreat to come up with an ad hoc committee to begin the unification process and establishment of the “Veterans Association of Nigeria”.

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