Gen Christopher Musa, Chief of Defense Staff(CDS)
Gen Christopher Musa, Chief of Defense Staff(CDS)

CDS Commends Military Veterans for Sacrifices, Pledges Ongoing Support

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, has commended the military veterans for their sacrifices and dedication to peace and security of Nigeria and the development of Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Musa, represented by the Director of Plans, Defence Headquarters, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Shettima, said this at the maiden Armed Forces of Nigeria Veterans Stakeholders Forum, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The forum has the theme, “the Nigerian Armed Forces Veterans in the Next Decade” aimed at enhancing the welfare and future prospects of Nigerian military veterans.

The CDS said that the significance of the forum was in recognising the dedication and sacrifices of veterans, and emphasised the need for continuous efforts to improve their welfare.

He said the Federal Government had made recent strides, such as the disbursement of the Security Debarment Allowance, a 20 cent cent increase in pension rates, and the inclusion of veterans in federal palliative programmes.

He said that the developments were notable achievements under President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

According to him, the forum underscores their collective dedication to the well-being of the veterans.

He commended the ongoing efforts and achievements in veteran welfare, such as various scholarship and educational programmes for orphans, pre- and post-retirement programmes, and medical interventions.

Musa added that the establishment of a committee to develop a long-term strategic roadmap for veteran administration, with studies conducted in the UK, and planned visits to Egypt and the USA, was additional perspectives.

According to him, the forum will be addressing several critical issues, including governance in veteran administration, health and well-being, skills development, post-service employment, legal matters, and the protection and security of veterans.

Musa urged participants to engage in objective and professional deliberations, assuring them that the outcomes would guide future improvements in veteran administration.

On his part, the Director, Veteran Affairs, Defence Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Danladi Salihu, expressed gratitude to the CDS for the improved veterans’ welfare initiative.

Salihu said the forum would help in addressing veteran issues, highlighting the collaborative efforts needed to implement the outcomes of the discussions.

He said the forum signified a giant step towards ensuring the well-being and recognition of Nigerian military veterans, aligning with the armed forces’ commitment to nurturing a professional and people-centric military.

The National Chairman of Nigerian Legion, retired Maj.-Gen. Abdulmalik Jibrin, thanked the CDS for bringing the veterans together to interact and share views and experiences.

Jibrin said the forum was a step in the right direction that would assist the government and their serving colleagues to see through the veterans, what the future held for them.

He also thanked the government for its efforts towards enhanced welfare of the veterans.

“This occasion, organised by the Chief of Defence Staff, is to help get together all the ideas that we share to assist them in planning the roadmap for the wellbeing of all veterans and those coming behind us,” he said.