While agitations for Biafra have peaked this year in the South East Region of Nigeria, some persons may have some reasons to smile.

They may have some reasons to believe in 'One Nigeria' after they had fought a war for the independence of the region.

The war fought some 57 years ago resulted in the dismissal of some members of the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and the Paramilitary Officers who took part with the Secessionist.

These persons were sent home without any benefit, but all that has changed for them now.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has given his approval for the payment of the entitlements to these former Biafra officers and their Next of Kin.

The approval was announced in a statement by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) in a statement on Wednesday.

This payment to these former Biafra Police officials and Paramilitary will begin on October 20, the agency said.

At least 162 officers will be pay-rolled and 57 Next of Kin, who have also not been paid their death benefits, will be paid in the first batch.

The Statement read: “The general public would recall that Nigeria witnessed an ugly civil war between July, 1967 and January, 1970 and as a result of that unfortunate period in our history, some members of the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and the Paramilitary Officers who took part with the Secessionist were dismissed from the service.

“The dismissal of those officers was commuted to retirement in year 2000 through a Presidential Amnesty granted on 29th May, 2000 by the Administration of the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

“A verification exercise was conducted for the pardoned officers by the defunct Police Pension Office and recently PTAD on one hand and the Police Service Commission on the other.

“Despite the Presidential pardon and verification of these officers many of them remained unpaid years after the pardon.

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“However, the present administration under the able leadership of President, C-in-C of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has graciously given approval for the payment of pension entitlements to these officers and their Next of Kin.

“PTAD is commencing the payment of pension benefits to the retired war affected police officers on Friday 20th October, 2017 in Enugu.

“162 officers will be pay-rolled and 57 Next of Kin who have also not been paid their death benefits will be paid in the first batch”.

The announcement of the approval is coming on a day President Buhari arrived Turkey for the D-8 Summit.

SEE PHOTOS FROM TURKEY

photos of Buhari in turkey with wife
photos of Buhari in turkey with wife