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The Police protest in Maiduguri

Nigerian policemen are not the best paid citizens in the country. They are the ones that go to protect the best paid citizens in the Federal Government, the Senate, the House, the ministries and corporate organisations.

Now that the restive situation prevalent in Maiduguri has calmed down and an atmosphere of peace seems to exist, we think it is time to take a deep breath and review the circumstances under which the officers and men of the Police mobile unit broke tradition and went on protest over unpaid allowances a fortnight ago.

READ ALSO: Mobile Policemen protest in Maiduguri over alleged unpaid allowance

The protesting officers had told the world that about 10,000 of them were deployed in Borno State from different commands, but have not received their allowances in the past six months. The Police Headquarters on the Maiduguri-Kano Expressway was barricaded. A noisy procession of protesting men with arms is not the most reassuring sight in a city like Maiduguri. Some weapons were discharged and the population was affright.

The Police authorities had a different version of the event. The men had gone to enquire about their allowances and had been told that they would soon be paid, now that the Federal Budget had finally been approved and signed by the President. There was no protest. The officers had returned to their duty and loyalty.

The differences between the Policemen and the authorities’ tales, though significant, need not becloud the issue. Police allowances are recurrent expenditure that would not and should not be subject to the vagaries of Federal Government’s budget difficulties. It cannot be true, therefore, that the Policemen were not paid their allowances because of Federal Budget delay, as regrettable as that was. We think there has been a dereliction of duty somewhere in the Police hierarchy where the police men’s anger emanates. To withhold the allowances of policemen for six months is a very serious breach of the conditions of their employment. A disaffected policeman can be the devil’s workshop and, in effect, a dangerous policeman.

The Police are the principal organisation saddled with the security of life and property in the land. The Police Act is unequivocal and saddles the police with the duties of preventing, detecting and prosecuting crimes in the country. When they are not paid as and when due, the nation forfeits its moral authority to demand that they should not accept bribes and gratifications in the streets. If they have to find other means to fend for themselves, what moral authority empowers us to ask them to make sacrifices and to sometimes lay down their lives for our protection? In the last few weeks, it has been an open season on the police –seven officers killed in Abuja, two in Edo State, two in Kaduna State. Police officers and men sent to the North East – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States – are like soldiers sent to a war zone. The least any organisation can do is to pay them regularly. The insurance cover for the policemen is considered grossly inadequate. It needs to be remembered that in 2002, a similar incident occurred and policemen were forced to go on strike. It is a sad commentary on our institutional memory that the Police, as an organisation, appear to have forgotten that unhappy episode.

The Federal Government should dig deep into this issue. It is not enough for the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to invite the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for a meeting, perhaps to explain this incident. For policemen to go on a public display of discontent is the most grievous evidence of maladministration in the police. The men were not asking for a pay raise, just their regular allowances.

Nigerian policemen are not the best paid citizens in the country. They are the ones that go to protect the best paid citizens in the Federal Government, the Senate, the House, the ministries and corporate organisations. Someone must be held accountable for this incident so as not to reduce the Police to the caricature that is made of the organisation by its leaders.

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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3 Comments

  1. Ezekiel Okeke 20th July 2018 at 9:28 am

    The brainwashed terrorism mercenaries nickname military, police etc. has nothing to protest. Any this territory native in the enemy’s brainwashed terrorism mercenaries nickname military, police etc. who do not quit now and join the Revolution with the Sword under the natives Disintegrated Republics- Biafra Republic of south east, Niger Delta Republic of south south, Oduduwa Republic of south west, North East Republic, North West Republic, North Central Republic, must go down in the hands of the enemy or with the enemy in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives which ends in Sokoto- the sit of the satan of this natives territory. It is Revolutionary Militant Groups- RMG etc. formation which its members are the new military, police etc. under the natives Disintegrated Republics. The war front is Sokoto- the last bastion of fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates under the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria controlled by British bandits and fraudulent criminal America with their fraudulent criminal UN of 20th century world international order. God given Victory is the natives. Only the Sword decides. God Is With Us!!!

    • Sampson Monday 20th July 2018 at 4:24 pm

      @Okeke there is nothing on earth called Biafra. Biafra is fraud used by smart individual to deceive gullible people like you. Ojukwu started and ended Biafra. So it only crocks and gullible still talk about Biafra.

  2. Ezekiel Okeke 20th July 2018 at 6:24 pm

    @Monday, how did Ojukwu started Biafra Republic of south east and ended it? Is Ojukwu Igbos of south east of Biafra Republic or one of Igbos of south east of Biafra Republic? Did majority Igbos of south east of Biafra Republic of today democratically says they no longer want Biafra Republic of south east or democratically stand for Biafra Republic of south east via referendum by sit-at-home? Only majority Igbos of south east will decide for Biafra Republic of south east or not. Majority Igbos of south east of today democratically stand for Biafra Republic of south east in Disintegrated Republics of the natives which must be defended with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives which ends in Sokoto- the sit of the satan of this natives territory. Freedom of this territory natives of this generation from the bondage of the fraudulent political name Nigeria is a must with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives which ends in Sokoto- the sit of the satan of this natives territory. Freedom of northern natives from fulani bondage is a must with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives which ends in Sokoto- the sit of the satan of this natives territory. God given Victory is the natives. Only the Sword decides. God Is With Us!!!

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