Juliana Taiwo- Obalonye, and Molly Kilete, Abuja

Mobile policemen in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday, staged a protest over non-payment of their allowances. The protesting policemen barricaded the command’s headquarters located on Maiduguri-Kano Expressway.

The protest disrupted traffic on the road.

One of protesting policemen, said they were angry over non-payment of their allowances in the last six months.

“About 10, 000 mobile policemen were deployed to the state from different commands but we have not received our allowances in the past six months.

“We have been serving at the command headquarters since our deployment; but some of us deployed to other locations outside the headquarters were being paid their allowances as and when due. We have been facing hardships as a result of the non-payment of the allowances. We have made several complaints but nobody listened to us,” the aggrieved policeman said.

However, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, was summoned to the Presidential Villa yesterday, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met him behind closed doors. The meeting is coming on the heels of the protests in Maiduguri, Borno State, by some policemen over non-payment of their allowances.

He was seen leaving the Villa at about 2pm, but it was not clear if the IGP was summoned on the matter or if he decided on his own to brief Osinbajo of the development.

The meeting held inside the Vice President’s office at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari was attending the 31st ordinary session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Mauritania. Idris did not speak with journalists at the end of the meeting.

The Presidency was yet to officially react to the development at press time. Meanwhile, the Police Force headquarters in Abuja has blamed the late passage of the 2018 budget for its inability to pay the allowances of its personnel serving in the North East. This is even as the force headquarters denied reports that mobile policemen protested in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday morning over non-payment of their special duty allowance.

Force public relations officer, Moshood Jimoh, who made this known in a statement, said: “The force wishes to categorically state that it is not correct that police personnel protested in Maiduguri today, July 2, 2018.”

The statement made available to Daily Sun read: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to media report that policemen protested in Maiduguri over non-payment of their special duty allowance.

“Some of the Police Mobile Force personnel on special duty in Maiduguri went to the Borno State Police Command Headquarters on enquiry over the delay in the payment of their special duty allowance in the early hours of today and not on protest as reported in some media.

“The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris, promptly directed the Commissioner of Police, Borno State, to address and inform them why there is delay in the payment of their special duty allowance, and also assure them that, since the budget has been approved, the allowances will be expeditiously processed and paid without any further delay. They subsequently returned to their duty posts.

“Consequently, the IGP has ordered the Commissioner of Police, Police Mobile Force (PMF), to proceed to Maiduguri, Borno State, and other states in the North East where PMF personnel are deployed on special duty, to lecture and inform them on the efforts being made by the force to ensure timely payment of special duty and other allowances to police personnel in the North East of the country.

“The Police Mobile Force personnel that went on the enquiry are not those attached to Operation Lafiya Dole in the fight against insurgency in the North East but those on the category of visiting Police Mobile Force units deployed in Maiduguri on crime prevention and other police duties in the state.”