Tension Heightens: Nigerian Police Officers Plan Fresh Protests In Lagos, Delta, Kano, Vow To Boycott Forthcoming Elections Over Six-Month Unpaid Arrears
Some aggrieved senior police officers have issued fresh threats to boycott the forthcoming general elections if the authorities fail to pay the six months’ arrears of the new salary structure President Muhammadu Buhari approved for the Force.
According to SaharaReporters on Friday, the aggrieved policemen from Lagos, Delta and Kano states, threatened that they would not participate in the monitoring of the general elections if the authorities failed to pay their six-month salary arrears.
President Buhari in 2021 approved a new salary structure for the Force.
The approved police salary structure whose implementation was supposed to have commenced in January 2022 only started in July 2022 with only one month arrears of payment, with six months outstanding.
Sources however told SaharaReporters that personnel on grade levels 03, 04, 05, 06 and a few 07 police officers were paid part of the arrears while those in grade levels 08, 09, 10 and 11 were not paid.
They added that Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) up to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had however been paid four months arrears.
Those affected by the nonpayment of the salary arrears include senior inspectors, Assistant Superintendents of Police, Deputy Superintendents of Police, Superintendents of Police, and Chief Superintendents of Police.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed February 25 and March 11 for the 2023 general elections in the country.
Speaking to SaharaReporters on Friday, the senior policemen revealed that the government had released the money for the payment of their arrears but the leadership of the police, starting with the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba and the Minister of Police diverted the funds.
One of them, a Superintendent of Police said, “As you can see, the police authorities are no more settled, officers from Kano, Delta are planning to protest.
“News going round is that the IGP, Minister of Police Affairs and Minister of Finance put the money in fixed deposit to get interest and pay in tranches and divert the rest because they believe nobody will tell President Buhari about the money again.
“Officers here in Lagos are regrouping silently to protest and block the airport next week or before the elections.
“Some junior officers that received the arrears are calling us ghost workers. Tell Nigerians and diplomats to be careful from next week because Lagos police officers with guns are frustrated already.”
Meanwhile, the police authorities had again warned the officers planning to embark on protest to stop or be ready to face the consequences.
In a signal exclusively obtained by DECENCY GLOBAL NEWS personnel serving in Delta State were asked to be professional and shun any protest which could lead to mutiny.
The signal dated 25th of January read, “SUB: NO.1 RE: ASABA SALARY ARRANGEMENT:- REF COMPOL SIG NO. DTO:191436/01/2023 PAYMENT OF ‘DOPS’ CV:3940/DOPS/DTS/VOL.13/714 ARREARS FROM JANUARY TO JUNE 2022, IT HAS COME TO THE NOTICE OF INGENPOL THAT SOME POLICEMEN IN LAGOS STATE COMMAND ARE ALLEGEDLY PLANNING A PROTEST OVER MISINFORMATION ON NON-PAYMENT OF THE ARREARS OF SALARY FROM JANUARY TO JUNE 2022, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT PAYMENT OF THE ARREARS FROM JANUARY TO JUNE 2022 HAD BEEN MADE FOR ALL CONSTABLES UP TO UNCONFIRMED INSPECTORS AS THE FUNDS RELEASED FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULD NOT PAY ALL PERSONNEL, BY THE AS A RESULT, INGENPOL IN HIS MAGNANIMITY ORDERED THAT PAYMENT SHOULD START FROM CONSTABLE UPWARD, BE ASSURED THAT, PAYMENT FOR CONFIRMED INSPECTORS AND OFFICERS CADRE WILL BE EFFECTED AS SOON AS FUND IS RELEASED BY THE FGN, ANY PROTEST IN ANY FORM WILL BE CONSTRUED AS MUTINY.”