On Monday morning, some mobile police officers in Borno state took to the streets of Maiduguri, the state capital, to protest the non-payment of their allowances in six months.
The officers barricaded major roads in the city, shot into the air and disrupted movement.
While it appears inappropriate for law enforcement agents to embark on protests owing to ethical standards, Nigerian policemen officers have at one point or the other, trooped to the streets to express their displeasure. Most of the time, it is as a result of non-payment of salaries.
Here are five different occasions of protest:
THE HISTORIC PROTEST THAT FORCED OUT IGP SMITH
In 2002, men of the Nigeria police force began a historic strike after protesting over the accommodation problem they were facing across the country. They felt the money meant for their housing allowance had been cornered by their superiors. The massive protest led to the retirement of Musiliu Smith, a former inspector-general of police (IGP),
ONDO ELECTION ALLOWANCE
In 2016, police officers deployed to cover the Ondo state governorship election took to the streets of Ondo town to protest the non-payment of their allowances. The protesting officers, who barricaded the popular Ondo/Ile-Ife expressway with patrol vehicles for several hours, vowed to restrict movement of vehicles along the road until they were paid their allowances.
PROTEST OVER NON PAYMENT OF TWO MONTHS’ SALARIES
On October 9, 2017, over 2000 police officers of the Kaduna state police command gathered in front of the salaries office inside the command headquarters to protest against the non-payment of their August and September salaries.
Cyril Abeh, the state commissioner of police, had described the action as an act of mutiny.
‘HELD BY HUNGER’, OFFICERS BESIEGE POLICE MICROFINANCE BANK
In December 2017, officers of the Adamawa state police command besieged the Nigeria Police Force Micro-Finance Bank in Yola, to demand immediate payment of their two month salaries. The aggrieved policemen said their families were dying in hunger.
‘NOT ENOUGH FOR FAMILY UPKEEP’
On March 2018, hundreds of policemen trooped the Mechanised Salary Section (MSS) of the Lagos state police command in Ikeja to protest against the deductions from their salaries.
The officers, who were from the rank and files said between N5,000 and N35,000 were deducted from their February salaries, while others lamented that they had not been paid for the month.
The officers said the deductions have compounded their woes, as their salaries were meagre and they could not meet up with their needs.
One of the protesting officers had said, “I am almost 20 years in service and I have a wife and children to cater to. The N70,000 is not enough for our upkeep in the first place. This is criminality of the highest order and we want it to stop.”
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