United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) has condemned the protest by policemen maintaining security in Borno State over unpaid benefits.It described the action as a shame. and the height of insensitivity by the police authorities.
The group made this known in a statement, demanding a review of the law banning the police and Customs and Immigration and the other security agencies from joining a trade union.
The statement by ULC President, Joe Ajaero, said: “We are worried that in these critical times when we are grappling with severe security challenges that those who we have entrusted our national security in their hands are being owed months in salaries.
“How do we expect those who bear arms to have the needed confidence and commitment to protect the citizenry? This may explain the spate of accidental discharges and crimes committed by men in uniform.
“ULC, therefore, demands a review of the law banning Police officers, Customs and Immigration and other men and officers of the various security agencies from joining the trade union movement.
“It is only the unions that can speak on behalf of these denied and deprived Police officers and this is the danger which the refusal to allow them exercise their rights as Nigerian workers exposes the country to.”
Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama expressed shock on hearing about the protest.
He said: “If what we read in the dailies and saw on the televisions are anything to go by, we consider it unfair and inconsiderate on the part of leadership to deny security officers who have left their families to stake their lives for our peace and security.
“It is unfortunate that our country has become notorious with everything that hinders growth and development. In saner climes, the welfare of security operatives are not taken for granted.
“The reverse is the case here. An unpaid armed officer is a danger to himself, family, community and the society at large. It demeans us as a country that our security officers buy their uniform, shoes and other accessories. They do not have even decent accommodation. When you deny them six months allowances what then will motivate them in the war front?”