Protesting policemen

Unpaid 18 months salaries: Our wives are leaving us for Okada riders, Osun police constables lament

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About 500 special police constables, yesterday, took to the streets of Osogbo, capital of Osun State to protest non-payment of their 18 months salaries.

The police constabularies, who rode motorcycles with three passengers each, gathered at Oke-Fia roundabout in the morning and moved through Alekuwodo to Olaiya junction to register their displeasure over the unpaid allowances.

Adorned in their police uniforms, the protesters displayed placards with different inscriptions such as, “Pay Us Now”, “We’re Dying”, “We’re Hungry,” among others.

Addressing newsmen, one of them, said: “We’re dying. We spent so much at the College. I have children, but it’s 18 months since I have not received my salary.

Four of us were killed during arm robbers’ attacks in Ikire, Iragbiji and others. We want our money.” Effort by Osun State Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, to calm the determined protesters was not successful as they ignored his entreaties to stop public demonstration.

They rather urged the CP, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba and other top echelon of the Force to work towards paying their entitlements.

The constabularies recruited into the Nigeria Police Force to complement the police in maintaining security in Osun State, complained that government had refused to pay their salaries since the completion of their training in May 2021.

Some of the aggrieved police Constabularies lamented that commercial tricycle and motorcycle operators in the state now have amorous relationships with their wives due to their inability to take care of them and their children.

Another constable expressed grief that despite their commitment to the job, leading to the death of three officers, they were left unpaid for months. He said: “We have gone to the local councils and yet nothing has been done.

“We lost three people in Ikire and one in Iree. These people died in the course of duty. We are very dutiful despite the fact that we have not been paid a dime.  Due to unpaid allowances, tricycle and Okada riders have snatched our wives because of inability to take care of them.”

Addressing the protesters, CP Olokode ordered them to stop the protest with immediate effect and assured that the authority in charge would see to their complaints.

“You are embarrassing the force with your protest.  You should have channeled your grievances to the appropriate quarters.  It is just like you are disturbing public peace with your protests.

“As long as you are wearing this uniform, we expect you to maintain high discipline as force men,” he said. Also, the Area Commander, ACP Kayode Ayilara, arrived the scene to maintain order.

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He urged the constabularies to suspend the protest, saying it was embarrassing and uncalled for seeing them protesting in uniform.
 
Ayilara said the protesting constabularies ought to have channeled their grievances to the appropriate quarters instead of disturbing the public peace.

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