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Reps to investigate police protest in Maidugiri

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Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

The House of Representatives has resolved to set up an ad-hoc Committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the protest by some policemen in Maidugiri.

This was sequel to a motion urgent public importance by Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) unanimously adopted by the house.

Moving the motion, Chinda said that the security challenges in the country, particularly in Borno, necessitated the deployment of additional security personnel to help beef up security in the area.

He said that the protest which was said to have been carried out by some men of the Mobile Police Force unit not only caused severe traffic grid, but also affected economic and social activities of the city.

Chinda said that the protest which witnessed the chanting of protest songs and several gun shots into the air, was carried out due to non-payment of six months special duty allowances due the said policemen.

According to the lawmaker, provision of Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.

He said that there was an annual allocation for payment of salaries and allowances made to the Police Service Commission, including those on special duties or assignments.

The legislator said that the argument put forward by the Police authorities that the men were being owed because the 2018 appropriation bill was signed into law only recently does not hold water.

He explained that salaries and allowances were recurrent expenditures which were still effective and running from the 2017 Appropriation Law.

Chinda said that police who ordinarily should provide security for the citizens could openly protest, fully armed with guns, leaving the people they should secure in great fear and entirely at their mercy was a shame.

He said that if the above issue was not immediately checked, it could lead to anarchy, cause despondency in the minds of people and negatively affect society.

The parliamentarian said that the protest clearly represents failure of public institutions including the Police.

He said it had negatively affected and reduced the image and reputation of the Police and the country at large before the rest of the world.

The Minority Whip of the house, Rep. Yakubu Barde (PDP-Kaduna) said that both chambers of the National Assembly had passed vote of no confidence on the Inspector -General of Police (I-G)

He said the protest was another vote of no confidence passed on the Inspector -General of Police by his subordinates.

Barde expressed fear that one day, he would send men of the force on special duties and they would refuse, leaving Nigerians on their own.

He said that anarchy looms recalling that some military officers once turned against their superiors for sending them to battle front without adequate provisions.

The legislator said that the committee must determine where the money meant for officers` welfare was used for.

He said that about seven police officers were recently killed in Abuja, adding that the house must protect the young officers and speak for them.

Rep. Nkem Abonta (PDP-Abuja) described the protest as a show of shame.

He said that the house must act fast to find out the remote and immediate causes of the protest.

Abonta said the protest was an indicator that there was no security in the country and the ad-hoc committee be made to start work immediately.

He said if security issues in the country were not addressed, then Nigerians would remain in danger.

Rep. Abubakar Danbaran (APC-Kano) said that the unfortunate incident had never happened in the history of the country.

He recalled that a police officer recently shot a Corps member in Abuja saying that if armed men were not paid they could do anything.

The legislator said that it was not good to send police officers to war fronts and neglect their welfare.

He said that the Federal Government owed every Nigerian the duty to ensure that justice was given to all.

The Speaker of the house, Mr Yakubu Dogara said that the committee was expected to report back within two weeks for further legislative action.


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