Policemen on rampage over election allowance
During the protest, which took place at Funbi-Fagun area of the ancient town, the police officers, comprising regular and mobile police officers, barricaded the popular Ondo/Ile-Ife Expressway with the patrol vehicles used for last Saturday’s election.
The blockade resulted in heavy traffic snarl on the highway, which lasted for several hours and left motorists and travellers stranded. The protesting officers vowed to restrict movement of vehicles along the road until they were paid their allowances.
Some of the police officers, who spoke to journalists, but refused to have their names mentioned, accused senior officers of the force of denying them of their entitlements for the election.They said as a result, they were left stranded nearly 48 hours after the conclusion of the election.
“They refused to pay our allowances after the election, we all believed that the money was released by the Federal Government to our ‘Oga at the top’ but they refused to release the money to us,” one officer said.“We will cause trouble and make them realize that they are the ones encouraging corruption in this country.”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph, denied that there was protest by the police officers in the state.
“There was no protest anywhere, it was the senior officer that was addressing the junior ones in Ondo for performing successfully well during the last Saturday’s election. In such a situation they may be shouting for joy and so some people thought it was a protest,” he said.
It was gathered that the officers, many of whom were deployed from neighbouring states like Ogun and Oyo were shabbily treated and left to find their own accommodation in Ondo after they arrived for the election on Monday.
The spokesperson for the Nigeria Police, Don Awunah, had shortly before the election acknowledged the problem and said efforts were already underway to ensure that the officers receive their pay as soon as possible.
“Yes, we are aware at the headquarters that they have not been paid, but we implore them to take it easy as the Inspector-General is working on their finances. They will start receiving payment alert before the election begins in four days since we already have their personal accounts.”
But the promise turned out to be false as the officers denied receiving a dime 24 hours after the election.“I and some friends have had to borrow to survive in Ondo since Sunday (November 20). We slept on the road for days. Later, Nigerians will say we collect bribe; if you were in our shoes, what would you do,” an officer asked rhetorically.
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