Policemen protest against transfer to North without incentives
Worried about their transfer to the Northern zone of the country without incentives, about 1,260 policemen from six South West states of the country have complained bitterly against the ‘lopsided’ exercise from the Nigeria Police Service Commission.
According to a signal signed by AIG Abdul Bude from Force Headquarters, Abuja and dated December 24, 2016 with reference no CB 4770/FS/FHQ/ABJ/Vol. 5/232, the affected policemen have been mandated to resume in Kaduna on January 4, 2017.
Though they agreed that their primary responsibility as security agents was to protect lives and property, the aggrieved policemen said they are not comfortable with the way the transfer was handled.
The Guardian gathered that similar transfers done in 1997, 2003 and 2015 recorded heavy casualties among policemen from the South West due to the absence of basic facilities while their northern counterparts did not suffer such fate.
One of the affected policemen who spoke on condition of anonymity said their northern colleagues who were equally transferred at the same time to the South West allegedly shunned the transfer.
The affected policeman lamented that most officers from the South West who were transferred in the past had been wasted by Boko Haram insurgents.
Other grievances of the policemen include non-provision of vehicles that would convey them to their new stations; non-provision of accommodation and other welfare services, language barrier and non-familiarity with the northern terrain.
These, he said, had made them easy prey to the insurgents adding that the casualty figure suffered by his colleagues from the South West was more compared to their northern colleagues.
He said, “since they started the transfer, lives of several policemen from the South West extraction have been wasted because when they transferred them, the authority would not provide all necessary facilities such as money, accommodation and arms and this made them prone to attacks by the insurgents”.
“We are not happy at all. This same transfer had initially been stopped by the National Assembly and a powerful politician from the South West in 2015. It is the same policemen that are being transferred now. We knew this because the letter sent to them was addressed with their former ranks whereas these policemen had been transferred by the former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase”.
With the transfer, he said, the police authorities have run foul of an earlier document, which states that no policeman should be transferred outside his zone.
“We are not saying we should not be transferred but let them provide enabling environment for us to work. They can’t just continue to make us sacrificial lambs,” the officers cried out.