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Police officers protest in Borno over allowances, HQ denies



The Police authority has denied reports of protests by officers in Borno State on Monday.
It said the officers had only come to the State Headquarters to make enquiries.
This is even as the Borno State Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, earlier confirmed the protest which lasted up to three hours.
“We woke up this morning to experience a protest at State HQ gate by visiting PMF men in Borno State over unpaid special duty allowances for five months running.
“We are making efforts to pacify them and to assure them of their payments of entitlements soonest,”  Chukwu said.
The officers who are protesting over about five months of unpaid allowances barricaded major roads around the police headquarters.
According to them, they have not been provided with accommodation, among other basic needs.
Residents said that the officers also fired some gunshots, causing commuters to scamper for safety.
It was reported that all attempts by senior officers of the police command in Maiduguri to pacify the protesting personnel to sheath their swords proved abortive.
But in a statement in Abuja on Monday, the Police Headquarters explained that the personnel returned to their duty posts immediately after they made the enquiry.
The Force Spokesman, Ag. DCP Jimoh Moshood, in the statement, said the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police in Borno State to explain to the personnel that their salaries would be paid without further delay since the budget has been approved.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of PMF has also been asked to proceed to the north east to lecture the personnel on why there was delay.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to media report that Policemen protested in Maiduguri over non-payment of their Special Duty Allowance.
“The Force wish to categorically state that it is not correct that police personnel protested in Maiduguri today, 2nd July, 2018.
“Some of the Police Mobile Force personnel on Special Duty in Maiduguri went to the Borno State Police Command Headquarters on enquiry over the delay in the payment of their special duty allowance in the early hours of today and not on protest as reported in some media.”
The Statement further reads: “The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris promptly directed the Commissioner of Police, Borno State to address and inform them why there is delay in the payment of their special duty allowance, and also assure them that since the budget has been approved, the allowances will be expeditiously processed and paid without any further delay. They subsequently returned to their duty posts.
“Consequently, the IGP has ordered the Commissioner of Police, Police Mobile Force (PMF) to proceed to Maiduguri, Borno State and other States in the North East where PMF personnel are deployed on special duty; to lecture and inform them on the efforts being made by the Force to ensure timely payment of special duty and other allowances to police personnel in the North East of the country.
“The Police Mobile Force personnel that went on the enquiry are not those attached to Operation Lafiya Dole in the fight against insurgency in the North East but those on the category of visiting Police Mobile Force units deployed in Maiduguri on Crime Prevention and other Police duties in the State.”
The police urged members of the Public not to panic but to go about their lawful duties and other responsibilities without fear or apprehension.
“The Nigeria Police Force is a disciplined organization and will not allow any situation to degenerate into disturbance of Public Peace anywhere in the country”, it stated.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday met behind closed doors with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting came shortly after the news broke that some policemen were protesting against non-payment of their allowances in Maiduguri, Borno State.
It was, however, not clear if Idris was summoned over  the protest or he decided on his own to brief Osinbajo on the development.
The meeting, which was held inside the Vice-President’s office, came at a time President Muhammadu Buhari was attending the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Mauritania.
The agenda of the meeting was not made public.
Idris did not speak with journalists at the end of the meeting.
The Presidency also had yet to issue any press statement on the meeting as of the time of filing this report. -The Citizen

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