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Policemen Threaten Strike on Election Day
Policemen who are being owed promotion arrears have declared that they would embark on strike action on March 28, 2015, the day slated for the conduct of the 2015 presidential elections across the nation.
Believing that such a move would help press home their demands, the affected policemen stated that they are sure that their action would convince police authorities that they are serious.
The policemen said that over 100 of their colleagues retired in 2014 without being paid the promotion arrears and other benefits and that the payment had been pending for over two years.
They therefore expressed fears that their benefits may also not be paid as promised by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Suleiman Abba.
The IGP had remarked last week that the police could not pay duty tour allowances and other benefits because of the shortfall in allocation to the Force by the federal government.
A document on the 2015 budget defence presented to the senate committee on Police Affairs last week revealed that the 2014 police budget which suffered a shortfall of N6,464673,537 made it impossible to successfully conclude the payment of personnel emolument in 2014.
But the explanation has not convinced the men to shelve their planned strike.
“The only way we could make the IG pay us our salary arrears and other benefits is to embark on strike on Election Day when the nation would need us the most. Otherwise, the issue would be swept under the carpet, like others,” the men stated.
The men also asserted that over 100 policemen have retired without being paid the arrears, stating that some were due to retire in March or April.
“This means that we may not get the money before leaving service,” the men said.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, had earlier assured that the aggrieved policemen would be paid as soon as the Force received money from the government.
“We are working hard to pay the men and I can assure you that they would be paid once the government pays us; we are waiting for the government to pay us, so we can pay them. The welfare of officers and men of the Force is of paramount importance to the IG and he would do everything necessary to ensure their welfare,” Ojukwu stated.
It would be recalled that IGP had on February 19 warned the affected policemen to desist from any consideration of a strike action as a way to pressing for their dues, stating that any breach of discipline would be punished appropriately.
In a release signed by Ojukwu, the police force restated its commitment to the welfare of the workforce; part of which is promotion and recognition of hard work.