2023 ELECTION:Gathering Storm Over Police Election Allowances
There are strong indications that unless there is an urgent intervention by the police authorities, the Rank and File of the Nigeria Police Force may take to the streets.
This time around, it is surely not to protect lives and property but to vent their frustrations over unpaid election allowances and salary arrears.
A good percentage of this cadre of the police force known as the Force’s dependable foot soldiers are bitter that they are yet to receive the duty allowances for the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The implication of the planned protest, if it happens, is that the gubernatorial and state houses of Assembly elections on Saturday will be held without police protection, and the danger it portends is better imagined.Worse still, those in the Senior Inspectors’ rank are also miffed that they are yet to receive six months’ arrears of their salary increment.
However, the Police High Command is putting a lie to the claims, saying it did offset the Presidential and National Assembly elections allowances. But, then, the high command has remained silent on the reason for the delay in the payment of the six months arrears.
Meanwhile, checks by The Vanguard Investigator, across the states of the federation, actually confirmed that some policemen were yet to receive their allowances for the first leg of the election. They are also not sure of receiving that of the Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections this Saturday.
Yet, even those who have received the allowances are still crying that the amount was a far cry from what they were paid in previous elections.
For instance, The Investigator gathered that Constables and Corporals were paid N20, 000, as against N40, 000, received during the 2019 general elections.
Inspectors received N35, 000 as against N85, 000 received in 2019, while Superintendents of Police, SPOs received N35, 000 this year as against 86,000 and above received in 2019 general elections.
A Deputy Superintendent of Police in the Edo State Police command said he was paid N40,000 as against over N100,000 in 2019 general elections.
Investigation further revealed that the aggrieved policemen, who are not permitted to embark on protest because of the regimented nature of the Police Force, vented their anger at the system by reluctantly carrying on with their elections duties two weeks ago.
Some of them who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they deliberately refused to act in some areas where ballot boxes were snatched because of the subtle protest.