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There’s Nothing Bad About Police Welfare; Citizens Instigating Officers To Go On Strike – Official

The spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force said the alleged proposed strike by some officers is being instigated by citizens who are against the government.

An official of the Nigeria Police Force has accused citizens of instigating police personnel to go on strike despite various security challenges in the country. 

HumAngle earlier reported that officers are complaining about inadequate pay, poor gratuities, outdated arms, and the failure to compensate the dependants of colleagues killed in the line of duty. 

Other issues cited include poor housing facilities, inefficient insurance packages, targeted attacks and a lack of transparency in promotional exercises. They warned, in a letter, that if these grievances are not addressed, they would down tools, starting from Saturday, March 26.

Reacting to this, the spokesperson of the force, Muyiwa Adejobi, who spoke with HumAngle in a telephone interview on Tuesday March 22, dared personnel planning strike action to ‘come out’. 

“There is nothing bad about the welfare of the police. Let them come out and we will know them,” he said. 

Adejobi argued that the leadership of the police force got the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for increment of salaries in 2021 and would be effective soon. 

“They will pay them (police officers) in arrears from January 2022. Even if they don’t get the money now, they will still get it anytime. Some individuals who are civilians want to instigate them (officers) against the government and we are trying to know the people. 

“The officers are people above 18-years-old. They should be bold enough to come out,” he said. 

When reminded by our reporter that the officers are handicapped by laws that do not permit the police, armed forces, and other security agencies such as the prisons, customs, and immigration services to go on strike, Adejobi simply responded saying “why must they do it if they know that their rules of engagement does not permit them?

“Fundamental human rights are not applicable to security in Nigeria today. There are other jobs to do aside from the police job,” he said. 

HumAngle recalls that in Feb. 2002, junior officers across Nigeria stopped working, leading to a crime scare and a rise in traffic offences in the country. The reason for their action was similar to their current demand for better conditions and pay.

In reaction to the officers’ actions, Olusegun Obasanjo led government deployed soldiers to sensitive areas and later sacked members of the police brass, including Inspector General of Police Musiliu Smith, who was replaced with Adebayo Tafa Balogun.

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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