‘You’ll Be Dealt With Severely’: MOPOL Warns Unpaid Officers Contemplating Protest

A Mobile Police (MOPOL) unit in the South-South has warned that any of its officers deployed in the counterinsurgency fight in Borno State who protest over unpaid allowances will be “dealt with severely”.

The threat was contained in a wireless message circulated on Friday.

HumAngle had reported on November 3 that MOPOL officers assigned to Operation Lafiya Dole had not seen their special operational allowances in over five months.

“Any time we talk about our allowance, they would threaten to dismiss us. They have been threatening that nobody should post anything on social media pertaining to the allowance,” one of the affected officers said.

“We have families and children, some in the university, and we need these little things to assist ourselves. We have been complaining, we want to go on protest. But we are afraid because, if we protest, it will be easy for them to trace us.”

The operatives also complained that the food given to them was not sufficient as they only received one meal every day.

Reacting to possible plans for a demonstration by the officers, however, the police unit said such moves would not be taken lightly.

“Intelligence report received revealed that PMF [Police Mobile Force] personnel on Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, Borno State, are planning to embark on protest over unpaid operational allowances to most of the personnel on special duty in Borno State,” the message started.

“You are hereby directed to warn personnel unit to remain calm and [that they] must not participate in such act as anyone who violates this directive will be severely dealt with.”

The message added that the police authorities were doing all they could to ensure the operatives received their allowances “very soon”.

“Ensure adequate supervision and coordination of personnel throughout the period of operations. Guard against indiscriminate use of firearms,” the directive emphasised.

It also discouraged all forms of corrupt practices, illegal duties, escort, incivility to members of the public, and asked that the police officers on special duty in Borno maintain alertness and dress properly.

“Make this a subject of lecture to your personnel and forward lecture parade above for your information and strict compliance please,” it concluded.

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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