Few weeks after some aggrieved policemen threatened to boycott the 2023 general elections over unpaid arrears, the Nigerian Police Force has failed to address the complaints of the officers.
SaharaReporters had reported that the officers threatened that they would not participate in the monitoring of the general elections if their six-month salary arrears of the new salary structure President Muhammadu Buhari approved for the Force are not paid.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed February 25 and March 11 for the 2023 general elections in the country.
President Buhari in 2021 approved a new salary structure for the Force.
The approved police salary structure which its implementation supposed to have commenced in January 2022 only started in July 2022 with only one month arrears of payment, with six months outstanding.
However, the police authorities claimed that the Nigerian government had not released the funds for the payment.
An officer who is an Assistant Superintendent of Police had told SaharaReporters that if they are mobilised to monitor the 2023 elections forcefully, they would not discharge their duties as expected.
He insisted that the Nigerian government had released the money for the payment of their arrears but the leadership of the police, starting with the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, diverted the funds and refused to pay police personnel.
“Up till now, our six-month arrears haven’t been paid, the authorities said it is IPPIS, but IPPIS said it is the police authorities. Ongoing rumour has it that the money is missing, funny country.
“Unfortunately, the senior officers aren’t saying anything serious about it because they know their pockets are always full. December is coming and junior officers need money to sort out their various personal problems.”
Another officer had said, “We have wicked leadership, those who don’t care about their followers. Selfish people. They shouldn’t forget that the 2023 general elections are coming up. Many of our colleagues aren’t interested in monitoring any election at all, the morale is down.
“They may want to force us to go and monitor the poll but one thing is certain, we can’t be forced to do the job right when morale is not there. Like they do say, you can force a horse to the river, but you can’t force him to drink water.”
However, weeks after the threat, the police authorities have refused to address the officers’ grievances.
“Up till date, the arrears haven’t been paid. They did as if they didn’t see our threats. And the senior officers aren’t saying anything serious about it because they know their pockets are always full. December is here and people need money to sort their various personal problems. They should remain mute until we strike them. February is few weeks ahead. We are waiting for them,” a policeman told SaharaReporters on Tuesday.