Blessing Akorowosi, Osogbo
On Wednesday, 480 constables recruited by the Nigerian Police Force and deployed to Osun State protested the non-payment of their salaries for the past 18 months.
The police officers marched from Oke-fia to the popular Olaiya Flyover in Osogbo, Osun State’s capital, to express their grievances.
The protesters claimed that the government has not paid them since the end of their training in May 2021, leaving them unpaid for 18 months.
The demonstrators, who were dressed in black police uniforms, held placards that read, among other things, “Pay our salary now,” “Okada riders are sleeping with our wives,” “Pay us our 18 months salary,” “Pay us our stipends and allowances,” and “18 months without kobo.”
Speaking with newsmen, Constable Tijani Adewale pointed out that despite the fact that they have not been paid, they have been committed to duties.
He lamented the death of four constables who have lost their lives in the course of discharging their duties.
Adewale said, “We have gone to the local government, honourables and dignitaries and yet nothing is done.
“We lost three persons in Ikire and one in Iree. These people died in the course of discharging their duties. We are very dutiful despite the fact that we have not been paid a dime.
“Due to unpaid allowances, tricycle and Okada riders have snatched our wives because of inability to take care of them.”
Addressing the protesters, the Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode ordered them to stop the protest with immediate effect.
He however, assured that the authority in charge would see to the matter.
“You are embarrassing the force with your protest, you should have channeled your grievances to the appropriate quarters. It is just like you are disturbing public peace with your protests.
“As far as you are wearing this uniform we expect you to maintain high discipline as force men,” Olokode said.
Also, the Area Command, ACP Kayode Ayilara who had earlier arrived the scene urged the officers to suspend the protest saying it is embarrassing seeing them protesting in uniform.