Adelani Adepegba and Peter Dada
Forty-eight hours after the governorship election in Ondo State, some policemen deployed in the state on Monday took to the street of Ondo town to protest against non-payment of their allowances.
During the protest, which took place in the Funbi-Fagun area of the ancient town, the protesting officers, which comprised the regular and riot policemen, barricaded the popular Ondo-Ile-Ife Expressway with the patrol vehicles used for the election, causing gridlock on the highway for several hours.
The protesters vowed to block movement of vehicles in the area until their allowances were paid.
Some of the police officers, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, alleged that some high-ranking officers in the police denied them their allowances, which led to their being stranded after the election had been concluded.
One of them said, “They refused to pay our allowances after the election. We believe that the money was released by the Federal Government to our Oga at the top, but they refused to release the money to us. We will cause trouble and made them realise that they were the ones encouraging corruption in this country.”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr. Femi Joseph, said there was no protest among the police officers in the state.
He said, “There was no protest anywhere, it was the senior officer that was praising the junior ones in Ondo for performing well during the last Saturday’s election and in such a situation, they might be shouting for joy and some people thought it was a protest.”
Also, the police management denied that the policemen protested against non-payment of their allowances.
The Force spokesman, Donald Awunah, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said all the personnel that participated in the election “are being paid.”
He added that the payments were being done through the bank accounts submitted by the policemen in compliance with the policy of the Federal Government on Treasury Single Account to ensure transparency and accountability.
He noted that payments commenced a few days to the election.
Awunah said, “The Nigeria Police Force wishes to categorically state that the allowances for the officers and men of the Force that participated in the security operations for the Ondo election are being paid.
“The payments were done through the banks into the account numbers submitted by the personnel in compliance with the policy of the Federal Government on the Treasury Single Account to ensure transparency and accountability.
“The payments commenced a few days to the election and most of the personnel confirmed receipt of payment into their accounts before the election.”
He added that personnel, who submitted incomplete account details and moribund account numbers, had started receiving their money.
He stated that the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations, who supervised the election, was still in Ondo State.
“The report of protest is misleading; the members of the public are implored to discountenance it as no policeman protested against non-payment of the election allowance,” the statement said.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
The post Ondo poll: Policemen protest unpaid allowances appeared first on Punch Newspapers.