*Police and other Security Operatives must be accorded the right to be unionised and belong to political parties of their choice towards an adequate defence of their democratic and economic rights
The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN supports and endorses the peaceful protest embarked upon on Monday, 2 July, 2018 by hundreds of mobile police officers who were sent on special operation to Maiduguri, Borno State to demand from President Buhari/APC-led Federal government the payment of their six months unpaid allowance. SPN condemns the non-payment of the officers’ allowances; demands an immediate and unconditional payment of their 6 months unpaid allowance and holds that their protest is just and lawful. This is to sound a note of caution of any disciplinary measure against any officer for whatever role he/she might have played in the course of the protest.
According to a media report, the entire city of Maiduguri, the Borno State was thrown into a huge state of commotion in the early hours on Monday, 2 July, 2018 as fully armed mobile police officers marched in their hundreds on the Borno State police headquarters highway which was barricaded while the motorist and commuters were scared away by the sporadic shooting by the protesting officers.
SPN sympathises with the plight of the aggrieved mobile policemen and maintains that the Buhari/APC-led federal government has no justification to owe any of these officers a month allowance let alone six months. Recently, a whopping sum US$1billion was approved by the federal government Surprisingly, Buhari-led government prioriotises procurement of military equipment and ammunitions while the working and welfare condition of police officers are largely undermined.
It is in this context, the protest embarked upon by these police officers is justified and worthy of the support of every change seeking Nigerians.
We call on President Buhari-led government to immediately meet the demands of the protesting officers which include payment of backlog of the unpaid allowance and setup an independent panel of enquiry that comprises of elected representative of workers union NLC and TUC as well as professional association like NBA, NMA and ASUU to investigate the cause of the non-payment of allowances as well as how the approved US$1billion itself was spent.
However, the fact that these officers on special operation in the North East could be owed six months allowance side by side a deplorable working and living condition despite the approval of a huge sum of US$1billion for the purpose of fighting boko haram insurgency has further make a mockery of fight against insecurity of the President Buhari-led government. It also reflects a glimpse of the prevalence of inhuman treatment under which rank and file police and other uniform personnel across the country groan. It is in the consideration of this couple with the aspiration of our party that the police and other armed forces have dependable platform through which they can also defend and advance their economic and political rights that SPN advocates the rights of rank and file police and armed forces to be unionised up to the extent of embarking on strike and belong to political parties of their choice.
Abiodun Bamigboye Chinedu Bosah
Acting National Chairperson National Secretary