Riot policemen in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday staged a protest over non-payment of their five months allowances.
They barricaded the command headquarters located on Maiduguri-Kano expressway, shot sporadically into the air while singing and marching.
The riot Policemen, who have bee on Special Duty working with the Joint Task Force (JTF), disrupted traffic during the protest.
Borno State Police Commissioner Damian Chukwu said he was making frantic efforts to pacify them adding that the the issue would soon be resolved with the signing of the 2018 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “We woke up this morning to experience a protest at the State headquearters gate by visiting PMF men in Borno State over unpaid special duty allowances for five months running.
“We are making efforts to pacify them and to assure them of their payment of entitlemnts soonest especially now that the Federal Government budget issues are being fast resolved by the Federal Government,”
The CP appealed that steps be urgently taken to proffer a lasting solution to the problem.
One of protesting policemen, who pleaded anonymity, said they were angry over non-payment of their allowances in the last six months.
“About 10, 000 mobile policemen were deployed to the state from different commands but we have not received our allowances in the past six months.
“We have been facing hardships as a result of the non-payment of the allowances. We have made several complaints but nobody listened to us,” the aggrieved policeman said.
Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was seen heading towards the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, at the presidential Villa, Abuja.
A source at the Presidential Villa, who preferred to remain anonymous, told NAN that the IGP was in the villa to brief the Presidency on the police protest.
Spokesman of the Police Jimoh Moshood, said its personnel seen blocking Borno headquarters in Maiduguri, were not staging a protest, but were merely complaining over the delay in paying their special duty allowances.
In a statement in Abuja, Moshood said: ‘The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to media report that Policemen protested in Maiduguri over non-payment of their Special Duty Allowance.
“The Force wish to categorically state that it is not correct that police personnel protested in Maiduguri today, 2nd July, 2018.
“Some of the Police Mobile Force personnel on Special Duty in Maiduguri went to the Borno State Police Command Headquarters on enquiry over the delay in the payment of their special duty allowance in the early hours of today and not on protest as reported in some media.
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris promptly directed the Commissioner of Police, Borno State to address and inform them why there is delay in the payment of their special duty allowance, and also assure them that since the budget has been approved, the allowances will be expeditiously processed and paid without any further delay. They subsequently returned to their duty posts.
“Consequently, the IGP has ordered the Commissioner of Police, Police Mobile Force (PMF) to proceed to Maiduguri, Borno State and other States in the North East where PMF personnel are deployed on special duty; to lecture and inform them on the efforts being made by the Force to ensure timely payment of special duty and other allowances to police personnel in the North East of the country.
“The Police Mobile Force personnel that went on the enquiry are not those attached to Operation Lafiya Dole in the fight against insurgency in the North East but those on the category of visiting Police Mobile Force units deployed in Maiduguri on Crime Prevention and other Police duties in the State.
“The Nigeria Police Force is a disciplined organization and will not allow any situation to degenerate into disturbance of Public Peace anywhere in the country”.