More than 15,000 police officers have threatened to either go on strike or disrupt the March 28 and April 11 general elections.
They were made up of officers who were promoted from the rank of sergeant to the rank of inspector and those promoted from the rank of inspector to the rank of assistant superintendent of police in December 2013.
The policemen, according to seven of them who met with a Punch correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, said that they were promoted since December 2013, but that the police authorities had refused to pay them their new salaries.
They said that after waiting for the police authorities for over a year, they were surprised that they were paid their new salaries with the January 2015 salaries, wondering why the money meant for the 13 month was not included.
One of them said, “We were promoted in December 2013 and the letters which were given to us indicated that we were to enjoy the benefits accruing to our new rank from the date of our promotion.
“We waited to be paid throughout last year, which was 2014. They didn’t pay us, saying that the money was not yet released.
“In January this year, they paid us the new salary that was commensurate with our new ranks. But they have refused to pay the areas for the 13 month.”
Another officer, who is an ASP, said, “We know that there is corruption in the Force, but how can someone sit on our 13th month salaries and would expect us to keep quiet?
“Elections are coming. They said we should be neutral. How can we be neutral when we are being shortchanged by our bosses and the country?
“We want to be paid or else there would be crisis during the elections. This is the time for us to shout so that Nigerians would know what we are passing through.”
When contacted by one of our correspondents, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, said though he had not been briefed about the issue, he nevertheless promised that their grievances would be looked into and addressed.
“I have not heard of the report, but we will look into their grievances and address them,” he said.
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