Contrary to claims by police authorities that stories about an impending strike by junior police officers were fake, a document made available to PREMIUM TIMES shows that the junior officers were, indeed, planning an industrial action.
The police wireless message seen by this newspaper, titled ‘Purported strike by members of rank and file,’ noted an impending strike by the junior officers over the non-implementation of the new police salary structure, failure in providing “sophisticated weapons” to fight crime, and poor general welfare of police officers.
The document said the Inspector-General of Police had since directed the immediate computation of salary under the new structure and tax relief/exemption for officers for immediate implementation.
It further said that the distribution of kits and other accountrements had been initiated and concluded by the Force Headquarters.
Police authorities on Monday attempted to debunk stories that the officials were planning to down tools, describing the reports as “fake news.”
“The Nigeria Police Force wishes to state unequivocally that the alleged publication is fake and a mischievous attempt by unscrupulous individuals to bring the Force to disrepute, misinform the general public, and heat up the polity,” Muyiwa Adejobi, the police spokesperson, said in a statement.
But the police wireless message dated March 15, 2022, showed that the police authorities were, indeed, aware of the plans of the junior officers
The signal, with reference number, CB: 4001/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/Vol, directed all Assistant Inspector-Generals and Commissioners of Police to embark on enlightenment campaign within their areas of responsibilities.
“You are to implore all serving members to exercise caution at these trying times and intimate them Force management team is making robust efforts to improve the general welfare of policemen across board.”
The message urged the officers to avoid all mutinous matters that would further damage “our already bad image.”
It mandated all Assistant Inspector-Generals and Commissioners of Police to “treat as very important and acknowledge receipt by return signal please.”
The last time the police went on strike was under President Olusegun Obasanjo, an action that led to the removal of the then Inspector-General of Police, Musiliu Smith.
Mr. Smith was appointed on May 29, 1999, and was relieved of his duties on February 2, 2002. He is currently the chairman of the Police Service Commission.
This article is a republished article from Premium Times