James Sowole in Akure and Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
Protesting non-payment of their allowances 48 hours after the governorship election in Ondo State, some police officers deployed in the state monday took to the streets of Ondo town.
During the protest which took place in Funbi-Fagun area of the ancient town, the protesting cops comprising the regular and mobile officers, barricaded the popular Ondo/Ile-Ife Expressway with the patrol vehicles used for the election, causing a traffic logjam on the highway for several hours.
Motorists were stranded on the expressway for several hours while some motorists had to take alternative routes in the town to get to their various destinations.
The protesters vowed to block movement of vehicles in the area until their allowances are bring paid.
The protesters, who spoke under condition of anonymity, alleged that some high-ranked officers in the police denied them their allowances, which according to them, made them stranded after the election had been concluded.
“They refused to pay our allowances after the election, we all believed 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 realize that they were the one encouraging corruption in this country”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr. Femi Joseph denied protest by any policeman in the state.
Joseph said what was termed a protest was that it was the senior officer that was addressing the junior ones in Ondo for performing successfully well during the last Saturday’s election and in such a situation they may be shouting for joy and so some people thought it was a protest.
However, the police have debunked the allegation
In a statement made available to the media in Abuja, and signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Donald Awunah, said the allowance for police officers are being paid.
The statement read: “The attention of the of the Nigeria Police Force, has been drawn to a report by an online medium with captioned “Breaking: Policemen on rampage in Ondo” protesting non-payment of their last Saturday Governorship election allowance.
“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 election are being paid.”
According to the statement, the payments were done through the banks into the accounts numbers submitted by the personnel in compliance with the policy of government through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to ensure transparency and accountability.
The statement added that payments commenced few days to the election and most of the personnel confirmed receipt of payment alerts into their accounts before the election.
However, it said personnel who submitted incomplete accounts details and moribund accounts numbers have been rectified and they have started receiving their money.
“The report is entirely false and misleading, the members of the public are implored to discountenance and disregard it as no Police man went on rampage or protest on the street in Ondo town over non payment of the election allowance. “