Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Dino Melaye, has said the recent police protest in Borno State was not just an embarrassment to the country but has further put the countryâ€™s floundering security at risk.
Melaye, representing Kogi West senatorial district of Kogi State, made this known wednesday in a statement issued in Lokoja, the state capital.
According to him, the incident was unusual because policemen, who are deployed to prevent peaceful assembly and legitimate protests by Nigerians, resorted to the same method to vent their anger over unpaid five monthsâ€™ allowances.
He said the excuse given by the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Damian Chukwu, that the delay in the payment of the allowances might not be unconnected with the late passage of the 2018 Budget was not tenable.
He posited that the executive arm of government was allowed to spend money to the tune of what was appropriated in the previous year under the same budget line for the first six months of a new budget year. Whereas the protesters claim was that they havenâ€™t been paid for five months, which means since February 2018.
â€œThere must, therefore, be a different reason why these policemen were not paid other than the purported delay in passing the 2018 budget.
â€œObviously, other agents of government, such as ministers, civil servants and the Inspector-General of Police (IG) for instance, have been drawing their allowances within the same timeframe without the budget delay being a hindrance, which gives proof that the excuse offered is nothing but a cover-up for glaring mal-administration.
â€œIt is therefore an act of wickedness to use the excuse of delayed passage of the 2018 budget to deprive these valiant men sent to face death, on behalf of all of us and for our collective security, of their legitimate entitlements,â€ Melaye said.
The senator further mentioned that it was on record that of Police IG, Ibrahim Idris, when ordered by his Commander-in-Chief to relocate to Benue State in order to effectively deal with issues of insecurity in that state earlier this year, flagrantly refused to comply.
He said: â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, the 2018 budget was delayed because some ministers and Heads of Parastatals failed to come before relevant committees of the National Assembly to defend their budget proposals in good time until the president gave a directive to compel them to do.â€
Melaye, therefore, suggested that the executive arm of government should stop passing the buck and faces its duties of administering Nigeria properly.