Threat by junior officers of the Nigeria police to embark on strike over salary increase beginning from March 25 appear to have jolted the high command of the Force after initial repeated denials of such planned industrial action.
This is as senior commanders have responded by assuring the junior officers of a positive response by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Usman Alkali Baba, who has now agreed to effect the 20 per cent increase demanded by the lower cadre personnel.
Addressing the Ebonyi State Police Command, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of Zone 9, Umuahia, Isaac Akinmoyede urged the policemen not to embark on strike and remain committed to their duties.
He disclosed that the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba has ordered the computation of the new salary structure and its immediate payment.
“Efforts are being made to better their welfare. Already, the Inspector General of Police has ordered that the computation of the salary increase should be made and it should be paid immediately.
“Apart from that, there are other things the IGP has done in order to improve the welfare of the police; talk of the housing policy, it has been improved, talk of social media policy, talk of gender policy, talk of model police stations that he has started constructing.
“So, all these things are the things the Inspector-General of Police and the management team are doing to make the members of the force happy. Not quite long, vehicles were distributed to all the commands across the country. So, as time progresses, the force will continue to access the needs of the police and see how those things are satisfied,” he said.
On his part, while delivering a lecture to police officers and men of Ogun and Lagos States, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone ‘2’ Command, AIG Adeyinka Adeleke, appealed to officers to be calm, law-abiding, steer clear of mutinous action,.
AIG Adeleke told the officers during the lecture at the Zone ‘2’ police headquarters, Onikan, Lagos, that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, had put measures in place to ensure that policemen are comfortable, and he is seeing to the review of death benefits, as well as welfare issues including salary increment, pension, kits, and others.
According to AIG Adeleke, the IGP has accelerated efforts to ensure the full implementation of the increment of salaries and allowances proposed by the President and approved by the Federal Executive Council, even as he continues to deliver on the provision of kits, accoutrements, body armour, the cooperative society’s housing scheme, the renovation of training schools, upgrade of police training curriculum, procurement, and deployment of technology to boost ICT-driven policing.
The IGP had earlier assured that the welfare of officers and ranks in the Nigeria Police were being given paramount attention, promising that the proposed new salary would be implemented soon.
It would be recalled that a group representing junior officers recently served a notice threatening that the police will go on a 2-week strike on March 26 over salary increment approved by President Muhammadu Buhari which they claimed, has yet to be implemented by the Federal Government.