Special police officers protest against non-payment of salaries in Kwara

Youths recruited as special constables in the Nigeria Police Force to maintain security in local government areas in Kwara State staged a peaceful protest on Saturday against the non-payment of 16 months salary owed to them.

The Special Constables, numbering around 1,056, demonstrated in strategic areas of Ilorin such as Challenge, Post Office and Ahmadu Bello Way, saying, “Kwara State Government, pay us our salaries for 18 month “.

Some of the protesters, dressed in black police uniforms, covered themselves in leaves as they marched through the streets, while the protest went viral on social media.

Speaking on the development, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Okasanmi Ajayi on behalf of State Police Commissioner Assayomo on Tuesday said
that the concept of community policing and the recruitment of special constables is voluntary in nature, “which means that they are not paid monthly like conventional police officers”.

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The statement read: “The Kwara State Police Command wishes to dissociate itself from a video which is already spiraling on Facebook, regarding a protest by some alleged police officers over the non-payment of a year’s salary.

“For clarification, the characters seen in the video are special police constables recruited to supplement the operation of community policing. It is important to specify that the concept of community policing and the recruitment of special constables is voluntary in nature, which means that they are not paid monthly like conventional police officers. As much as the constabularies were informed before taking the job, moreover, the job is not a full-time job.

“Because of Constables’ complaints about non-payment of allowances by the State Government, the Constables were invited to a meeting by the State Government on ways in which their complaints could be investigated, to where their invitation to the government house today.

“It was surprising that the same group of constables after meeting with state government agents could go online with a video claiming that the government owed them salaries for a year.

“Kwara State Commissioner of Police, CP Tuesday Assayomo psc (+) wishes to state categorically that the police owe no salary to any policeman or woman, nor do the police owe the salary of constables specials.

“Therefore, members of the public are advised to disregard the viral video as it was designed to embarrass the police and also to attract undue sympathy from the public.

“The men and women of the special gendarmerie are free to honorably disengage from service if they wish.”

Contacted for a reaction, the State Commissioner for Communications, Mr Olabode Towoju, said the police officers should be taken care of by local governments in the state.

“The gendarmes are not directly paid by the state government. They are taken care of by the local governments which pay them their allowances.