Some junior officers in the Nigeria Police Force have vowed to go ahead with a planned protest on March 26.
The protest scheduled to take place at the Eagles Square in Abuja, will see policemen making a host of demands including a raise in salaries, improvement in working conditions and welfare for the rank and file.
In a document referenced 4001/AJR/NPF/ABJ/Vol 7/188 addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, and seen by SaharaReporters, the aggrieved policemen said, "We are not happy at all. Strike is the only language Nigerian government understands.
"We, the junior officers, would stop going to our duty posts including those who are attached to politicians on and from the said date.
"Our demands include poor salaries, removal of police personnel from devilish contributory pension scheme, non-issuance of kits.
"We also want the government to address non-payment of duty tour allowances, non-payment of course allowances, poor barracks accommodation, non-promotion as at when due.
"Also, the National Housing fund scheme, they have been deducting N3,000 from our salaries for a long time."
A policeman, who confirmed the development, told SaharaReporters that their salaries could no longer cater for their needs.
He said, "I'm a senior sergeant due for my next rank, inspector. And like that for others that might have died and retired from the service but no access to the fund or a bedroom flat. It's a pitiful situation.
"A level 03 officer with EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) earns N280,000 monthly, while a police constable on the same level earns N45,700.
"An EFCC operative on grade level 08 will smile home with over N490,000 every month, while a police inspector on the same level earns N109,200.
"As a sergeant, my salary is N63,000 despite having a wife and three children in this harsh economy.
"The protest at Eagles Square on March 26 will go ahead by God's grace," the policeman said.
In a bid to have policemen back down on the planned protest, the IGP had earlier disclosed that the contentious salary increment would be paid with March salary.
The IGP also warned officers that strike action is tantamount to mutiny.
"The men and women of the Nigeria Police Force are fully aware that a strike action or other deliberate disruption of law enforcement services by any security organisation is mutinous and the personnel of the force would not degenerate at any point to that level of disloyalty and indiscipline, as policing services are paramount and essential in the maintenance of orderliness and peace in the nation," the IGP said in a statement by Acting Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, recently.
But despite those interventions, policemen have said they will go ahead with the planned industrial action to press home their demands.
SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK