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Police Strike: Musing the mistakes of the masterminds of the mutiny

Police Strike: Musing the mistakes of the masterminds of the mutiny

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Police Strike: Musing the mistakes of the masterminds of the mutiny

By Bala Ibrahi

It is no longer news that a move is being made by an aggrieved arm of the rank and file in the Nigeria Police, to embark on strike, the same day members of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), are billed to gather in Abuja for their national convention.

But according to a police wireless message, titled, ‘Purported strike by members of the rank and file, the police leadership had taken measures to quench the stimulus of the strike.

The impending strike as stated in the leaked letter from the masterminds, is sequel to the non-implementation of the new police salary structure and some issues that have to do with the general welfare of police officers.

Through an open letter addressed to the Inspector General, the men said they would not accept any pay rise below N100,000 monthly, decrying that, a Level 3 officer of the EFCC, reportedly receives N280,000 monthly, while a constable receives just N45,700 per month.

They also said that a Level 8 officer of the EFCC goes home with over N490,000 every month, but an Inspector of police, with many years of experience, is being paid N109,200 as monthly salary, wondering why they were being treated like slaves, even when they protect other people’s lives, with their own lives.

As a result, they said, the strike, which was long overdue, had now become an option, due to what they called, the “lackadaisical attitude of the police authorities in representing us before the Federal Government.”

Germane as these reasons are, the method of passing the message, and the means for the materialization of the goal or objective, are collectively defective, because unlike trade unions, the police is an outfit that is regimented, or strictly organized and controlled.

Starting from discipline, where they were trained to obey rules or a code of behaviour, with punishment to correct disobedience, masterminds of the strike must see their action as a goof, that can be turned into something sinister or even ominous, by targeting the day the President and members of the party in power would be meeting in one place, to coincide with the day of their strike.

One needs not be a criminologist to arrive at the conclusion of an intention to create a cool cover or climate for a coup. Attempt to discomfort the President and commander in chief, is clearly in conflict with the training of discipline and the core code of regimented behaviour.

The timing of the strike also corresponds with when the Department of State Services (DSS), is alerting the public of plans by some persons to cause violence in parts of the country.

According to a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the service, Dr. Peter Afunanya, the aim is to cause ethno-religious crisis, ignite reprisals and heat up the polity.

The agency said there was a plot to use students, striking University teachers, labour unions, disgruntled individuals and strategic groups as well as exploit the global energy situation to carry out a mass protest like the ENDSARS.

The media has also widely reported the story that three serving governors in the country are under watch, over their alleged plot to incite violence that may engulf the northern part of the country.

The report said the three governors, who are in their final term of office, are drawn from the North East, North Central and the South-South geopolitical zones of the country, and that they met in a secret location and mapped out their plan to stage a nationwide protest that would bring the nation to its knees, with a view to making Nigerians kick against the current administration and force a change.

Force a change?

As police officers, the masterminds of the mutiny know better than me, that forcing a change is a COUP. And in a coup, it is the military, paramilitary, or opposing political faction that deposes the serving government.

Although the masterminds have chosen to play the masquerade, by hiding their identities, knowingly or unknowingly, an activist, Deji Adeyanju, the former Head of New Media for the opposition PDP, had announced on his verified Facebook page, that he would join the police in the mutiny.

“I will be joining the Nigerian police in their strike action. Our security agents deserve better pay and treatment. Solidarity forever,”- Deji Adeyanju.

If Deji doesn’t know the consequences of participating in a coup, trained police operatives can not lay claim to such ignorance, I suppose.

Although the police had discredited the news of the planned strike, calling it a mischievous attempt by unscrupulous individuals to bring the Force to disrepute, it’s evident that IGP Alkali Usman Baba is not treating the matter with kids gloves.

The IGP is making serious efforts to ensure the full implementation of the increment of salaries and allowances proposed by PMB, and has instructed senior officers to address other officers under their control.

Already many senior officers have acted in accordance with the IGP’s directive, including AIG Umar Muri, the AIG in charge of zone 13, who announced the concerns of the IGP to officers and men of the Force, while on a visit to Umuahia, Abia state.

Police Strike: Musing the mistakes of the masterminds of the mutiny

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