Mobile policemen deployed to Benue State have lamented the non-payment of their allowances for seven months, since they were deployed from different parts of the country to stem the herdsmen-farmers clashes in the state.
Multiple sources, who spoke to SaharaReporters, decried the deplorable state the operatives are subjected to despite promises from the state and federal governments to pay them their dues promptly.
According to one of the sources, the Benue State Government promised to pay each policeman N1,000 per day as feeding allowance to complement the N30,000 allowance from the Federal Government. However, the state has reneged on its promise, while the Federal Government is said to have only paid once.
One of the mobile police officers, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the 17 units of mobile policemen were last paid their allowances in February.
Another officer, who preferred not to be named, for fear of victimisation said many of his colleagues carry out their duties on empty stomachs.
He said: “We die fighting for this country on empty stomachs, while some of us rely on local farmers for food and water.
“In Benue State right now, we have so far lost 22 mobile policemen within two months and two are still missing in action (MIA) after the clash with herdsmen. In March this year, 13 men from MOPOL 33 Ado Ekiti, were brutally massacred by herdsmen in Anyibe, Logo Local Government Area. Two weeks later, nine men from MOPOL 20 Lagos were also slaughtered by the same barbaric herdsmen near Yogbo in Guma LGA.”
He further stated that the dead officers had not been paid, neither had their families received any compensation for their losses.
However, the Public Relations Officer of Benue State Police Command, DSP Jeol Moses Yamu, denied the claim that the Federal Government owes the officers seven months allowances, stating instead that they are owed two months.
“That is not true. I am aware that they have not been paid for the past two months,” he said, adding that arrangements are ongoing to pay them their outstanding allowances.
“IGP Ibrahim Idris has assured the men through the CP Benue State of his administration’s concern for the welfare of the men,” he added.
He, however, declined to comment on the state allowance accruable to the officers, stating that “I am not a state government official, hence I cannot comment on that”.
When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, he also declined to comment on the issue. Efforts to reach the Special Adviser on Security were unsuccessful.