Conflicting reports from the police have emerged after some police officers staged a protest over the non-payment of their special duty allowances for about five months in Borno State, Channels television has reported.
The personnel, who stormed the streets of Maiduguri on Monday, barricaded major roads around the Police Headquarters in the state.
They also claimed that they have not been provided with accommodation, among other basic needs while some residents said the protesters fired some gunshots during the demonstration which lasted for about three hours.
Confirming incident in a text message, the Police Commissioner in Borno, Mr Damian Chukwu, said, “We woke up this morning to experience a protest at State HQ gate by visiting PMF men in Borno State over unpaid special duty allowances for 5 months running.
“We are making efforts to pacify them &and to assure them of their payments of entitlements soonest.”
But the Force Headquarters in Abuja countered the report, saying it was incorrect that police personnel staged a protest in Maiduguri.
The Force Public Relations Officers, Jimoh Moshood, noted in a statement that the personnel on special duty in Maiduguri went to the Command Headquarters to enquire about the delay in the payment of their special duty allowance.
He disclosed that the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, promptly directed the Borno Police Commissioner to address the issue and explain to them why there was a delay in the payment of their allowances.
Moshood added that the personnel were assured that since the budget has been approved, the allowances would be expeditiously processed and paid without any further delay while they subsequently returned to their duty posts.
He said the IGP also ordered the Commissioner of Police, Police Mobile Force (PMF) to proceed to Borno and other states in the North-east where PMF personnel were deployed on special duty with a similar directive.
“The Police Mobile Force personnel that went on the enquiry are not those attached to Operation Lafiya Dole in the fight against insurgency in the North-east, but those on the category of visiting Police Mobile Force units deployed in Maiduguri on Crime Prevention and other Police duties in the State,” the statement said.
The Force spokesman further urged Nigerians, especially the residents in Borno to go about their lawful duties and other responsibilities without fear or apprehension.
According to him, the Nigeria Police Force is a disciplined organisation and will not allow any situation to degenerate into disturbance of public peace anywhere in the country.
Consequently, the Police Command in the state affirmed the position of the Force Headquarters in a statement by its spokesman, Edet Okon.
Okon added that the Borno State Government has intervened in the matter and pledged to assist in improving the condition of the visiting PMF personnel.