From Ben Dunno, Warri
The National President of the Committee For Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Dr Kehinde Taiga, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to commence the payment of the new police salary structures that he recently approved.
Making this call in a statement made available to reporters in Warri, Taiga noted that further delay by AGF to implement the new police salary scale would aggravate the already tense atmosphere in the country as the youths would always see the need to protest as police harassment of innocent citizens continued.
He noted that since one of the demands of the #EndSARS protest over a year ago was for the government to look into the welfare of the police officers that prompted President Buhari to review and approve a new salary scale for the force, the prolonged delay in its implementation shows lack of seriousness by the government.
He noted that the present police salary structure was not enough to feed their families, talkless of sending their children to higher institutions, adding that they make such huge sacrifices to the detriment of their lives while the politicians who flat in their comfort zones were making billionaires even within four years of their being in office.
‘A police officer that had put in 35 years of his life in the service of protecting citizens cannot even build a house of two bedroom flat but a politician who was elected into office for a short period of four years would have acquired big houses in high brow areas from the corrupt practices they engaged themselves while in office,’ he lamented.
‘Consequently, the CDHR condemned in strong terms the delay in implementation of new police salary structure recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, by the Accountant General Of the Federation (AGF) and we hereby request the President to order AGF to commence its implementation without further delay.’
According to Taiga, ‘this call by our members has become very critical at the point considering the tensed atmosphere in our society today and the fact that the masses, especially the youths are not particularly happy that a year after their demands over the #EndSARS protest was presented to the federal government, none of the demands had been met.
‘If you look around you today, you will discover those major issues that prompted the #EndSARS protest, especially police extortions, harassment of innocent citizens, unlawful detention of suspects and bribery are still very much prevalent in the society and this would only continue to aggravate the youths.
‘We don’t want to continue to justify the police action over poor remunerations and that is why we are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, who has also seen the need to improve the salary structure of the police by reviewing and approving a new salary scale to order the AGF to commence its implementation without further delay.
‘By the time this new structure takes effect, then we can begin to hold the police liable for any unlawful behaviour or indiscipline actions, as we will always be around to remind the officers and men of the sacrifice made by the masses for them to earn what they are earning in the new salary scale,’ he stated.