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Melaye Slams IGP, Presidency Over Non-Payment of Officers' Allowances

Senator Dino Melaye at the Senate Chambers

Controversial Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye has taken a swipe at the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Presidency for refusing to pay police officers allowances, which led to protest by some officers in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Monday.

Melaye said the explanation offered by the Borno state Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu as reason for delay of the officers allowances was not tenable.

Damian Chukwu, the Commissioner of Police in Borno State, was reported to have said that the delay in the payment of the policemen’s allowances might not be unconnected with the late passage of the 2018 Budget.

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But in a statement personally signed Mr. Melaye on Monday, the senator described the widely reported police protest in Maiduguri as unusual, suggesting that the protest was a nemesis for the police.

"It is no longer news that an unusual incident happened on Monday, July 2, 2018 in Maiduguri. Unusual because people we always see - Policemen - being deployed to prevent peaceful assembly and legitimate protests by Nigerians (or in rare cases assigned to provide security for privileged groups, who stage solidarity rallies) resorted to the same method to vent their anger over five months of unpaid salaries.

"This excuse, in my view, is not tenable for the following two reasons and others", the controversial senator said.

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He argued that the purported reason for withholding police officers' allowances can not be supported with any evidence as there was budgetary allocation for the payment.

"The Executive arm of government is allowed to spend money to the tune of what was appropriated in the previous year under the same budget line for the first six months of a new budget year. Whereas the protesters claim was that they haven't been paid for five months, which means since February 2018.

"There must, therefore, be a different reason why these policemen where not paid other than the purported delay in passing the 2018 budget.

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" Obviously, other agents of government, such as Ministers, Civil Servants and the Inspector-General of Police for instance, have been drawing their allowances within the same timeframe without the budget delay being an hinderance, which gives proof that the excuse offered is nothing but a cover-up for glaring mal-administration", Senator Melaye argued.

He challenged the police authorities and the Presidency shun excuses and blame game and pay the officers risking their lives daily to keep the nation safe and secured.

"It is therefore an act of wickedness to use the excuse of delayed passage of the 2018 budget to deprive these valiant men sent to face death on behalf of all of us and for our collective security, of their legitimate entitlements.

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"After all, it is on record, that the IGP when ordered by his Commander-in-Chief to relocate to Benue State in order to effectively deal with issues of insecurity in that state earlier this year, flagrantly refused to comply.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the 2018 budget was delayed because some Ministers and Heads of Parastatals failed to come before relevant Committees of the National Assembly to defend their budget proposals in good time until Mr. President gave a directive to compel them to do.

"May I, therefore, suggest that the Executive arm of government stop passing the buck and faces its duties of administering Nigeria properly.

"No incident of this nature in Borno be allowed to repeat itself, as it is not only an embarrassment to the entire nation, but further put our floundering security at risk", the statement by Senator Melaye read.

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