Thursday, October 17, 2013

Policemen threaten strike over transfer to troubled states

Some policemen from the Imo State Police Command have vowed to go on strike over their redeployment to some crisis-ridden states in the North.

The aggrieved policemen who met in Benin, Edo State capital, said they would start the strike in November.

They were demanding the reversion of the mass transfer of officers numbering about 100 from the cadre of Inspectors, Assistant Superintendent of Police and Chief Superintendent of Police to the troubled areas in the North.

The officers alleged that their transfer, which they described as punitive, was the handiwork of the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, adding that some of them had remained on a rank for many years without promotion.

However, Police authorities have warned the affected officers to stop blackmailing the Force, saying that the redeployment would not be revisited or changed.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who was reacting to the threat of a strike by some policemen in Imo State Police Command, said that the Nigeria Police Force was a national organisation where police personnel could be deployed to serve in any part of the country.

Mba, while describing the
reported threat by the
policemen as a rumour, stated
that the same rumour was
peddled when some policemen
were transferred out of Lagos.

But Mba faulted the position of the protesting officers. He said that they could not choose where they would serve, noting that the policemen in the North had as much right as those in Imo State to serve in any part of the country.

"The Nigeria Police Force is a national police, not a state civil service or a state police force. The implication is that you can be asked to serve in any part of the country, and as a police officer, you don't have the right to choose where to serve or when to serve. It is a call to service. The benefits of being a police officer comes with the burden of discharging the responsibilities attached to being an officer and you can't choose the benefits and reject the responsibilities," he said.

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