Policemen paralyse activities in Yola to a halt as they protest the non-payment of salary arrears

HUNDREDS of men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) shut down the Adamawa State capital Yola yesterday as they demanded the immediate payment of their two-month salary arrears.


In an angry protest, the policemen, took over the premises of the Micro-Finance Bank in Yola where they are normally paid. Dressed in mufti to avoid identification, the policemen stormed the bank in the early hours of the day, demanding their money to settle medical bills.


According to eyewitnesses, the aggrieved policemen of various ranks, appealed to the federal government to intervene in the matter, saying their families were dying of hunger. Haruna Yusuf, the Yola manager of the NPF Micro Finance Bank, said the police authorities had not remitted funds meant for the payment of salaries of the affected policemen.


He added that the police command in the state informed him that the funds were with the Budget Office, Force Headquarters, Abuja, awaiting approval. According to the manager, there is nothing the bank can do until the funds are remitted.


Mr Yusuf said: “I am just from the state Police Headquarters, Yola, where I was informed that the funds meant for payment of the affected policemen are still with the Budget Office of police headquarters in Abuja. As soon as the funds are made available to the bank, they will start getting their alert."


Like all other Nigerian civil servants, policemen are regularly owed salary arrears. However, they are a bit luckier than most as they are employed by the federal government, which is not as cash strapped as Nigeria's 36 states.