The police special constabularies in Osun State, on Wednesday, staged a peaceful protest over the non-payment of 18 months’ salary.
The constables gathered at Oke Fia roundabout and moved through Alekuwodo to the Olaiya areas of Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
They were dressed in police uniforms and carried placards with various inscriptions sucha as “Pay us now,” “We’re dying,” We’re hungry,” “18 months no kobo,” “Okada riders are sleeping with our wives,” among others.
Some of the protesters told newsmen that their “wives have been snatched because of their inability to provide for their families.”
The constabularies said they were committed to their duties despite being owed 18 months salaries.
One of the aggrieved constabularies, Adewale Tijani, said three of his colleagues have lost their lives in the course of discharging their duties.
“We lost three persons in Ikire and one in Iree. These people died in the course of discharging their duty.
“We are very dutiful despite the fact that we have not been paid a dime. Due to unpaid allowances, tricycle and Okada riders have snatched our wives because of inability to take care of them.
“We have gone to the local government, honourables, and dignitaries and yet nothing is done,” he said.
Ibrahim Adenekan, a father of two, said he could not take care of his family because he had not been paid for 18 months.
“I have two children and a wife. I have not been able to provide for their needs since I started working. What is the essence of working? They should just pay our money, that is what we want,” he said.
Another constabulary, who preferred not to be named, said he escaped death when a gang of armed robbers attacked him and his colleagues.
“We are dying. We spent so much at the College. I have children but it’s 18 months now since I have not been paid.
“Four of us have been killed by armed robbers during attacks in Ikire, Iragbiji, and others. We want our money,” he said.
Reacting, the state Commissioner of Police, Adewale Olokode, who addressed the constabularies, urged them to send their grievances through appropriate channels rather than staging a protest.
“You are embarrassing the force with your protest, you should have channeled your grievances to the appropriate quarters. It’s just like you are disturbing public peace with your protests.
“As far as you are wearing this uniform, we expect you to maintain a high level of discipline as a force man,” he said
The Osun State Police Command spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, in a statement issued after the protest, said that police authorities are in a meeting with the constabularies to resolve the crisis.