Despite the attack on their stations by thugs in the wake of the nationwide #EndSARS protest, some policemen in Ondo State have called for an improvement in their welfare especially their remuneration.
Miscreants took advantage of the peaceful protest across the country to destroy both public and private properties.
In Ondo, no fewer than three police stations were set on fire by the miscreants.
Two officers were also killed during the chaos.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, some of policemen hinted that they have created makeshift office pending the renovation of their stations by police authorities.
They, however, said they could no longer cope with the job due to “poor remuneration and low morale”.
One of the policemen, who simply identified himself as Omogbola in one of the affected police stations, said the biggest misfortune for any officer is the low wages being paid as salaries to them by government.
He explained how many policemen have been taking loans from financial institutions to meet their needs due to low pay.
He said, “Yet, they expect us to secure the life and properties of the people mostly at night when these criminals move about looking for whom to devour.
“I’m even ashamed to tell you how much I earn as a constable and I have three children who are in school. I pay their bills. So, our welfare is more important than anything else and the government needs to look into it.
“Aside from being poorly renumerated while in active service, even in retirement, we don’t fare any better. That is why you see some officers amassing wealth tby shielding harden criminals.”
Another policeman, Inspector James, also explained that the best way for the government to encourage them to be more efficient is to review their salaries and allowances.
He said many policemen returning to their duty posts after the protest were groaning over lack of adequate welfare.
“What is on the ground goes beyond the issue of our burnt stations, it is about our welfare and allowances. How much do I earn per month that I would now risk my life to chase after hoodlums or criminals?
“The Federal Government is not helping us at all. As policemen, we are also suffering. When you sleep at night, we are awake to ensure your life and properties are safe. Yet, we are not being treated well,” he said.
Commissioner of Police in Ondo State, Bolaji Salami, encouraged policemen to do their work deligently regardless of the issues on the ground.
He said, “I am telling every officer in the command to return fully to their duty post, be more tolerant and more professional than they were so that this negative rating will fall precipitously.”
SaharaReporters, New York