Police constables in Osun State on Wednesday made passionate appeal to the police authority to offset salary arrears owed them to enable them meet the financial needs of their families.
They bemoaned that due to their inability to meet financial responsibilities at their homes that commercial motorcycle operators, otherwise known as Okada riders, have been snatching their wives.
The constables stated this while protesting months of unpaid salaries in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, on Wednesday.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards during the protest read: ‘Okada riders are sleeping with our wives; pay our salaries now; pay us our 18-months salary; pay us our stipends and allowances now’.
They were said to have been recruited to complement the police structure in the state by providing intelligence, and were inaugurated in May 2021, at Police Headquarters, Osun State, after their training in April 2021.
Dressed in their police uniform, they converged at Osogbo Grammar School area and marched through Oke-Fia, Alekuwodo before they stormed the Ola-Iya flyover to register their grievances.
Constable Tijani Adewale, who spoke during the protest, said they have remained committed to their duties despite not being paid salaries.
According to him, three of their colleagues have lost their lives in the course of discharging their duties.
He also lamented that Okada riders have been snatching their wives because of their inability to discharge their family financial obligations.
Adewale said, “We have gone to the local government, met with lawmakers and dignitaries in the state, yet no positive result. We lost three persons in Ikire and one in Iree. These people died in the course of discharging their duties.
“We are very dutiful, even though we have not been paid a dime. Due to unpaid allowances, tricycle and Okada riders have snatched our wives because of our inability to take care of them.“
The protesting constables were later addressed by the state Police Commissioner, Olawale Olokode, at the Ola-Iya bridge.
The commissioner, while ordering them to stop the protest, assured that the concerned authority would intervene in their matter.
“You are embarrassing the force with your protest; you should have channelled your grievances to the appropriate quarters. You are disturbing public peace with your protests. As long as you are wearing this uniform, we expect you to maintain high discipline as a force man,” Olokode told them.