Officers of the Nigerian Traffic Warden Service have lamented the poor welfare conditions of service they are going through in the hands of police authorities.
They called on the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun to come to their aide by ensuring they are granted equal treatment with other police officers.
Speaking to our reporter, some of the officers who spoke on grounds of anonymity for fear of official backlash, noted that the Service is part and parcel of the Nigeria police Force.
“This is the stipulation of the decree No 21 of 1975, which established the traffic Warden service, charged with the responsibility of ensuring free flow of traffic on the highways, including Urban cities where traffic congestions are more experienced”, they said
According to them, the decree, stipulates that ‘Traffic Wardens shall be employed to discharge functions normally undertaken by police in connection with the control of, or the enforcement of the law relating to road traffic and shall in that connection act under the direction of police”.
They however lamented that since it’s establishment, the traffic Warden service has remained a toddler in the hand of the Nigeria police Force(NPF)due to neglects and marginalisation
“For instance, from 2007 till date,”traffic Wardens have not been recruited as required by the decree establishing it, which states that traffic Warden shall be appointed from time to time by the IGP.
“It is a known fact that traffic wardens are retiring on yearly bases, thereby, putting the population of serving traffic wardens nationwide to unimaginable deplorable measures.
“In some states of the federation, the numerical strength of traffic wardens presently,stand as follows:
Bauchi 91 personnel, Bayelsa 63, Benue 88, Borno 85, Ebonyi 57, Enugu 41, Imo 90, Jigawa 94, Kano 153, Katsina 89, Kogi 91, Kwara 89, Nasarawa 89, Niger 92, Plateau 83, Rivers 120 and Taraba 9″.
“The result of the under staffing is that untrained civilian volunteers parade themselves on the intra city roads to control traffic, thereby, causing more traffic jams and accidents”, they said.
They further alleged that in terms of promotions,traffic wardens are not in anyway carried along with their regular police counter parts as they suffer stagnation of ranks.
They lamented the non release of their promotions which was ordered on the 13th of June, 2023 by the former IGP Baba Alkali Usman prior to his retirement when he was made to aware that wardens were overdue for promotion.
According to the traffic wardens, who did not want their names on print, the ill treatment has made them victims of injustice and neglect by the police authority whose duty it is to nurture the warden service to the admiration of all.
They further alleged that the welfare of traffic Wardens seem not to be in the good book of the Police Authorities a situation which has subject them to psychological and emotional trauma, especially in the present economic downturn.
“Traffic wardens who were recruited in 1990 and 1992 respectively are still senior traffic wardens,(STW), that is inspector equivalent having spent thirty one and thirty three years respectively in service and had enjoyed only three promotions in their career.
“In contrast, their general duty junior counterparts that were enlisted in the year 2000 are now ASP’s and DSP’s respectively” they lamented.
They further stated that traffic wardens that were recruited in 2007 and 2008 respectively are still T/W G1 that is sergeant equivalent while their Juniors counterpart in general duty that were recruited in 2008 and 2009 are all confirmed inspectors.
They Traffic Wardens therefore appealed to the IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, National security adviser Malam Nuhu Ribadu, Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC) Dr Solomon Arase, Minister of Police Affairs Sen.Ibrahim Geidam, the National Assembly to intervene and salvage the the Traffic Warden Service.
They noted that such intervention will be in line with the renewed hope agenda of President,Bola Tinubu who wants to see a total overhaul and reformation of the Nigeria Police force for the good of Nigerians.
They pleaded with the committee on police reform set up by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to look at the deficiencies and loopholes in the police act, especially, section 59 and repeal it so that traffic Wardens would be made specialists.
They said this will also enable the changing of the name Traffic Warden Service with Traffic Police and bring the grade level in ranking to be equal with that of the General duty/other Specialists in the force.
The wardens however expressed optimism that the committee on police reform,will do the needful” as they are competent, knowledgeable, experienced, resolute and committed to give Nigeria the kind of Police Force they are yearning for.