Exclusive: Police detain 14 traffic wardens in Kwara over demand for promotion

By Publisher
6 Min Read

The Commissioner of Police in Kwara, CP Kayode Egbetokun has ordered the detention of 14 traffic wardens under the state command over demand for promotion.

The detained officers, included a nursing mother, Joy Alfa and one Kayode Alabi, who is popularly known in Ilorin for dramatic traffic control at Maraba and Challenge junctions.

A source said that the wardens were detained since Thursday following a viral leaked video where the officers were seen, lamenting their lack of promotion for 10 years.

In the video, these traffic personnel described the situation as furtherance to the age-long marginalisation in the system.

The source, who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation, said that the discussion was never a protest, but a mere exchange of ideas.

According to him, men of the traffic unit in the state never enjoyed a single promotion since their recruitment whereas their contemporaries in the conventional police have been promoted on three different occasions.

He sought for the intervention of the Inspector General, Muhammed Adamu to ensure the release of the detained officers and correction of what he termed as anomaly.

Another source claimed that the orderly room trial of these officers has begun, based on the instruction of the commissioner with a view to dismissing them.

“It started on Monday, Dec 7 when the Commissioner of Police invited all the traffic wardens under the state command to the Police Headquarters on the directive of the Inspector General of Police to address our complaints.

“The injustice is too numerous, but include among others, overwork and stagnation, due to lack of promotion to the next rank, as they used to promote others in the conventional police every three years.

“The last promotion in this unit is over 10 years. In fact the unit has only one set and all of us still hang the rank with which we were recruited then.

“Meanwhile while addressing us, the commissioner warned us never to compare ourselves with the police because our line of duties is different.

“However, we were surprised to hear this because they apply the same rules on us anytime an offence is committed.

“We do the same shift and even overworked than the men of the conventional police.

“So, we were not satisfied with the explanation and the reasons advanced by the police commissioner in Kwara for our stagnation.

“Some officers started expressing their displeasure immediately the commissioner left and somebody filmed. But unfortunately, the video got leaked.

“Surprisingly, they started picking some of our colleagues with allegation of mutiny, saying the attitude is not allowed in the service”, he said.

When contacted for his comment, the commissioner of Police confirmed the arrest and detention of the officers, attributing the action to act of gross indiscipline exhibited by the officers adding that it was an embarrassment to the force.

“The command is not responsible for their promotion. The only thing is that when I heard they wanted to go on protest, I said let me talk to them.

“I explained to them that I did my findings and discovered that their list has been sent to the headquarters and that the Inspector General (IG) has approved their promotion.

“We are only waiting for signal to convey approval.

“Meanwhile, they say the thing was delayed and I said yes, there was delay because the IG initially wanted to settle them for course, but it is like the course is not going to take place again.

“Therefore, they should just be patient and be expecting any moment from now, they will convey signal to us.

“You saw the video and the rubbish they were saying in the video. It is unfortunate, but these are the disciplinary laws that we have in the system and the police is not an organisation that condone indiscipline of their men.

“So if they are detained, yes, that is what should happen, because we have established channel of communication in the police. If you have grievances; you have complaints, there are established procedures to lay your complaints and they know it and all these things were explained to them the day I addressed them.

“That they should go through the normal procedures of making complaints; that it is wrong for officers in uniform to now be on the street and say they are demonstrating or protesting.

“I said it is gross indiscipline. It is not allowed in the police. We cannot continue to harbour this kind of indiscipline. It is unfortunate. If you destroy the police, you destroy Nigeria.

“Anybody supporting those men who showed gross indiscipline in public wants the country to be destroyed”, he said.

The Commissioner denied the report that a nursing mother was among the detained officers, saying it was a way to whip up sentiment.

A few moments later, the commissioner called to confirm that the signal for their promotion has finally arrived.

“They were not patient. Why would they go and be making video, saying rubbish to the public. That is so embarrassing and they embarrassed the police too much”, he added.

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