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Muslim group reacts as Buhari increases police salary

Ishaq Akintola

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for approving increment of police officers’ salary.

President Buhari on Wednesday announced a huge increase in the salary of the Nigerian Police.

The review is expected to affect all policemen from the highest to the lowest rank.

In a press statement signed by MURIC Director, Ishaq Akintola, and issued to DAILY POST on Thursday, the Muslim rights organization said it welcomed the decision with great pleasure.

The statement said, “It is a new dawn. President Buhari has energized our police. This is the kind of motivation the police needs.

“The increase which is said to be about 300% above the former salary will address the country’s security challenge and substantially reduce bribery and corruption in the system.

“It is the greatest motivation ever received by the Nigerian police. Nigerians have been blaming the police wrongly for some time now.

“But MURIC has been consistent in analyzing the situation very objectively. We have always placed the blame on lack of motivation, poor salary structure, lack of welfare and poor equipment.

“We commend Buhari for listening to our cries. This is a listening leader. No administration in the history of this country has done so much for the police department.

“When Buhari assumed office, the police force had just 317,000 men watching over a population of more than 220 million when the global best practice as recommended by the United Nations is one policeman to every 500 citizens.

“Within the spate of three years, he has increased police population to 334,000. He first approved the recruitment of 10,000 about two years ago and another 6,000 not long after that. There is no iota of doubt that Buhari will do more if he is given another four years in power.

“If we compare his performance to that of his predecessors we will find a huge difference. In 2002, the Federal Government (FG) promised to recruit 40,000 policemen annually.

“That promise remained on paper till today. Although Buhari did not make any promise to the police during the 2015 electioneering campaigns, he has come up with surprise packages for them.

“The wailers may still not see change in this development. We respect constructive criticism but we find it difficult to understand blind and fanatical doubting Thomases.

“Perpetual wailers have failed to see Buhari’s home-grown school feeding programme which has accommodated over nine million children across twenty-two states.

“They have ignored FG’s trader-money which gives direct empowerment to market women across the country. They have turned the blind eye at N-Power volunteer corps which employs 500,000 Nigerian graduates.

“Yet there is more. The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) gives N5,000 monthly to the extremely poor. In the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, a soft loan scheme targets 1.6 million women, traders, artisans, small businesses and youths.

“Under the scheme, soft loans of between N10,000 and N100,000 is given to these categories of people without interest with a repayment period of three months to six months and administration cost of 5 per cent by the Bank of Industry.

“It appears that Buhari’s Social intervention programmes (SIPs) annoy wailers because Buhari is sharing money to the poor masses directly instead of putting it in the private pockets of politicians.

“This was the practice during the sixteen years of pillage. But change is here. It is no longer business as usual. The tap from which money was flowing into the buckets of politicians has been turned off courtesy of BVN and Treasury Single Account (TSA). Stealing is now corruption.

“Wailers are on their own if they still cannot appreciate this administration. Objectivity demands that one shows respect even for the enemy when the latter achieves an extraordinary feat. Buhari recognized June 12 but instead of admitting the giant stride, wailers said it was politics. They said he was buying votes with the welfare programmes.

“FG is building the second Niger Bridge which previous administrations have failed to attend to despite humongous allocations earmarked for the project. That project which will cost N210 billion is 50% complete.

“Lagos-Ibadan rail line which is gulping $1.4 billion is 80% complete. Nigerians are being shown pictures and video clips of the progress of these projects yet wailers are yelling. We have no doubt that wailers will still complain even if Buhari constructs Macadam roads to their bedrooms. Wailers are haters.

“We are waiting to see how the spoilsports in the National Assembly (NASS) will frustrate this good move. We want to see how increase in police salary will be ambushed. It is in the character of some politicians to spoil the good work of government so as to make the president unpopular, with the hope that this will enhance their own inordinate ambition of seizing the reins of power.

“But Nigerians are not fools. They know those who are causing distractions. They know those who are overambitious. They know those who want to rule by hook or by crook. But above all, Almighty Allah is waiting for those who plot against the Nigerian people, ‘Verily your Lord lies in wait’ (Qur’an 89:14 Inna Rabbaka labil-mirsaad).

“Just yesterday Buhari reduced JAMB and NECO examination fees from N5,000 to N3,500 in order to make it easier for children of the poor to register for those crucial examinations. These and other welfarist innovations of this administration further cement our conviction that Buhari cares.

“Yet as we appreciate President Buhari’s great contributions to growth particularly the new police salary structure, we must ask for more, just like Oliver Twist. The police still needs better equipment. Every policeman should have a walkie-talkie and a pistol stuck in his belt. Patrol cars should come at one for every two policemen. We also call for improved welfare like life insurance scheme for the police.

MURIC also commended the Police Service Commission. “We appreciate the Police Service Commission under the able leadership of Alhaji Musiliu Smith. We can feel the commission’s contribution in the recent development.

“We call on the police to remember the old aphorism that to whom much is given, much is expected. They should reciprocate with the speed of light. We are in a season of change. Nigerians want action.

“In our closing remarks, we urge President Buhari to march on with the change mantra. He should ignore all distractions and face the good work that he is doing. We, the patriotic citizens of Nigeria who voted for change have seen the change. We salute Buhari’s doggedness. For the umpteenth time, we declare that Buhari deserves a second term.”

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