Nigeria Police Special Forces have cried out over their welfare and working conditions.
The operatives say the situation has remained the same for years and that the Police authorities appear unperturbed.
In a chat with DAILY POST, a senior official decried how they were being treated.
“We’ve been in this mess for three years, we are really suffering”, he said on condition of anonymity.
“We were trained in Belarus in 2015. When we returned, we worked with the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services (DSS).”
“In 2017, we started operating independently as Nigeria Police Special Forces. We suffer a whole lot of things.
“Allowances are either delayed or not paid at all. They will keep it for five, six months without allowances. It is a terrible situation.
“In February 2020, we went for an operation in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna. We lost two young men – an Inspector and a Sergeant.
“Eleven were injured and hospitalized. The Police didn’t pay the hospital bills. How long are we going to continue like this?
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai promised to give N1million each, till today nothing. In fairness, he may have approved it but they have not released.
“In Katsina, they have not been paid their allowances for two months. They are just working without pay!
“Look at the accident that happened on Sunday, seven gallant officers died just like that. We are really in pain.
“It was sheer negligence. How can you put about 19 officers in one bus? They had their bulletproof rifles and baggage all inside the same bus.
“The personnel complained to the authorities that the tyres were bad but were told to manage it. That is what caused the accident.”
Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, did not pick calls for his reaction.
On Tuesday, he confirmed the death of the seven officers who were en route Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state.
The deceased were part of an additional deployment to boost the ongoing fight against bandits.
The spokesman said 11 other victims of the accident sustained injuries.
Mba confirmed that the incident, which occurred at Jaji town along Kaduna-Zaria Road, involved an 18-seater bus.
He said the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, described the late officers as “Heroes of Peace”.
But there have been several tales of unpaid benefits over the years.
Families and dependents of victims most times resort to sale of property or begging.
On the latest accident, Mba said the IGP “has directed the Police Accounts and Budget Department to ensure the immediate payment of the burial expenses, benefits and other entitlements to the families of the deceased officers”.
It remains to be seen if the Police will fulfill its promise, and timely too.
Recall that women of the special forces had protested poor welfare packages for their husbands on Tuesday when they blocked the ever-busy Zuba Expressway.
The women lamented poor living condition in the Zuba area of Abuja where they are been kept, saying electricity and other amenities were not connected to their home.
They said they live in darkness while their husbands are sent on special assignments to be killed.
They had called for the sack of the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the special forces, as he has ”allegedly done nothing to tackle their current condition.”