Police lament absence of COVID-19 job allowance, face masks

Policemen deployed in the enforcement of the ban on interstate movements and other COVID-19-related assignments have cried out over non-provision of a special allowance and face masks for them.

The policemen, who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity because of the nature of their job, said since their deployment in state boundaries and intrastate patrol duties, no mention had been made of a special allowance despite the fact that they were at the risk of contracting  COVID-19.

President, Muhammadu Buhari, in his first broadcast on COVID-19 pandemic on March 29, ordered a lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states.

Although the enforcement of the lockdown is being carried out by all security agencies, the police, who are mainly responsible for the internal security of the country, have been deployed in all parts of the country to ensure compliance with the presidential order.

But some policemen have fallen victim of the deadly virus. For example, a deputy commissioner of police attached to the Zone 5 headquarters in Benin, Francis Bissong, died of COVID-19 on April 21.

On May 10, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Olusegun Orisajo, said a policeman died of COVID-19 complications at the FMC.

Some of them stated that they bought face masks to protect themselves from being infected with COVID-19.

It was, however, gathered that the force headquarters had shared face masks for officers in various departments but the number of masks provided was insufficient and many rank and file did not receive them.

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