A report by Daily Trust has revealed that security personnel attached to Nigeria’s seat of power, Aso Rock are being owed their special allowances for 13 months.
The security personnel are drawn from the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of Security Service, the Federal Fire Service, the National Intelligence Agency, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigerian Army.
The Aso Rock security team stated that they have not been paid their special allowances since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015.
Checks revealed that former President Goodluck Jonathan government was paying the senior security staff N30,000; and the junior ones, N25,000 as their monthly special allowance.
Former President Jonathan was said to have been paying the allowances before he vacated power
Although the last time the security personnel were said to have received the allowance was in March 2015, two months before Jonathan vacated Aso Rock.
The officers are particularly upset that they are being owed under a president who is a retired military manwho they feel should know better.
According to one of the security staff who spoke under the condition of anonymity, several months after President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the payment of the allowance, “nothing has been done.”
Another security personnel also stated that he was surprised at the non-payment of the special allowance “especially because the president is from a security background.”
Explaining the reason for the delay, the Presidency says “clean and lawful” means of paying the special allowance was being devised, as directed by President Buhari.
According to the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu,on assumption of office, Buhari’s administration discovered that the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) was paying the special allowance without following due process.
“Under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, you are not going to have the NSA going to the Central Bank or the NNPC to fetch money to share around. That is not going to happen,” Shehu said.
He said the president had directed the incumbent NSA, General Babagana Munguno (rtd), “to devise clean and lawful means of paying those allowances as part of the overall effort to clean up that office.”
Recently, a Niger-Delta based militant group – Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), threathened to attack Aso Rock.
The group in its statement identified other strategic places it will attack to include, the police headquarters, defence headquarters, NNPC towers, Central Bank of Nigeria headquarters, national assembly, military formations across the country, among others.
Meanwhile, a retired major in the Nigerian Army, Paulinus Mbachara (rtd) has advised the Nigerian government to fulfill its obligations to the security personnel, adding that it is dangerous to keeo them unhappy.
Reacting to the news, Mbachara said that those in charge of such payments should ensure that the payments are made as soon as possible.
His words: ”It is dangerous to owe such people, because they protect Nigeria’s number one citizen. Those in charge should see to it that those owed are sorted immediately.”