Workers of the Police Service Commission on Thursday shut down the commission’s headquarters in Abuja over the reported takeover of the recruitment of 10,000 constables by the force headquarters.
The workers forced the Permanent Secretary, Chief William Alo, and directors out of their offices as they declared a three-day warning strike with effect from Thursday.
The staff members were protesting the alleged takeover of the ongoing constables’ recruitment, lack of staff member’s promotion and training by the commission’s management.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the workers declared a showdown with the commission’s management led by Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector-General of Police, whom they accused of surrendering the PSC’s constitutional mandate to the police.
Before declaring the strike, the workers held a congress where they lamented the failure of the management to meet their demands, accusing Smith of colluding with the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to short-change the PSC.
Speaking to our correspondent on the strike, the Chairman, Joint Union Congress, PSC chapter, Adoyi Adoyi, explained that the workers held a meeting with the permanent secretary who offered no solutions to their agitation.
He said, “We planned the warning strike for today (Thursday) and the permanent secretary had a meeting with us but we could not make a headway concerning the demands we made to them (management). He was just telling us to shift grounds without proffering solutions to the issues.
“The permanent secretary read the management decision to us but there was no timeline to the promises. We suspected it was a ploy to get us off their back.”
The labour leader narrated that the commission management was pressuring the workers to collect the Basic Travel Allowance approved for the field monitoring of the recruitment, noting that the workers were rather interested in working for whatever they were paid.
He added, “We discussed with the permanent secretary till almost 11pm yesterday (Wednesday). When we met today, the permanent secretary said we should be strategic in our agitation so that we could go to the field and collect our BTA but the staff members were angry, saying they didn’t know the work they were going to the field to do.
“For an assignment holding on Tuesday, we can’t be going there without documents or knowing what we should do. As Nigerians, we believe we need to put in some work and get experience but that is what they are not allowing.
“I don’t know why the management would be trying to support an illegality by saying we should just go to the field and collect money.”
Adoyi disclosed that the workers would decide what to do at the end of the strike on Monday.