LAGOS — EmotionS ran high, yesterday, at the Zone II Police Command , Onikan , Lagos, after widows of policemen who died in the course of duty lamented the agony they faced following the absence of their husbands.
The widows and next of kins of deceased policemen, including policemen who sustained severe injuries which left them incapacitated, were at the zonal command to receive payment, which forms part of the welfare package promised by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar.
The beneficiaries numbering 20, included policemen who served and are still serving in Lagos and Ogun states police commands. A total of N4. 2 million was paid to the beneficiaries.
Handing the cheques to them, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone II, Mr Mamman Tsafe, explained that the package was to ensure that children of the slain policemen were taken care of and also to give psychological boost to those who suffered from injuries.
For policemen who lost their lives either during exchange of bullets with men of the underworld or through road accidents, a total of N500,000 was given as compensation to their next-of-kin while those who sustained injuries got between N100,000 and N200,000.
Noting that the IG’s initiative was a right step in the right direction, Tsafe said moves were ongoing to improve on the package.
He said: “Before now, there was nothing like this. But when the IG came on board, he initiated this compensation plan. Aside this, there are also other packages like personal donations from course mates to help families of deceased policemen. Today’s payment is an open one to encourage them.”
Mixed reactions trail compensation
Immediately a cheque of N500,000 was handed over to the son of one of the deceased policemen, his mother burst into tears.
When Vanguard requested to know the reason, she simply refused to speak. After much persuasion, the widow who refused to disclose her identity for security reasons, said: “Even though I am grateful for this compensation, it will not bring back my husband. Immediately my son stood up to collect the cheque, I remembered how his father had boasted on sending him to the best school he could afford, unaware that he would not live to see his dream accomplished.”
Another beneficiary was a Police Corporal who is still serving despite his deformity, as a result of gun shot wounds he sustained when he stopped a vehicle which turned out to be conveying armed gang in Ogun State. He said the money given to him was not up to what he spent as medical bill, let alone bring him back to his old self. He, however, expressed gratitude to God that he was alive, unlike his colleagues who were dead.