MEMBERS of the Nigeria Police Force are facing a potential housing crisis after the authorities instructed all policemen at the Traffic Training School Barracks in the Ikeja area of Lagos State to vacate the premises by March 31.
In what is causing a lot of consternation within the ranks of a police force that is already suffering from poor housing, the policemen were told that they would be forcefully evicted if they did not leave voluntarily. A notice to quit memo dated February 24, issued to the occupants by the Nigeria Police Force provost marshal and signed by assistant commissioner of police, Ajewole Adebayo, stated that they would be forcibly ejected by Tuesday.
It read: “You are by this letter directed to quit the staff quarters and hostels of the Traffic Training School, Ikeja not later than March 31, 2020. You should note that your staying on the premises is illegal and if you fail to vacate the premises before the said date, you will be forcibly ejected and further disciplinary action will follow.”
However, some of the affected officers, stated that the apartments were duly allocated to them contrary to the provost’s claim. One of them even showed a letter from the commandant of Police College, Ikeja, signed by the officer-in-charge of barracks and housing, indicating that he was authorised to occupy a flat in the barracks.
He said: “We are serving officers, so why do they want to eject us? They said we have to vacate the barracks because we are not serving at the police college but are we not under the same Nigeria Police Force?
“We met with the provost and he said the inspector-general of police ordered that we should be ejected but we don’t believe him. We called some people close to the inspector-general of police and they told us he is not aware, so where did the order come from? Over 30 families are affected.”
One female officer said she was stunned by the directive, adding that she had no idea where she, her husband and their three children would relocate to. She added: “How is it possible for us to relocate within that short period when we have families?
“Some people think they are senior officers and they can do whatever they like and get away with it. By the time they eject us now, we will be running helter-skelter to find another place, does it mean the people that want to move in are better than us?
“We all swear to the same oath of allegiance to serve our fatherland. We are not illegal occupants, the apartments were duly allocated to us by the police college authorities.”