Some teachers working in schools run by the Nigeria Police Force have demanded the payment of their salaries and arrears after the Force Education Officer, Rabi Umar, a Commissioner of Police, allegedly retired them against the decision of the President, Major General, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
HeadlineNews Metro had earlier reported that the teachers, numbering 31, accused Umar of wrongfully retiring them despite being beneficiaries of Buhari’s approval of a five-year retirement age extension/length of service.
The presidential directive reportedly extended the retirement age of teachers in the country from 60 to 65, and equally changed their years of service from 35 to 40.
The aggrieved teachers said they were eligible to benefit from the policy, which was announced to be implemented on January 1, 2021.
In a joint statement made available to HeadlineNews Metro, the teachers lamented that a new implementation date on April 7, 2022, was issued by Umar, thereby sidelining them from the list of beneficiaries of the policy.
The statement read, “The FEO (Umar) sent another signal CD 1000/DFA/EDUC/FHQ/ABJ/Vol 3/248 in which she directed that the implementation date for the elongation of service for the teaching profession in Nigeria will now be 07/04/2022 when the President signed the Act into law and not 01/01/2021 when he made the pronouncement. By doing so, she automatically removed the names of 31 teachers in police schools who ‘retired’ in 2021.
“To us, this action negates the letter and spirit of the implementation which recognises 01/01/2021. Moreover, the FEO is not the Minister of Education and coordinating minister of elongation of service, who has government mandate to speak and issue directives on the matter.”
The teachers said Umar bent her own rule by secretly including some teachers who retired from January 1, 2022 among those eligible to benefit in the implementation, which she said was directed to start on April 7, 2022.
“This obvious policy inconsistency attests to the fact that CP Rabi Umar is bent on denying the 2021 ‘retirees’ by all means. She has now put us in a dilemma because we did not process our retirement benefits last year, yet she’s trying to scheme us out of the new pension law,” they said.
The affected teachers urged the President, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Ministers of Education and Police Affairs, and the Inspector-General of Police, to call Umar to order for her to “make use of the January 1, 2021 implementation date and ensure that our salaries are restored on the IPPIS platform and our arrears paid from January 2021, without further delay.”
The FEO, in a response to a text message inquiring about the allegation, said, “Good evening, pls contact Force PRO.”
The Force Public Relations Office, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, did not take his calls which rang out.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Police Affairs, Bolaji Kazeem, said, “On the welfare of any public office holder, there are procedures to follow. If they know that their right has been infringed upon, they know the procedure to follow. They are supposed to write a petition or appeal to the appropriate authority.”