In a Pulse exclusive, President Buhari's security detail are getting increasingly demoralised following 15 months of unpaid allowances
A serving security officer told Pulse during an exclusive chat on Tuesday that the office of the NSA has blocked allowances due to security detail attached to the presidency.
Department of State Services (DSS) personnel have also been starved of their allowances, Pulse was also told.
Security officers attached to government personnel in Nigeria are often paid a stipend meant to cover risks while in the line of duty.
“We are in charge of the President and the Vice President’s security whenever they visit Lagos and that is very often because VP Yemi Osinbajo frequently visits Lagos since his family home is in the city”, said the Police officer who pleaded that his name be left out of this story for fear of victimization.
“We were paid all our risk allowances of N25,000 every month while Goodluck Jonathan was President. But as soon as Jonathan left the Villa, our allowances were no longer regular for a while.
"However, recently, Buhari increased our monthly allowance from N25,000 to N80,000 monthly. But while Presidency MOPOL and DSS officers in Abuja have been paid their new allowance grant of N80,000, some were partly paid and some not paid at all. A lot of those attached to Presidency outposts of Dodan Barracks, Ikoyi and the State House in Marina (all in Lagos), haven’t received our allowances for more than a year now”, added the security officer in a voice dripping with palpable agony.
The Officer also told Pulse that while security personnel attached to the Aso Villa in Abuja were recently paid their accumulated allowances of over N500,000 each, officers in Lagos are yet to receive a dime.
There are over 50 officers attached to the Presidency who operate from the former Nigerian capital of Lagos, said the personnel.
“The officers attached to the Presidency in Lagos are being badly treated. Their money has been approved by Buhari but the National Security Adviser and staff in the office of the NSA are cornering these monies. It is sad that this kind of corruption is taking place in an administration that claims to abhor corruption", the aggrieved security personnel bemoaned.
“We have been quiet because as security officers, we aren’t allowed to air our grievances in the press, but it is becoming difficult for some of us to survive. I am talking to Pulse now because there’s no other option left for us. Please help us tell the world that Monguno is cornering our risk allowances”.
The officer who met Pulse in an upscale diner in the nation’s commercial capital, said he couldn’t afford the risk of relaying the details of the predicament of the officers over the phone, because his cellphone line has been bugged.
He added that bugging lines is a practice carried out on all the operational phone lines of all State security detail.
“How is our morale supposed to be high while watching the President's back when we are dying of hunger? When we aren’t sure we’ll ever be paid owed allowances?”, the Police officer posed rhetorically.
Presidency spokespersons Laolu Akande and Garba Shehu, were yet to comment on this story before press time.
Calls placed to the cell phones of the spokespersons weren’t answered.
An aide of Monguno also declined comment for this story.
Pulse also sent a text message to Shehu, but he hadn’t replied at the time of filing this story.