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GONE WITH THE WIND

Posted by By MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta on 2008/06/02 | Views: 624 |

GONE WITH THE WIND


For retired Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Yohana Adamu, it is a tale of woe as fire gutted his apartment; destroying all he had laboured for in the past 35 years.

For retired Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Yohana Adamu, it is a tale of woe as fire gutted his apartment; destroying all he had laboured for in the past 35 years.

Adamu, from Takum LGA area of Taraba State was bewildered by the mystery fire, which left him with nothing except his discharge certificate, which was salvaged by his daughter.

I returned home last Monday to meet people gathered in front of my barrack apartment, where I was told of a fire outbreak. Before the arrival of Fire Fighters, my colleagues in the barracks made frantic efforts to save my belongings but could not succeed because of the magnitude of it. Oh, I lost everything I had laboured for in the past 35 years.

“But for my daughter (Who came from Abuja), whom God used to salvage my retirement documents, it would have been more disastrous for me if my retirement documents had been burnt by the fire. I will have nothing to present to the necessary departments. It probably would have taken another 15 months to collect “the Approval from Police Service Commisison”.

“I am someone who keeps documents; documents from my school days were all burnt. I also lost other valuables, including clothes that I bought because I did not want to go back to the North in tattared clothes. But unfortunatley, all of them were burnt to ashes.”

How the fire started
“It started from the junction box in our room. This arose from upsurge of electricity supply from the PHCN. It was a big disaster for me and my family, but we thank God that it did not claim my life or any of my immediate family, but I know it will take me many years to gather what I have lost in the fire. I appeal to the Federal Government to pay my retirement benefits. If I had received my benefits, who knows whether the fire would not have happened?

“I’m not happy that I am still living in the barracks after 35 years of meritorious service and two years after retirement. As things are now, there is nothing I can do without my retirement benefit. Retired police do not deserve this humiliation from necessary authorities.
“This is the big difference between the force and the privatesector. Anybody leaving a private establishment would have had his retirement benefits prepared and part or whole given to him on the day of retirement. I think this should be extended to the Nigeria Police Force. What obtains now makes life difficult to police retirees. It makes them to suffer unnecessarily.

“I find it difficult now to discharge my responsiblities as a father to my children and a husband to my wife. I have never imagined that I would live this wretched life after retirment because I planned well.”
Asked why he joined the police, worried Adamu said: “I joined the police because of its uniform. At that time, it was a fascination to see a policeman in our rural community, particularly on marching parades. Their neatness was second to none.

“After I joined, many other people also joined from my area until my retirement. I started from the scratch. But today I thank God for everything, although I joined the force as a recruit , I left as as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
“As much as I enjoyed my career in the Police, I did not like the past two years after which I have retired. It has been a traumatic experience not only for myself, but for my entire family.For your information, I am still staying in the barracks, almost two years after retirement. I retired on August 1, 2006. I remain in the barrack for nothing, but for the fact that my gratuity has not been paid.

“I wished I had put the barrack life behind me, but the non-payment of my gratuity makes it inevitable. I was transfered to Ogun State since 1995. I must not deceive you, life after retirement has been terrible for our family of 10. But for the grace of God, my church and friends, I don’t know what would have happened to me.

As much as I want to return to my village, I ‘m handicapped by nonpayment of my gratuity or pension. I am not alone in this ugly scenario. There are hundreds of widows whose husband died in active service, yet they are still living in the barracks because their benefactors’ gratuity are not paid. This is not good for the image of the Police and Nigeria.

“If you look at the paper, you will see that there are people who served this country meritoriously for between 20 and 25 years; given certificate of long service, yet on retirement, they are left to suffer. This is not good. As much as I don’t want to support involvement of our personnel in armed robbery, there are temptations. Look at newspapers, you will see that the young ones are engaging in robbery. People like me can’t go into stealing or robbery for whatever reason. Rather we beg for survival. This is not the best for us as police officers and the country too".

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.