Activities on Abuja-Lokoja highway along Zuma Rock in Niger State were on Tuesday crippled by Police Officers’ widows, protesting against alleged unpaid gratuity and other unfulfilled promises made by Federal Government.
The widows, who were wives of officers deployed to fight insurgents and bandits in Katsina, Zamfara, and Sambisa in Borno State, alleged that efforts to get the apex government attention have never yielded any fruit and that it was the reason they decided to block the highway.
Accompanied by wives of officers in North-east states battling Boko Haram, the protesters also expressed displeasure over what they described as wanton neglect of the Special Force Barracks which had continued to lack social amenities including schools, hospitals, and others.
Defying the sun to express their displeasure on the highway, the protesters, who were armed with pictures of their slain husbands, alleged that the government had not fulfilled all promises made to families of deceased.
They argued that the ill-treatment melted to the widows were reasons those whose husbands were still in active service decided to join them in the protest and to ensure all promises were kept by the government.
One of the protesting women, Benedicta Enyi, narrated to pressmen how their husbands were deployed to Katsina, Zamfara, and Sambisa on a Special mission where many never returned.
“The Federal Government is gathering a colony of widows here, our husbands are killed daily with no news from the authorities and nobody is coming to our help. Infact, we are living miserably here”, she said.
Enyi lamented that most of them who lost their husbands do not know their fate as there has not been any official communication or benefits paid to their wives.
“We are not leaving here, we want to see the Inspector General of Police (IGP), we want answers and solutions to our problems”, the women chanted away as they blocked the busy Abuja-Lokoja highway.