NIGERIA: Police Evict Widows from Lagos Barracks

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No fewer than 10 families of deceased riot policemen residing in the Mobile Barracks Ikeja, Lagos, were thrown out of their apartments by the police authorities without paying them their husband's entitlements.
The widows who lamented their fate, said the eviction was carried out forcibly even though the police were yet to pay the death benefits of their late husbands as well as other entitlements.
The evicted families had until the eviction, lived in the Ikeja barracks even after the death of their husbands, who were attached to the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Squadron 20, popularly known as MOPOL 20.
Following the eviction, their belongings which were thrown out littered everywhere within the premises of the barracks.  A few of them were however fortunate to rescue their property from the elements and had begun to make arrangements to move to another location.
The other widows said although they lost their husbands between three and five years ago while in active service, their decision to stay put at the barracks was because their husband's entitlements were yet to be paid.
A member of one of the affected families, who spoke to THISDAY but preferred not to named, said: “The ejection took us by surprise. Where do they expect us to get money to rent homes when we have not been paid what was due us?
“Also, some of our kids are out of schools because there is no money to continue their education. Even those who have graduated from secondary school could not continue with their university education.
“Despite our struggles to feed our families with the little money we make from petty trading, the police authorities have compounded our woes by throwing us out without a future.”
They admitted that although some of the evicted families included those whose husbands had left the squadron for other postings, they said a majority of the affected families were actually those whose husbands had died in active service to the nation.
Efforts to reach the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, proved abortive, as a text sent to her at press time was not replied.
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