General News of Wednesday, 2 January 2019
Disgruntled officers of the Community Protection Assistants (CPA) under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) in Tamale have taken to social media in a desperate move to seek the attention of authorities over their unpaid allowances, after after they were prevented by security services from staging a peaceful street protest to express the demand.
The campaign has been launched after the recruits claimed they have exhausted all appropriate means of channeling grievances and were now left with a legal option.
Dozens of them on Sunday, 30th Dec. 2018, massed up at the Northern Regional Police headquarters with the intent to go onto the streets to demonstrate failure by government to pay their accumulated arrears. Some were not paid at all after working for several months. Some of them said they had not been paid from three (3) up to eight (8) months.
The demonstration was, however foiled by the Director of BNI in the region and Police Commander of the Tamale Metropolis. The two top security heads at a meeting with leaders of the aggrieved officers insisted the gathering was illegal and asked them to write a formal note to the police about the planned action.
The personnel later moved from the police premises to gather at the nearby Tamale Jubilee Park where they addressed the press and dispersed.
Several of them spoke in anger and abject frustration, accusing the YEA regional officials of ignoring their plight and issued ultimatum to national authorities and government. They promised to defy the security agencies and come out to protest if they were paid after 15th of this month.
However, just two days after the ultimatum, some of the officers are taking to social media platforms to protest the delayed payment.
According to them, they believe the security agencies would not permit them stage a street protest no matter how many letters they write because, YEA authorities in the region were worried about consequences and are already threatening to dismiss them if they come out to hit the streets over the concern.
The officers are now expressing individual concerns about the unpaid allowances in video and audio and sharing them on Facebook and WhatsApp platforms targeting the attention of President Nana Addo himself.
In one of the videos widely shared on Facebook, an officer of the Community Protection Assistant identified as Abdulai Mubarak, accused the Regional Director of YEA, Sule Salifu of stashing and diverting their allowances.
“This is Network King”, the officer identified himself using his popular nickname. “We are very angry, the entire community police in the Tamale Metropolis. We want the whole world to know that the regional boss of YEA, his coordinator and Director are fleecing us”.
“I want this video to get to Sule Salifu, Opoku and Mr. Hamzah for them to know that the unpaid arrears having dire affects on our family. So if our allowance are locked up and we cannot complain what do you expect us to do?, you know where our monies are kept so better release it or don’t blame us when we take any further action”.
The officer revealed he must be paid all his eight months arrears for the job which was a reward for his massive works he did for the NPP in the 2020 elections that brought the party to power.
“They are threatening to sack us or they will not extend our service after two years, but please before you sack us give us our allowance. We have been hungry for too long. We won’t come onto the streets but we will find means to let our message get to authorities”.
StarrNews’ attempts to reach Sule Salifu or the Regional office of YEA have been unsuccessful.