Patience runs out as former officers threaten to disturb election
Former police officers who have served at the country’s border between Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG) during the Bougainville crises have threaten to disturb the upcoming election.
That is, if the government fails to make any part payment.
The former officers feared any new government might just throw away the last government’s Cabinet paper that approves the payment of their outstanding allowances.
This was due to the fact that it was not budgeted for in this year’s budget.
However the former officers said, the government must not make any excuses since this is not a new issue that should put the government at shock.
“If all former government MP’s can receive their $400,000 terminal grants within a very short period of time, then why can’t the government address our long standing issue of almost 16 years. This is illogical, irresponsible, unfair and an injustice to us,” the former police officer who wishes to withhold his name said.
The officer said their patience have run out and will do anything to disturb the election if nothing is done about their demand.
The Solomon Star understands, the undersecretary (US) of police who is the acting Permanent Secretary as the accounting officer during the absence of his PS had assured the former officers, he had told the finance office to at least pay them something so that they (former officers) can go back to their respective constituencies for the elections.
This took place during a meeting at the police club and these officers are happy about this and are looking forward to this with high hopes.
Its understood the deal was for the government to make some payment to these officers and when they get their allowance next year, the government can deduct that amount off their allowances and pay the balance only.
However when the PS resumed duty he did not take on board what has already been established by his US.
And because of that left the former officers frustrated since they were already given hope to get at least something.
The former officers therefore demanded the government to pay them something before the election.
“The government must think very seriously about this. I don’t think the police respond team (PRT) can handle these guys. “Some of these guys are well trained officers who undergo their trainings in US as in country soldiers. Anything can happen.
“We don’t want another thing to disturb our people again. So the government must really think serious about this. There are guns still around and I must make note that fugitive Edmond Sae is one of these guys and for sure he has weapons,” a senior police officer said.
The Solomon Star understands the officers have called on the Attorney General (AG) to speed up the MOU document to be signed so that part payments are being made to the former officers.
A meeting is scheduled again for today between the government and the representatives of the former police officers to discuss issues surrounding the MOU.
Meanwhile the senior police officer warned the government not to underestimate these former officers.
“Anything can happen and it can turn worse. We don’t want anything like that to happen. It is therefore in the best interest of all citizens for leaders to use some wisdom in how they deal with issues,” the senior officer said.
Its understood each officer should receive around $100,000 in boader allowances.
According to the Cabinet paper, this amount will be paid quarterly next year if it is budgeted for.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA