Friday, December 9

SHOCKING REVELATION: Why IGBO May Not Produce Police IG Till 2036 Why IGBO May Not Produce Police IG Till 2036

SHOCKING REVELATION: Why IGBO May Not Produce Police IG Till 2036 Why IGBO May Not Produce Police IG Till 2036

The Authority - It has emerged that with the present appointments in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) no Igbo may be el­igible for appointment as In­spector-General of Police un­til 2036.

The Police Service Com­mission (PSC), the body vest­ed with the powers to recruit, promote and discipline police officers, said yesterday that two of the serving 24 Assistant In­spectors-General of Police were Igbo.

A statement from the PSC, which was a reaction to The AUTHORITY’s lead story on Thursday, named Mr. Paul Okafor (AIG Zone 11, Osogbo), from Anambra State and Mr. Charles Ugomuoh (AIG Animal

 Branch of Medical Services), from Imo State, as two of the 24 serving AIGs from the South East geopolitical zone.

In addition, said the PSC, “there are more than six Com­missioners of Police from the Igbo extraction”. But the Com­mission, in the statement signed by Ms. Comfort Obi, did not mention the names of the CPs and their commands.

However, three retired top police officers, in separate inter­views, told The AUTHORITY that with the present composi­tion of the police top command, it would be difficult for an Igbo police officer to become the In­spector General of Police “in the next 20 years”.

Said one of them: “The tra­dition is for the President to ap­point the IGP from the crop of officers not lower than an AIG. Now, we have a situation where in the very unlikely event the President wants to appoint an IG from Igboland, the conven­ient excuse will be that there is no eligible candidate from the zone.”

Said another: “The Nigeria Police Force, like most security organisations, was designed to favour the north. The only Po­lice Academy (which is equiva­lent to a university) is in Kano. The Nigeria Defence Acade­my (NDA) is in Kaduna. Nige­ria Army Depot is in Zaria. The Command and Staff College is in Jaji. The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) is in Kuru.”

He continued: “See, ap­pointments and promotions in the police have been skewed to favour the north. The very day MD Abubakar was retiring as Inspector-General of Police, having clocked 35 years in the police, his luckiest course mates from the south were retiring as Assistant Commissioners of Po­lice.

I know some persons who joined the police the same day with MD Abubakar retiring as Chief Superintendents of Police,” stressing, “this was a man who joined the police with a Teach­ers’ Grade 2 certificate.”

He also stated the instance of Mr. Hafiz Ringim, who, he said, joined the police with a diplo­ma certificate and yet rose to be­come IG even when his course mates from the south managed to retire as Deputy Commission­ers of Police.

However, the PSC statement noted that Dr. Okiro knows more than enough that career progression in the Nigeria Po­lice force is not based on feder­al Character.

“He knows, and has superin­tended over a Commission that has continued to place premium on merit, seniority and availabil­ity of vacancies as bases for pro­motion.

“For years now, promotion in the Nigeria Police Force from the rank of Constable to AIG has been strictly based on the above criteria and not on federal char­acter or any other consideration. Federal Character is used only at the three entry points into the Nigeria Police Force – Consta­ble, Cadet Inspector and Cadet ASP,” noted the statement.

“It is necessary to state that the spread of senior police of­ficers remains flexible as offic­ers are promoted as their seniors retire or exit the service through retirement or death. And since promotions are based on mer­it and seniority, any tribe at any time could dominate the cad­res in the senior hierarchy of the force.

“The Commission will re­main resolute in its commitment to equity, fairness and merit in its management of its constitu­tional responsibilities and will also be guided by the rule of law and fear of God,” PSC declared.

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