2 of 24 AIGs are Igbo – PSC
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.
Source: authority ngr