Anger is building up within the ranks of Police officers, which may snowball into a protest due to the stalling of promotions and retirements as a result of the face of with the Police Service Commission (PSC) over the recruitment of 10, 000 constables, WORLDLINK news has gathered.
Following a meeting of the Management of the PSC with the Joint Staff Union of the Commission over the recruitment imbroglio, the Union had demanded the suspension of all promotions and recruitments and other activities as it pertains to the Police until all the issues are resolved.
A source in the Commission told The WORLDLINK news on Tuesday that the development had led to the stalling of many promotions and retirements, which were still being processed thereby creating feelings of disaffection among those affected.
The source said: “The staff union of the Commission insisted that the Commission must suspend all activities that concern the police until the matter is resolved.
“They demanded and got the management to agree that all these things would be suspended. Since then there has been piles of recommendation for promotion.
“For instance about three AIGs have retired and we are not processing their retirement letters and if it is not processed you cannot access your benefits. It is when you get this letter that you can now go and access those benefits.
“Then for those that have pending disciplinary matters (PDM), they are still in abeyance and nobody is looking at them, and if you have PDM you cannot be promoted.
“So there is a problem. Nigeria needs these people we are recruiting to get into the system fast so that they can help in the security challenges we are facing in the country. Now it is stalled. Nothing is happening again.
“All these things are pending and the union are insisting they would not be touched until this thing is resolved. It is terrible that nothing is done about it for a matter as critical thing as security.
“The policemen are not happy and the feedback we are getting from the states indicates so. And it is building up.
“There is a build up of animosity and there is likely to be some revolt, because when you don’t get promoted, when they retire and they cannot get their retirement letters processed for them to get their benefits, and when they have PDMs and nobody is addressing it, the anger would be building up.
“The implication is that it would shake the system. You know when your subordinates revolt, they would not take instructions from you, so we are now saying the security architecture is shaky.
*You can now imagine when policemen start revolting. Police is not doing enough in internal security. The army has now taken over their job. They are not interested in that.
“What they are interested in is recruiting constables. So these are things people should look at. Why can’t the police face their main job that it is created for.
“They did not set up the police to recruit. They set them up to ensure that there is internal security. The commission was set up to do that, recruiting.
“The illogical thing they are saying now is that it is the IG and the police that would know the people to recruit. Are they in the system before?
“So how would you know that they are the ones that would know those capable of doing this or that? We are saying that in the Commission, the police is properly represented.
“There is a retired AIG who is a member of the board and he is there to protect the interest of the police. There is someone representing the media, the organized private sector, human rights organization and so on.
“The composition of the commission is the best in the world. There is someone representing the judiciary, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court. And you are now talking of a commission headed by a former IG. So what this IG know that the former IG does not know. So you see they are just doing this thing because it is an ego.
“They have messed up the entire thing. The authentic people that applied are stranded. This is a recruitment exercise that was started since last year and would have ended by now, but the police has messed it up. The police should face their basic responsibility of ensuring there is peace and safety in the country, internal security, and leave another agency of government who has been saddled with the responsibility of getting correct Nigerians to enter the force. Now there is no promotion and no recruitment, the force is stagnating and this is the worse time for such a thing to happen,” the source said.
The Secretary of the Union, Ogundeji Remi, told The WORLDLINK news that, they would stop at nothing to ensure the Commission’s duties are not usurped.
“I feel it is a systemic failure and this can only happen in Nigeria. It is a flagrant abuse of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which can never happen elsewhere. It can only happen in an environment that has lot its sanity. It cannot happen in a sane environment. Usurping the constitutional mandate of the police service commission, a body established by the constitution and has three core functions, and that is recruitment, promotion and discipline/dismissal of police officers. If you are talking about recruitment and you are saying the commission does not actually recruit, who are you to promote, who are you to discipline or dismiss. So if you are taking away this function of recruitment, that means before you know it the commission would cease to exist and that is why the union is here to defend and protect and defend the constitution and also defend and protect our job because if the commission ceases to exist, that means we no longer have any job here. So that is why we would not stop anything to make sure our powers are not being usurped by the IGP.
“Presently we have a serious security situation on our hands. Police officers retire everyday. Some of them die in the course of their duties. Some of them willingly resign from the force and what that translates to is shortage of manpower in the police and when you now cease to recruit, you know what it means. There would now be gross inadequate police personnel to secure the country, so that means it is a keg of gunpowder waiting to explode. So if something drastic is not done in earnest, your guess is as good as mine,” Remi said