• Makes case for Bayelsa, Ebonyi, North-east states

Paul Obi in Abuja
As the police commence the recruitment exercise of 10,000 personnel, the presidency monday urged the security agency to adhere strictly to the provisions of the federal character principles.

The Acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), an agency under the presidency, Dr Shettima Bukar Abba, charged the Nigerian Police Force to ensure strict application of principle of federal character of fairness, equity and justice in the on-going police recruitment exercise.

He gave the charge when the Chairman Police Service Commission (PSC), former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro (rtd) and other members of the commission visited the FCC headquarters to discuss the modalities for the recruitment of 10,000 police officers into the work force as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Abba, “The principle of federal character should be considered in the recruitment exercise without compromising merit,” this he said, “will go a long way in making the exercise transparent and meeting the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.”

He explained that “adhering to basic standards will make the process easy and credible” and ensure that all sections of the country are represented in the force.

The acting Chairman also tasked the commission to specifically take note of states like Bayelsa, Ebonyi in the south and some states in the North-east geo-political zone, which were not adequately represented in the current analyses of the nominal roll of the police force.

The commission linked the lopsidedness in the police nominal roll especially in the north-east zone due to insurgency in the area which forced many officers to abandon their jobs while several others were killed by the terrorists.

Also, the FCC noted that there were cases of lopsidedness in recruitment in Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs and other related agencies.

Abba further enjoined the PSCto ensure fairness, equity and justice during the recruitment exercise and have the assurance that the federal character commission would perform its constitutional role by ensuring proper monitoring and the enforcement of the principle of federal character during the exercise.

Speaking, Okiro assured the commission that all the 774 local governments in Nigeria would be represented in the exercise and assured of equity in conducting the exercise.

He further stated that all the states that have been grossly underrepresented in the police force nominal roll over the years, would be considered, while correction would be made using the on-going recruitment.

Okiro reiterated that it would no longer be business usual, as government has put in place a mechanism, to strictly scrutinise applicants on issues such as age, certificates, local government identification and criminal records.
Okiro added that “though there will be proper spread of all categories of vacancy declared no single unqualified person will be employed in the exercise” he added.

He further stated that the commission may compare applicants’ information with other data like BVN, National Identity Card and other relevant information.