- Nasarawa, IG’s home state, tops list with 528; Katsina, 435; Kano, 403; Bayelsa 71
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Lopsided recruitment of 9,036 constables, as part of the federal government’s strategy to promote community policing, is the source of the raging crisis between leadership of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Police Service Commission (PSC), THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently ordered the recruitment of 10,000 constables for community policing with emphasis on local government councils.
The recruitment, THISDAY learnt, was supposed to be conducted based on the equality of local governments in view of the fact that it was for community policing.
It was gathered, however, that 247 candidates out of the 528 recruited from Nasarawa State, where the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Adamu Mohammed, comes from, did not apply for the job but were allegedly included on the list.
A breakdown of the controversial list obtained by THISDAY showed that Nasarawa State where Mohammed and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Training, DIG Yakubu Jibrin, hail from topped the list with 528 candidates with an average of 41 per local government.
Nasarawa State has 13 local government areas.
Katsina State, the home of Buhari, was allocated 435 candidates, an average of 13 per local government.
Other states include Niger State, 396; Benue State, 368; Akwa Ibom, 332; Osun State, 320; Oyo State, 312, Kaduna, 307; Kogi State, 304 and Jigawa State, 280.
The list showed 274 candidates were recruited from Borno State; Imo State, 266; Rivers State, 259; Adamawa State, 249; Delta, State 225; Anambra, 192; Bauchi, 232; Bayelsa, 71; Borno, 274; Cross River, 188; Ebonyi, 150; Edo, 178; Ekiti, 180; Enugu, 185; FCT, 120; Gombe, 171; Imo, 266; Kebbi, 272; Kwara, 169; Lagos, 196; Ogun, 184; Ondo, 214; Plateau, 208; Sokoto, 192; Taraba, 211; Yobe, 155; and Zamfara, 129.
But the PSC has since denounced the list, describing it as an act of illegality. It said the list fell short of the federal character laws.
A presidency source told THISDAY that the list “violates federal character and even the oath of office sworn to by the people that released the list.
He said: “Constables are recruited on the basis of equality of LGAs because they are mainly for community policing.
“Look at Nasarawa, the state of the IG and DIG Training, 247 of the bogus 528 allocated to the state did not even apply for the job.
“That is why the list has no local governments attached to the names and no unique number given to those that applied.
“This LGA breakdown is just the average, since it is likely that some will have more than the others. The police are pushing ahead with this because someone is misleading Mr. President if not they should have been called to order.”
Several calls and text messages sent to Force Public Relations Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mr. Frank Mba, were not replied.
When contacted, spokesman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, said the commission had since disowned the list for breaching the federal character law and for being a product of illegality.
The PSC and the police have been at loggerheads over the power to recruit constables.
The PSC is constitutionally empowered to oversee the recruitment, discipline and promotion of police personnel.
But the police said it derived its powers to recruit under the Police Act.
The PSC announced last week that it had withdrawn the delegated powers granted the police to handle issues relating to recruitment, promotion and discipline of rank and file.
The commission, had, in a statement, dissociated itself from the list.
“The Police Service Commission dissociates itself from a purported list of candidates scheduled for training and allegedly released by the Nigeria Police Force in respect of the recruitment exercise into the constable cadre of the Force.
“The commission notes that the list released by the police is an act of illegality and from close observation was in serious breach of the federal character requirements”, it said.
The statement signed by Ani urged “the public to be wary of the list as it will soon resume the remaining stages of the recruitment process and release the authentic list of successful candidates, local government by local government.”