By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Police Service Commission (PSC) yesterday dismissed a report that it is not fair to all constituent parts of the federation in the promotion of senior police officers of the Nigerian Police Force.
The commission, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, said promotion in the police was guided by rules and regulations devoid of ethnic or religious considerations.
The commission was reacting to complaints and petitions bordering on the marginalisation of some sections of the country in police promotions.
The pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, for instance, had recently protested the recent promotion of senior officers, alleging that only one commissioner of police from the South-east moved up.
But the commission said it had since sanitised the processes of recruitment, promotion and discipline in the force and had ensured that they were also governed by rules and regulations.
The commission added that it is on record that it has contributed to ensuring sanity in the recruitment of qualified Nigerians into the police where the principle of federal character is now considered alongside merit.
“The commission is a product of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and further consolidated by the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001. It met at inception in 2001, a recruitment process that needed to be made more transparent and inclusive through respect for the federal character principles such as advertisement of recruitment exercise, observance of equality of states and merit”, it said.
It urged Nigerians to encourage their wards to not only show interest in recruitment into the police but to remain in the force so that they don’t create future problems for their geopolitical zone of not having representation at critical levels of the force.
“It is unfair and ungodly for the commission to therefore be accused of marginalising any geo-political zone of our country during the promotion of officers to the senior ranks of commissioners and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police since those that will be considered will be officers that remained in service to rise to ranks qualifying them for selection,” PSC stated.
The statement added that the police force is a regimented organisation with tradition and laid-down rules and regulations for carrying out its activities and the commission has never deviated from this tradition except in very rare cases where the public interest will be served.
It said: “The commission wishes to reiterate that it will at no time consciously marginalise any section of the country in the promotion and deployment of senior police officers.
“The commission will continue to be guided by the established rules guiding promotions in the Nigeria Police Force in the larger interest of the Nigerian nation.”