PSC Workers Protest Alleged Hijack of Recruitment Exercise by Police Authorities

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Kingsley Nwezeh

The last may not have been heard of the festering rift between the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Nigeria Police as the staff of the commission yesterday protested the hijack of the 2022 recruitment of 10,000 police constables by the police.

A recent Court of Appeal judgement had affirmed the constitutional mandate of the Commission to effect the recruitment of police constables.

The police, however, appeared to have approached the Supreme Court for a final determination of the matter.

The workers threatened to down tools if the management of the Commission failed to take over the 2022 recruitment of constables from the Nigeria Police which recently called for applications and later invited successful applicants to resume training in the police colleges across the country.

The workers, who protested the hijack of the recruitment exercise by the police authorities, prevented the Chairman of the Commission and former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Musiliu Smith and other board members from holding their plenary meeting.

Smith and the commissioners were stopped from entering the conference hall for the meeting as the workers insisted on holding impromptu deliberation with the management team.

Addressing the PSC Chairman and other board members, the Chairman, Joint Union Congress, PSC Chapter, Mr. Adoyi Adoyi, said the workers would embark on a three-day warning strike if the management failed to address the takeover of the constables’ recruitment exercise by the police, conclude the promotion of staff and carry out the annual training of workers.

He accused the Commission of surrendering its mandate to the force, adding that the union may be compelled to petition the President if the commission’s leadership failed to address their grievances.

“We are disappointed that the commission has surrendered to the police its mandate which was affirmed by the court. The commission is suffering and posterity will judge the leadership if the PSC dies in your hands.

“The commission is fast becoming a conduit for corruption and the accounting department is a poster boy for graft, ” he said.

The union chairman said the commissioners were paid N10 million each to conduct sensitisation programmes on the 2021 constables’ recruitment exercise in their respective regions, adding that they only carried out the assignment after the recruitment had ended.

The workers accused the commission of rendering its workers redundant, adding that the police have taken over their job of recruiting constables.

Adoyi disclosed that the staff did not carry out any roles in the 2021 recruitment exercise.

He said the police, “which were supposed to address the insecurity in the country have taken up the additional job of recruiting constables.”

“We are by this meeting serving the commission’s leadership a three-day warning strike; either the commission would publish a disclaimer against the ongoing 2022 recruitment exercise being handled by the police or we would start a warning strike,” he added.

Addressing the workers, the PSC chairman listed what his management had done since taking office and promised to deliberate on the workers’ demands before holding the plenary.

“We would discuss your demands at a management meeting and provide feedback”, he said.