Nigeria Police Appoints First Female Force Secretary, AIG Longe, Arase Rues Poor Image

Ikechukwu Aleke in Abuja

The Nigeria Police, under the leadership of Inspector-General (IG) of Police Kayode Egbetokun, has appointed the first female Force Secretary, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Yetunde Longe.

Force spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement yesterday, said the historic appointment was in furtherance of the IG’s vision to ensure gender inclusivity and equality in all aspects of appointments and operations within the Nigeria Police.

Adejobi said Longe brought a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role.

He stated, “Since her appointment as a Cadet ASP on March 3, 1990, AIG Long has demonstrated exceptional dedication and competence across various capacities within the NPF.

“She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Toxicology, which has significantly contributed to her proficiency in crime management and investigation.

“Her professional development is further enriched by her participation in advanced courses, such as the Advanced Detective Course and Intermediate Command Course at Police Staff College, Jos, and the Protection of Civilians course in Italy.

“Throughout her illustrious career, AIG Longe has held several key positions, including Administrative Officer, Crime Officer, Commandant in Lagos, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Corporate Investment at the NPF Cooperative; Area Commander in Lagos, Deputy Commissioner of Police at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in both Bauchi and Lagos States, and DCP Admin at Zone 2, Lagos.”

The force spokesperson stated that prior to her new appointment, Longe also served as Commissioner of Police for the Port Authority Police, Eastern Command, Port Harcourt, and later Assistant Inspector-General of Police in the Department of Training and Development, Force Headquarters, Abuja.

The statement said the IG reiterated that gender sensitivity in police appointments and operations remained a non-negotiable principle, as his administration was poised to promote gender equality and empower female officers to attain leadership positions within the force.

The IG also noted that the inclusion of women in strategic roles was crucial for the comprehensive development and effectiveness of the police force, assuring that the force will continue to foster an inclusive environment where merit and capability are the primary criteria for advancement, irrespective of gender.

In another development, Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Solomon Arase, lamented the deteriorating image of the Nigerian Police.

Arase said the current image of the force, which the authorities were assiduously trying to salvage, did not deteriorate overnight.

He expressed the worries at the plenary meeting of the Police Recruitment Board.

The PSC chairman also explained that the bad image was not solely the result of mismanagement or poor welfare.  He regretted that the good image of the force was significantly mutilated by the quality of personnel recruited into its fold over the years.

He noted that the Nigeria Police stood as a microcosm of Nigeria’s diverse and vibrant nature, stressing that it is, perhaps, the only institution that has had, at one time or another, one person from every village, town, and local government area of Nigeria within its ranks.

This distinctive representation, Arase said, underscored the fundamental role that the Nigeria Police played in unifying the country’s diverse cultures and communities.

On the ongoing recruitment exercise, the PSC chairman said, “Recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force is not just a routine exercise, it is the bedrock upon which the safety, security, and integrity of our nation rest. It is a recurrent event that must be handled each time with utmost seriousness and meticulousness.

“Public and policy analysts have so often pointed out that political and external influences in the police recruitment process have contributed excessively to the myriad challenges the force faces today. While the Nigeria Police Force has produced some of the brilliant officers we proudly speak of, these outstanding individuals are simply not enough, and we must change that!

“This dearth can be traced back to the recruitment process.

“Furthermore, the contentious recruitment cycles marred by legal disputes between the police and the commission has also contributed to this lack of outstanding officers.

“Recognising the gravity of this issue and following the landmark judgement of July 2023 wherein the primacy of the commission in police recruitment was asserted by the Supreme Court, we have taken significant steps to ensure that recruitment is carried out with the seriousness and meticulousness it deserves.

“It is with great pride that I look back on the establishment of the Police Recruitment Board – a veritable platform for all stakeholders in the police recruitment process to collaborate effectively. I must insist, however, that the court judgement does not in any way trivialise the roles played by the force in the selection of its personnel.

“Rather the establishment of the board charts a clear pathway for each stakeholder to collaborate in the process, leaning on each other’s strength, while avoiding jurisdictional clashes.”

Arase said the board meticulously established recruitment modalities and publicised the process through various print and online media platforms.

The recruitment portal, he recalled, was opened on Friday, October 13, 2023 for a period of six weeks, to allow eligible and interested candidates to apply to the force to serve their communities.

According to him, “The portal received a total of 609,886 applications, out of which 416,323 were shortlisted for the physical screening exercise, which took place between 8th and 29th January 2024. 171,956 candidates were shortlisted for the Computer Based Aptitude Tests (CBT), which took place on 5th and 6th March 2023, while 15, 447 candidates partook in the Medical Screening, which took place 15th and 30th April 2024.

“A total of 43,778 specialists underwent various trade tests and medical screening within this same time frame. Today, we stand on the brink of welcoming a new generation of officers into the Nigeria Police Force.

“I am filled with optimism because these young men and women represent the future of our nation’s security and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that their journey begins on a foundation of integrity, transparency, and excellence.

“It is my prayer that we continue to work together to build a force that is truly reflective of the best that Nigeria has to offer.”

The former IG concluded that the recruitment process was meticulously designed by the board to ensure transparency and fairness, and comprised several well-defined stages.

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