By Simon Ebegbulem
OVER 2,000 men of the Nigerian Police Force have petitioned the Presidency and the National Assembly over what they described as alleged discrimination in the promotion of officers of the force who have acquired additional educational qualifications while in service to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP.
The officers in the petition which was also addressed to the Ministry of Police Affairs, Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police, complained that they were denied promotion even when they met the minimum and maximum score for promotion after their examination at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, ASCON, which was commissioned by former Inspector-General of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
In the petition signed by an Inspector from Kaduna State Command, a Sergeant from Ekiti State command, a Corporal from Edo State command, a constable from Zamfara State command, a Corporal from Akwa Ibom State command and a corporal from Lagos State command (all names withheld), on behalf of over 2000 of their colleagues, said since 2007 when ASCON was commissioned by Ehindero to conduct examination for graduate inspectors and other rank and file of the force, they had written and passed the examination but that to their chagrin, others who performed below the benchmark were promoted while they that scored within the range have been left because of “corruption in the force.”
The officers alleged that the leadership of the Police Command, rather than pick the best for promotion in the first batch of those who sat for the examination, selected the first 500 candidates and included others who scored below the minimum score.
This process, according to them, continued in the second batch, querying that “the question now is when are these much hated and discriminated Inspectors and rank and file going to be elevated to their hard earned and much desired status as Assistant Superintendent of Police which is the hallmark for their hard work and struggle for self development that transcends to high service delivery?
“This has shown that the Nigerian Police prefer mediocre and school dropouts who they can use to perpetrate aggression, humiliation, gross violation of human rights and continuous extortion of money from the public they are paid to protect, to the highly educated and intelligent people who can challenge and disobey their unlawful orders.”
And this situation has made the police a dumping ground for all comers,” the petition stated.