By Emma Nnadozie, Evelyn Usman and Ifeanyi Okolie
The appointment of former Inspector-General of Police, Sir. Mike Mbama Okiro, as the Chairman of Police Service Commission was received with excitement by Nigerians who have been clamoring for positive changes in the administration of the embattled Nigeria Police. Sunday Vanguard went to town to feel the public pulse over the appointment.
Mr Livinus Nkwocha- Retired Assistant Comptroller of Customs:
I read about Okiro’s nomination in the papers. I think the president has not made a wrong choice by nominating him. Until square pegs are put in square holes, you cannot achieve the expected result. Okiro, even though I do not know him one on one, is the right person.
I make bold to say this because being a one-time Inspector-General of Police, he should be abreast of the situation in the police and, with him there, he will be able to make policies that will move the Force forward. The police need urgent restructuring. One of the areas I would like Okiro and his commissioners to look into is in the area of recruitment.
Proper scrutiny and assessment should be carried out on individuals before they are recruited into the police. Another area is promotion of police officers, from the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police. It has been discovered, for instance, that promotion has not been fair to some people. I know a friend who is currently serving in the NPF. He a CSP while his course mate is the current IGP. Okiro should ensure that due process is followed.
Arch. Tajudeen Olaifa, CEO Mettles Motors, Kano: This is one nomination that will attract kudos to the President. Okiro has set a pace in this country going by his impeccable records when he was the IGP. He is one detribalized Nigerian and his humanitarian activities transcend tribe or tongue. The Nigeria Police would, no doubt, achieve greater heights this time around.
Hon. Laz Ogbonna, Abuja: I followed Okiro’s era as the IGP keenly and I must point out that he deserves what he has got from the Presidency. Okiro’s wealth of experience and impeccable character qualify him for any position of trust in this country and beyond. An unassuming and detribalized Nigerian, we all know how he carried himself as the IGP. There is no doubt that he will discharge the responsibilities associated with the commission creditably well.
Mr Ogbonna Mbadiniju, bank executive, Lagos: Okiro’s appointment did not come as a surprise to many Nigerians, particularly me. But I must confess that he has more to do here than he was, as the IGP. First and foremost, he should know that to whom much is given, much is expected. I remember reading vividly in the papers when the present IGP was the then AIG Zone 2, Onikan Lagos, the out-gone Chairman of the PSC, Mr Parry Osanyande, visited the zone and said all policemen dismissed from the Force without the knowledge of PSC should be recalled.
From what I read, they said the PSC is responsible for recruiting and dismissing policemen.. But till date, I have not read about the number of policemen recalled since the directive was given. I stand to be corrected anyway. Okiro, as a thorough-bred officer, should try and right all the wrongs in the Force. I have no doubt that he has the capacity to do that, given his pedigree. He should not forget to put improve service delivery in the commission.
Alhaji Sani Abubarka, head of Hausa community, Olodi -Apapa, Lagos: I am comfortable with the appointment of former Inspector -General of Police, Mike Okiro, as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission. As a Nigerian, Okiro is qualified for the job and his background as a police officer would go a long way in assisting him in carrying out his duty. All I want from him is to do his job with out fear or intimidation.
He has served Nigeria as an IGP and I’m confident he is going to do well at the Police Service Commission. I’ve known him for quite a long time and he’s not tribalistic, you know tribalism kills us in this country. If we shun tribalism, Nigeria will go a long way.
I praise the President on the choice of Okiro. He is an old man with lots of experience which could reform the Nigeria Police. I don’t really know how the Police Service Commission operates, but I urge Okiro to make sure promotion is given to police officers who deserve it. It shouldn’t be given based on favoritism, tribalism or sectionalism.
Igwe Simeon Osisi Itodo, Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers: I wholeheartedly commend President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing the former Inspector- General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro, as Chairman of Police Service Commission, PSC. Okiro is the right man for the position, having served the police at the highest level. He would move the police forward with his wealth of experience and hard work.
Okiro deserves the appointment at this period when the country is facing serious security challenges in some parts of the country. He is not tribal and he knows the problems in the police having been an insider. Okiro is an asset to this country which he has served all his life.
My advice is that he should use his wealth of experience to address the myriad of problems facing the police. He is coming in at a time policemen are being killed all over the country on flimsy excuses. He should use his good office to address the problem of officers stagnating on their various ranks for a very long time to boost morale. Nigeria deserves a good police and I believe that he will bring the much needed changes.