By Peter Okutu
Ebonyi State Government, Thursday stated that it had begun the process of recruiting Ebonyi youths into the proposed community policing architecture by the south-east governors of the region.
The government has so far received over 4,500 applications from interested applicants.
Ebonyi State Government, had, last week Friday, announced that all interested persons who were not less than 18 years and not more than 35 years of age to apply. It also dissolved the State’s vigilante group known as Neighbourhood Watch to pave way for the recruitment exercise into the proposed Community Police.
The State Commissioner for Border Peace and Internal Security, Mr Stanley Emegha, added that the state government would recruit 50 personnel each from the 140 autonomous communities in the State.
Emegha, who explained that the form was free of charge, frowned at the action of some traditional rulers and the Town Union Presidents who he alleged were demanding money from applicants to sign their forms.
He maintained that the recruitment was going to be transparent and only qualified applicants would be recruited, not minding his political affiliation.
The Commissioner said issuance of forms to applicants would end on Friday, 6th of June, 2020.
“The Governor’s instruction is 100 persons per Local Government Area, which is a total of 1,300. But when he came up with the idea that they are now going to be used for the proposed Community Policing, he now directed that it should be 50 per community, which means they are going to be 7,000 personnel.
“We have so far printed 4,500 forms which have been given out to applicants. The forms are free of charge. There is this rumour that the applicants pay N100,000 to collect the form, but that is not true. We don’t collect Kobo and the Governor never directed us to collect money from applicants.
“What we do is: if you apply, we give you a form to fill and you will fill in detail, the information we need from you. We want to have the data of all the applicants. It is no longer political patronage, as was done with the former vigilante group.
“This has no political affiliation. It is pure recruitment for people that will do the security work. We have decided not to give the town leaders and the traditional rulers the forms to share because they will start selling it.
“Many commissioners are putting pressure on me to give them the forms, but I have refused to give them. They want the forms so they will share with their lineage, but we won’t give them much chance.
“I have received a lot of reports on some traditional rulers and the Town Union Presidents that are demanding money ranging from N1,000 to N2,500 from applicants to sign their forms. I received reports that some town union presidents refused to sign the forms of applicants because they are not in the same political camp. Some Traditional Rulers refused to sign forms of applicants claiming they have selected people they want.
“But I want to state categorically that there won’t be any sentiment on the selection process. Only those that are capable and competent will be selected. No compromise in security. It is because of the compromise in the last recruitment that made people to chose their cronies and those in the same political camps with them, and most of them took the job as political patronage. It is no longer be like that.
“We shall be strict in the selection and training, and so, it is not all comers affairs. We shall come up with the best eleven to ensure that Ebonyi maintains its feat in terms of security.”