By Marie-Therese Nanlong
1, 850 inspectors in the Nigeria Police Force, NPF have appealed to the Police authority to take advantage of the general agitation for reform in the Police to revisit their earlier suspended promotion exercise saying there cannot be any genuine reform when professional personnel are discarded after going through a rigorous promotion exercise.
The group called on the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammad Dingyadi and Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Alhaji Musiliu Smith to look into their plight as part of the current reform exercise.
In a statement signed by Inspector Abdul Lukeman, the graduate policemen stated that they were made to go through some promotion screening and after going through the exercise, the process was abandoned even when the affected officials have relevant qualifications in various fields like Criminology and Security studies, Sociology, LLB, Psychology, Accountancy, Economics, Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution among others.
According to the statement, “In the year 2015, the Nigeria Police leaders at that time in their wisdom saw a need to upgrade inspectors, rank and file with higher educational qualifications.
“Based on that, they called for aptitude test (examination) and screening of officers with university degrees and HND (higher national diploma) certificates to be upgraded to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), reference to Police Wireless Message (Signal) CB:7510/DTD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.7/11, DTO151800/06/2015 Promotion General dated 06/2015.
“The examination and the screening were done by the police authority in conjunction with Police Service Commission in various state and zonal commands, respectively. After the examination and screening, 50 successful candidates were shortlisted from each state of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, according to their states of origins and Local Government Areas (LGAs), which make up to 1,850 candidates.
“Eventually, in December 2015, the police authority called for the final screening at the FHQ (Force Headquarters), Abuja via signal No. CB: 7510/DTD FHQ/ABJ/VOL.7/66 dated December 5, 2015. This final screening was not even supposed to come up again because we had already been screened by representatives of Police Service Commission and FHQ in both zonal and state commands.
“But to our utmost surprise, at the peak of the screening exercise at FHQ, we were told by the police authority that, we should go back to our various commands/formations for further directives.”
The affected officials added, “We equally plead with the following: the Police Council, the Inspector General of Police (IG), the chairmen, of police committees in both the Senate and House of Representatives, the chairman of Police TET Fund, former IGP Suleiman Abba, the traditional rulers in Nigeria, and all well-meaning individuals to take a second look at this issue with a view to addressing it appropriately.”