Dispute Between PSC, NPF Hampers Recruitment Of 10,000 Police Officers

The ongoing dispute between the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the high command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) over the recruitment of constables is negatively impacting service delivery and the timeline for strengthening the manpower of the security outfit.

Notably, stakeholders have deemed the recent controversy surrounding the recruitment exercise as detrimental, citing its adverse effects on internal security in the country, given the pivotal role of the police in upholding civil authority.

In the latest development, Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun issued a strongly worded statement on Saturday, June 15, rejecting a list generated from the recruitment exercise conducted by the PSC.

This renewed friction occurred shortly after President Bola Tinubu dismissed the former chairman of the PSC, Solomon Arase, who was appointed on January 24, 2023, by the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari.

Although the exact link between the fresh conflict and Arase’s dismissal remains unclear, security sector stakeholders believe the president should have allowed him to conclude his duties related to the recruitment.

However, the statement from the IGP, conveyed to journalists by the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, expressed dissatisfaction with what was described as a “recruitment process marred by irregularities and alleged corruption.”

Egbetokun specifically highlighted concerns regarding discrepancies in the list of successful candidates, with individuals who were neither screened nor trained appearing on it. He also raised issues concerning candidates who failed various stages of the recruitment process but were included in the published list.

In response, the staff members of the commission, represented by the Joint Union Congress, dismissed the IGP’s allegations as diversionary, asserting that his remarks were unwarranted.

The union lamented the confrontational stance adopted by the police during recruitment exercises, suggesting underlying interests and corrupt practices.

This ongoing conflict between the PSC and NPF has become a recurring issue, with experts attributing the failure to reach a consensus as a contributing factor to the halt in the recruitment of 60,000 personnel, as directed by the immediate past president, Buhari.

During the past year, since Bola Tinubu assumed the presidency, no police constables have been recruited, further exacerbating the situation.

Even during Buhari’s tenure, only 20,000 officers were recruited before his departure from office.

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