The Campaign for Equity has called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to inaugurate the Board of Trustees of the Police Trust Fund in its present order, arguing that it is not properly constituted.
The group, comprising patriotic Nigerians concerned with the enthronement of equity in the national scheme of things, therefore, advised President Buhari to reconstitute the board announced recently by the Presidency.
According to the group, this would enable the president address observed regional and geopolitical imbalance in the board.
The group, which kicked against the composition of the board in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Oliver Akosa, said that “while we applaud the President, Muhammadu Buhari, for taking steps to ensure that the Nigeria Police Force is well funded, well equipped and highly professional in line with international best practices, we note with disappointment that the composition of the Board of Trustees of the Fund is sectional, parochial and lopsided and does not, therefore, meet the basic requirements of Federal Character as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 ( as amended).”
It noted with dismay that in the appointment, former Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abbah, was announced as chairman, Board of Trustees of the Fund, while Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto was made the executive secretary while the other members included representatives of three ministries: Ministry of Police Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Ministry of Justice, as well as the Nigeria Police Force, Civil Society Groups and the Organised Labour.
“A cursory illustration will suffice. Suleiman Abbah, chairman of the board, is from Jigawa State in Northwest Nigeria. The Executive Secretary, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, hails from Sokoto State in the same Northwest. It is clearly odd and obscene for a national agency, which is supposed to reflect the country’s geopolitics, have its chairman and secretary coming from one zone of the country.
“As if this is not embarrassing enough, two other members of the eight-man arrangement come from the same Northwest. Mansur Ahmed, the member representing Organised Labour and Usman Bilkisu, the member representing Ministry of Justice, are from Kano and Kebbi states respectively. To cap it all, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, is from Sokoto in the same Northwest.
“From the foregoing, it can be safely concluded that the entire police apparatchik of the country is in the hands of the Northwest. This arrangement falls short of both regional and federal balance.
“We believe that these salient facts may have escaped those who constituted the Board of Trustees of the PTF,” the group said.
It noted that a country that is working hard to get a Police Force that works needs the contributions of critical stakeholders to achieve the objective, advising the government to broaden the civic space to accommodate various shades of opinion.
“The present parochial arrangement, which concentrates everything about the Nigeria Police on one zone of the country is retrogressive and inhibiting. Nepotism or cronyism, which the present arrangement promotes should be shunned and jettisoned,” it advised.