Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
A civil rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, (Intersociety), has raised the alarm over the marginalization of the South East in the appointment of senior police officers by the Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police.
In a protest letter sent to the PSC and Inspector General of Police and released to newsmen in Onitsha, signed by intersociety Board Chair, Emeka Umeagbalasi, the group alleged that the lopsided appointment in the Force had gone ‘nuclear’ since the middle of 2015 while there was an imminent threat of total elimination of the Igbo from the NPF.
“As a matter of fact and urgency, the Southeast geopolitical region already stands the high risk of not producing the country’s IGP in the next ten years, if not permanently.”
The group demanded that the highlighted constitutional aberrations and illegalities must be discontinued while there must also be ‘special recruitment and promotions’ to correct the imbalances under complaint.
“The seeming age-long ‘promotion stagnancy’ policy against Igbo-Southeast serving junior and senior police officers in the Nigeria Police Force must further be abolished. As a matter of fact, all forms of discriminatory policies in the Force remotely or directly targeted at the Igbo-Southeast region or any other geopolitical region must be totally done away with. These firm demands of ours are beyond conditions and excuses. They also require extreme urgency and must be treated as ‘National Emergency.’
To address the imbalance, the group called for ‘special recruitment, commissioning and promotion in the Nigeria Police Force for purpose of filling the vacancies and lop-sidedness in the Force particularly those meant for Igbo-South East.
“Specifically, there shall be promoted and appointed under ‘special circumstances’ the following number of Igbo senior police officers: six new AIGs and two Zonal AIGs, ten CPs and five State Commissioners of Police, 19 additional DCPs, 34 ACPs and 150 CSPs. This is to fill the ‘shortages’ in the region’s lists of AIGs and their zonal headships, CPs and their State Command headships, DCPs, ACPs and CSPs. Similar vacancies belonging to the region and existing in the ranks of Constable to Superintendent shall be identified and filled up to bring same at par with those of other four geopolitical regions or regions of the Northwest, the Northeast, the North-Central and the Southwest.
“The Nigeria Police Force under you, sir, must be administered secularly, pluralistically and securely, so as to give all ethnic nationalities and religions in Nigeria a sense of belonging, cohesion and collective security,” the group said.