The rift between the Police Service Commission, PSC, and Police Management Team over recruitment of 10,000 policemen to help in the fight against the prevailing insecurity in the country as directed by President Muhammed Buhari has deepened as it has affected police activities connected with the commission.
Areas most affected include recruitment, training, retirement and discipline of men of the force.
The situation took a worsening dimension last week after police authorities reportedly directed the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, from Police Academy, POLACK, Wudil, Kano, who was attending a crucial stakeholder’s meeting at the commissions’ office involving the PSC, Minister of Police Affairs and Federal Character Commission, to walk out of the venue.
Vanguard learned that police authorities did not also send any representative to the meeting where vital decisions over the issue of cut-off marks for those that applied for admission into the Police Academy were to be taken.
This, according to sources, is against what was obtainable in the past and in total disregard to the fact that candidates admitted into the academy are already policemen in training who will graduate and enter the force as cadet officers.
This is coming on the heels of disagreement between Police management team and the PSC, led by a retired Inspector-General of Police, Musiliu Smith, over recent recruitment exercise conducted by both parties.
It was gathered that following the disagreement, senior staff of the commission locked up all offices of the commission a few weeks ago, agitating that police management was taking the commission for a ride.
The offices were unlocked after the PSC was forced to suspend all activities and overall functions involving the police.
According sources at the commission, the management of the commission was forced to succumb to this demand for total suspension by the union after they denounced the crisis. He stated that IGP was taking PSC for a ride by hijacking the recruitment exercise which is one of the constitutional responsibilities of the commission.
The source that pleaded strict anonymity said: “What IGP Adamu Muhammed is saying is that recruitment is different from appointment but in the public service rule, recruitment is filling of vacancies by appointment of persons not already in the system.
“This is because all employed Policemen sit for confirmation examination in the Public Service Commission. So, they cannot say they are not public servants because they are guided by the public service rule.”
It was learned that following this crisis, the management team of the Police had been depleted because three Deputy Inspectors-General of police holding sensitive positions were supposed to have been retired.
“We don’t know how this system works because PSC is supposed to have received a list of new DIGs to be replaced but the IGP has not done that. The fear is that we may end up having a sole administrator in charge of Police,” the source hinted.
Recall that President Buhari had, during the presentation of the 2018 PSC annual report at the Presidential Villa by the Chairman of Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith, a retired IGP, members of his commission and the present IGP, Adamu Muhammed, admonished both parties to work harmoniously towards achieving a common goal.
So far, both the recruitment of about 10,000 fresh policemen and almost all police activities involving the PSC have been put on hold as a result of the crisis.
Commenting on the development, retired Inspector-General of Police and former Chairman, Police Service Commission, PSC, Sir, Mike Mbama Okiro, told Vanguard: “The rift is not only over recruitment, I just learned that members of the commission have been directed to return the SUV’s assigned to them.”
When contacted for comments, both the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba and PSC spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, could not be reached as calls made to their phones rang out without reply.