As part of efforts to boost the morale of officers and personnel dampened by the attacks that occasioned the #EndSARS protests across the nation, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has approved the promotion of a total of 82,779 junior officers.
Among the beneficiaries of the promotion are 16 personnel who lost their lives in the aftermath of the protests for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and total reform of the Police.
New Telegraph recalls that the peaceful protests, which were triggered by reported cases of extra-judicial killings, brutality, extortion and other excesses against the now-disbanded special squad, were later hijacked by suspected hoodlums, who looted warehouses, destroyed both public and private properties, including police stations.
Like civilians, many policemen were killed during the violent attacks, upon which judicial commissions of inquiry have since been opened across many states, to address grievances. The Federal Government had revealed that 57 civilians, 37 policemen and six soldiers were killed all over the country during the #EndSARS crisis.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed that 196 policemen were injured; 164 police vehicles destroyed and 134 police stations were razed. The development had caused inertia among police personnel as, apart from losing colleagues, many of them were faced with the reality of burnt stations and formations.
Prior to the unprecedented promotion, the IGP had set up a nine-man panel of senior officers saddled with the responsibility of undertaking an assessment tour of all Police commands affected by the incident, while also visiting families of deceased personnel, for purposes of paying condolences.
In a statement announcing the elevation yesterday, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, said the move was deliberately designed to spur the officers back to active duties.
Specifically, Mba said the post-humous promotion of officers, was a symbolic gesture in recognition of the ultimate price they paid in the service to the nation. A breakdown of the promotion showed that 56,779 Sergeants moved to the rank of Inspector; 17,569 Corporals promoted to Sergeants, while 8,431 Constables will now wear the rank of Corporal.
The Act setting up the Police empowers the IGP to promote personnel of the rank and file – Constable to Inspectorate level – while the Police Service Commission deals with the promotion of officers – Assistant Superintendent of Police up to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police. The Inspector-General of Police has, on Monday, 23rd November, approved the promotion of 82,779 junior police officers to their next ranks.
“The promotion of the officers comprising 56,779 Sergeants to Inspector, 17,569 Corporals to Sergeant and 8,431 Constables to Corporal is part of the ongoing efforts at boosting the morale of personnel and repositioning the Force for greater efficiency.
“Those promoted also include 86 junior officers negatively impacted by the #EndSARS riots – 16 got special posthumous promotion, while 70 others injured during the violence arising from the #EndSARS protests were equally specially promoted.
“The IGP, while congratulating the officers, charged them to see their promotion as a mark of additional responsibility and a call to rededicate themselves to their professional calling,” Mba said.
Adamu enjoined the beneficiaries to continue to carry out their duties diligently, and in conformity with best practices and respect for the rights of the citizen. He noted that the promotion, “albeit posthumously, of the officers who were killed by some #EndSARS protesters is a symbolic gesture in recognition of the ultimate price they paid in the service of the nation.”
Meanwhile, the police chief has pledged to work with all relevant agencies, organs of government and other stakeholders in driving a successful reform of the Police for improved welfare and conditions of service towards better service delivery to the people.