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Insecurity: Fresh recruitment of 10,000 police constables stalled

…as Police Commission awaits presidential directive

The manpower deficit in the Nigeria Police Force may persist as the recruitment of 10,000 constables to bridge the gap has been stalled, an investigation by New Telegraph has revealed. President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 ordered the recruitment of 10,000 as police officers annually. The directive is aimed at boosting the force’s manpower, which is considered to be less than 400,000 personnel, in a country of over 200 million people. Highly-placed sources, who spoke in confidence with New Telegraph, said the Police Service Commission (PSC) had yet to receive a presidential directive for the 2021 recruitment.

This was as it was further gathered that even the 2020 recruitment process had yet to be completed, owing to an ongoing legal tussle between the PSC and Force Headquarters over who has the constitutional mandate to recruit. The stalemate is happening in the face of worsening insecurity, occasioned by insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and other forms of violent crimes across the country. Speaking on the development, a senior official said: “What I can say confidently is that the commission is waiting for Presidential approval to begin the recruitment process.”

He added that the commission “may likely complete the 2020 recruitment that was stopped halfway, and which was affected by the Appeal Court judgement restoring the powers of the commission to recruit constables”. He explained that the commission was not part of the 2020 exercise, which was stopped as a result of litigation. Another senior officer, who spoke in similar vein, gave assurance of possible completion of last year’s exercise. He said: “You know that the case is in court, and they are trying to look for an out-of- court settlement.

“However we have not heard from court or from any other quarters. That’s where we are now. “But there was an assurance that they will soon resume the former (last year’s) exercise that was stopped. “They must complete that one, because they were on the verge of completion when they stopped.” Efforts to reach the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CP Frank Mba, for comment did not yield any result as he failed to pick calls to his phone.

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