Reps wash hands of police recruitment crisis

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The House of Representatives has said the tussle between the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force over the recruitment of 10,000 constables is now beyond its control.

The House Committee on Police Affairs said in Abuja on Wednesday it could not do beyond advising the stakeholders to resolve the crisis.

While accusing the PSC and the police of being egocentric, the panel condemned them for delaying the recruitment of new officers despite the security issues in the country.

Despite the committee’s meeting with the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi; the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; and the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Alhaji  Musiliu Smith, the crisis has persisted.

The NPF went ahead to release the list of successful candidates, with Smith allegedly shocked by the development. The PSC chair is a former Inspector-General of Police.

Addressing journalists, the Chairman of the House committee, Mr Usman Kumo, said they could only play an advisory role in the matter.

Kumo said, “The intervention made by the National Assembly was to extend our hand of friendship in doing what we ought to be doing to see that things are working. Since we appropriated (funds) for these people, we intervened to say  ‘go and do the right thing’.

“They are not our employees, therefore, we have limitations to say ‘do A or B at a particular time.”

He added, “Like I said during the intervention, I see this fracas between the PSC and NPF as more egocentric. It is more about ego. If you are talking about Nigerians and security, you are talking about lives and property. I see whoever employs or recruits or appoints and injects young men into the force; whoever does that is immaterial.”

A member of the committee, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, denied the lawmakers asked the IG to release the list.

The source said the panel only asked the minister to supervise the exercise.

The source said, “They asked the minister, since he is new (to the ministry), to set up a joint committee made up of the PSC and the office of the IG, and superintend the exercise. They all agreed to this. The lawmakers also warned them against allowing the crisis to degenerate.

“They specifically told the minister that  ‘we are giving you the opportunity as the Minister of Police Affairs to supervise the exercise and resolve the issues. Where that is not done, we will revisit the matter.’”

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