PSC: Arase Kicks Off Tenure With High-Level Meeting With Retired, Serving Police Chiefs
PSC To Withdraw Case Against Police
In keeping with his promise to ensure synergy between the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Solomon Arase who resumed as PSC Chairperson on March 29, called an elaborate meeting of top police officers, serving and retired, to chart a new course.
The meeting, held on Wednesday at the PSC Secretariat in Jabi, Abuja, was attended by retired Inspector Generals of Police (IGPs) including Sunday Ehindero, Onovo Ogbonna, Suleiman Abba and Mike Okiro.
It was the first of its kind meeting, featuring the presence of the current IGP Usman Baba who told the press that the meeting was important to bring the retired IGPs up to speed with his achievements thus far as he prepares to join them soon.
While addressing the press at the end of the meeting, retired IGP Ehindero said top on the agenda of the meeting was a discussion on the “contemporary issues facing the Nigerian Police”.
He believes that the retired IGPs should join forces with the IGP and PSC to continuously review prevailing and emerging issues ravaging the police force and to make their voices heard on such issues.
“On the whole, we think the problems that we are having in the country, both political, social and economic are passing phase for the Nigeria Police Force, and although the international community may ask their nationals to withdraw, we in this country have a way of solving our problems.
“So, we have deliberated, and there is a very assuring hope for the society in respect of performance and direction of the Police,” he said.
Also addressing the press, IGP Baba said the meeting with retired IGPs is not unusual, but the recent one is a reinvention of the existing meetings, where both serving and retired officers converge to discuss and share ideas to improve the police system.
“These are my senior colleagues who have retired from the police after attaining the pinnacle of leadership of the police. All of them are retired. Before I join them, I’ll need to tap into their experience. I need to also inform them of some of the developments that are very positive that the police had attained during my leadership.
“We have spoken greatly on how to continuously meet and discuss contemporary issues affecting law enforcement in Nigeria. Crime prevention and control is an issue that is very dynamic and it requires a dynamic approach.
“So there is hope at the end of the tunnel like my Oga (Ehindero) said, and we will continue to discuss, synergise and cooperate with everybody,” he said.
He further expressed satisfaction with the appointment of a retired IGP as PSC’s chairperson, describing the development as solidarity that will further “cement the relationship between the commission and the force.
“The way forward is that you will see complete synergy and hitch-free appointment, recruitment, discipline, promotion and all of them in a very acceptable and laid down procedure”.
However, a source at the meeting revealed to THE WHISTLER that the men swelled on ways to resolve longstanding disagreements between the NPF and PSC, specifically as it concerns the legal action by the commission against the police for “stealing their constitutional mandate”.
The source revealed, “If the police are quarrelling with the PSC, it is not good for our democracy. So, we came together to look at various issues challenging the Force. Number one of them is the feud between the police and the PSC: To move forward and withdraw all the litigation because we can work together to bring peace.
“Every conflict can be resolved with dialogue and the retired IGPs came together to look at all these issues and proffer solutions to them.
“Other issues like insecurity, crime rate, insurgency, banditry and kidnapping across the country were discussed including how to bring it down. Other discussions also pertained to sundry issues affecting the performance, capacity building and welfare of personnel,” the source said.
Recall that the Commission had taken the Police to court over its constitutional mandate of recruiting Constables into the Force, allegedly hijacked by the police.
The commission failed at the court of first instance, but the Appeal Court affirmed their powers to recruit Constables for the Force.
The police subsequently approached the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment of the lower court and according to a top source of the commission, “We have not heard from them (police) since then”.