A civil society group, Integrity Group Against Corruption has raised the alarm that there are plots by some disgruntled police officers in collaboration with some selfish politicians and civil society groups, to gang up and smear the good image of the Chairman Police Service Commission (PSC), Sir Mike Mbama Okiro.
The group noted that, “Sir Okiro, a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) was appointed chairman of Police Service Commission purely on merit having performed creditably well as IGP, and not on political affiliation or ethnic agenda.”
In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Alj Suleiman Ajibade, Emeka Ndubueze (JP), Publicity Secretary and Mallam Ibrahim Argungu, Treasurer, the group maintained that, “since his appointment in June 2013, he has rectified several lopsided promotions and postings, especially ethnic imbalance, in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
The chairman always exhibit professionalism and uprightness without sentiments in approving promotions, postings and retirements.
However, some of the corrupt police officers and politicians, according to the group, who believe in short cuts to the top are not happy with Okiro’s patriotic performance. Instead, “they are in tandem planning to use the press, social media and civil society groups with cooked up allegations, to smear the good image of the chairman.”
“We are already aware that two civil society groups and some social media in the South-west have been consulted, to publish frivolous allegations against the former IGP,” it said.
“Intelligence information at our disposal, indicate that, the disgruntled officers are against the recent promotions and recommendations by the immediate past IGP, Solomon Arase. Mr. Arase had on his exit gave automatic promotions to policemen attached to the President, Vice President, all Governors, all Ministers, the Senate President and his Deputy, the Speaker and his Deputy, as well as past IGPs.
For the records, Okiro’s responsibility as chairman of PSC, is to approve recommendations by the IGP of promotion of officers from the rank of Assistant Superintended of Police (ASP) and above. He is also saddled with the responsibility of approving posting of state Commissioners of Police (CPs) and zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) as recommended by the IGP, while the Presidency sometimes gives similar approvals. His responsibility also includes discipline of erring police officers from the rank of ASP, and retirement of officers who are statutorily due for retirement, or are recommended for retirement on disciplinary grounds.”
The statement also noted that: “To avoid corruption and ensure probity, Okiro gave stern warning to his staff and police officers, in the current recruitment exercise of 10,000 policemen, that, only those qualified should be recruited, no godfatherism. That is why he fed requisite qualifications into the computer which selected 338,000 applicants out of 960,000 that applied online.”
In a related development, the group disclosed that, “some politicians are said to be angry with the former IGP who is from the South-south region, for appealing to the Niger Delta Avengers and other militants to drop their arms and embrace dialogue with the federal government.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government Amnesty to the militants was Okiro’s brain child when he was IGP, during the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s regime.
Okiro conceptualized the Amnesty Programme to late President Yar’Adua, persuaded him to approve it, and that brought peace to the region.
Irked by the upheaval and destructions of oil facilities by the militants, Okiro recently issued a statement appealing to the Avengers and other militants, to shield their swords and dialogue with the government of President Mohammadu Buhari.
We hereby caution disgruntled police officers to channel their grievances to the appropriate authority, instead of engaging civil society groups and the press to seek undue redress. Similarly, we wish to inform detractors that Okiro is committed to peace in the Niger Delta region, and as a stakeholder he will not relent,” the statement concluded.