A potential conflict is looming between the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Police Service Commission (PSC) regarding the uneven distribution of Commissioners of Police (CPs) to states across the country. The PSC has strongly criticized this lopsided posting, emphasizing the need for the Nigeria Police Force to adhere to the principles of federal character in both recruitment and deployment. The aim is to ensure a balanced, equitable, and fair system.
According to Ikechukwu Ani, spokesperson for the PSC, the Commission has observed the disproportional distribution and deployment of Command Commissioners, highlighting the importance of fair representation for all geopolitical zones. This approach is crucial to address the sense of marginalization and injustice experienced by certain regions within the Nigeria Police Force.
The PSC further emphasized that the current deployment of Commissioners of Police fails to reflect the principles of equity and fairness towards all geopolitical zones. This disparity particularly affects the North-East and South-East regions. As a corrective measure, the PSC has approved a policy that requires at least three State Commands out of the 37 Commands to have female Police officers as their Commissioners of Police. Additionally, out of the 17 zonal headquarters, at least one zone must have a female AIG (Assistant Inspector-General) to head the zone.
Based on Section 6(e) and (7) of the Police Service Commission Act, which empowers the Commission to formulate and implement policies for the efficiency and discipline of the Nigeria Police Force, the PSC has approved new policy guidelines. Going forward, requests for the deployment of Commissioners of Police to state commands must prioritize the disadvantaged zones to rectify the present imbalance and address the skewed postings against the North-East and South-East regions.
The PSC has mandated that all geo-political zones in the country should have a minimum representation of 15% in the deployment of assistant inspectors-general of police to zones, commissioners of police to state commands, and the posting of commanding officers of Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism CTU, and Special Protection Unit (SPU). Furthermore, all police deployments to zones and commands, at both management and tactical levels, must recognize the heterogeneity of Nigeria and reflect fairness and equity in terms of ethnicity and religion.
The Commission has advised the Inspector-General to be guided by these policy guidelines, which prioritize fairness and justice for all members of the Nigeria Police Force. By upholding these principles, the aim is to create an efficient and effective police force that embraces diversity and fosters equal opportunities for all officers, regardless of their geographical origin.
In this clash between the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission, the ultimate goal is to achieve a more balanced and representative distribution of Commissioners of Police, ensuring that no region feels marginalized or excluded from key positions within the force. The PSC’s policy guidelines aim to bring about a fair and just system that respects the diversity of Nigeria and promotes equality in the police hierarchy.