The Police Service Commission (PSC) recently announced the promotion of 239 senior police officers. In the exercise, two Commissioners of Police (CP) were promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIG) and 10 Assistant Commissioners of Police to Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP). Twelve Superintendents of Police (SP) were promoted to Chief Superintendents, 76 Deputy Superintendents of Police to Superintendents and 139 Assistant Superintendents of Police promoted to Deputy Superintendents. The Commission also ratified the promotion of 7,981 Inspectors to the rank of Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP).
According to the Commission’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, details of the exercise have been conveyed to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, for implementation. The promotions were part of decisions of the second plenary meeting of the commission held in Wudil, Kano, and presided over by the commission’s chairman, retired IGP, Alhaji Musiliu Smith.
The exercise coming a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari approved a new salary structure for the force is, indeed, a welcome development. We hope that it will spur those affected to be more dedicated to their duties. At the same time, we urge that the exercise should be made to trickle down to those at the lower ranks for more effectiveness.
Promotions in the force should be regular. We advise the PSC that such promotions in future must, in addition to reflecting the federal character policy, be based on merit. For internal security of the country, we need a police workforce that is adequately trained and psychologically equipped for the nation’s security challenges. Beyond the salary enhancement and promotions in the force, there is need to adequately fund the police for them to perform optimally.
The government may consider the establishment of the Police Development Fund as recently suggested by Senator Abu Ibrahim, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, as a way of overcoming the funding challenges of the force. We agree with the lawmaker that the Police Development Fund would open up diverse funding opportunities for the force. There is no doubt that the force is currently underfunded. For efficient and effective policing, government must hasten plans to decentralise the police.
We also applaud the recent promotions in the Army, Navy and Air Force as approved by the Nigerian Army Council, Nigerian Navy Board and the Nigerian Air Force Council, respectively. In the Nigerian Army, according to Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, 29 Brigadier Generals were promoted to the rank of Major Generals, 95 Colonels to Brigadier Generals, 106 Lieutenant Colonels to Colonels and one Major to Lieutenant Colonel.
In the same vein, according to the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Ayo Olugbode, 10 Rear Admirals, 25 Commodores, 24 Captains and 28 Commanders were affected. Similarly, 14 Air Commodores were promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal, 36 Group Captains to Air Commodores and 14 Wing Commanders to Group Captains in the Nigerian Air Force. According to the Director of NAF Public Relations, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the Air Force Council also approved the concessional commission of 3 Air Warrant officers (AWO) and one Master Warrant Officer (MWO) to the rank of Flight Lieutenants.
We welcome the uncommon harvest of promotions in the nation’s security agencies and urge those affected to live up to expectations in the discharge of their duties. They should put more efforts in tackling the general insecurity in the country, especially the insurgency in the North East geo-political zone.
Above all, we enjoin the security agencies, especially those that will be involved in election duties, to be neutral in carrying out their responsibilities.
They must be fair to all the political parties and their candidates. For a fair, free and credible election in 2019, all the security agencies and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be patriotic and remain apolitical.