Why Buhari ordered suspension of police recruitment exercise

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim, has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the suspension of the recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, to resolve the clash between the Senate and the Police Service Commission, PSC.

Ibrahim stated this yesterday during a briefing at the National Assembly Complex, explaining that while the Senate wants the recruitment to be based on nine persons per local government, the PSC prefers that each state be given an opportunity to present equal number of persons.

The commission had in March this year begun the recruitment of 10,000 personnel into the NPF after Buhari had in 2015 approved the recruitment of 10,000 policemen at the National Security Summit in Abuja.

Some days ago, it was gathered that the Senate demanded that the recruitment of 10,000 personnel into the police force be suspended , citing irregularity in the criteria set for the exercise.

Ibrahim explained that the position of the Senate was informed by the need to ensure that more policemen are recruited from states with higher population, pointing out that even the policy of community policing would be better enhanced if policemen are recruited from the most rural areas in local government councils.

The committee chairman pointed out that the insistence of the PSC that the recruitment be based on equality of states made resolution of the crisis difficult, adding that this was why the President waded into the matter by halting the recruitment.

He, however, assured that the matter would be resolved when the President returns from Germany next week.

In Ibrahim’s words, “Recruitment? Honestly, it has to be suspended for two obvious reasons. First, lawmakers agreed that this recruitment must be done per local government.

“And the reason for that is that we are poised to give emphasis to community policing. The local governments are the smallest recognised unit by the constitution. So, nine per local government will form the nucleus for this community policing per local government. The obstacle was equality of states.

“Some people felt that it is not representative of federal character. I asked them what about what is happening in the National Assembly, in which the number of persons per state in the House of Representatives is by the size of the local governments of that state, while the Senate is based on equality of states.”