Advertised 10,000 Police Jobs: Matters arising
By Onike Rahaman.
When the federal government first announced its plan to recruit 10,000 police officers, hardly could anyone anticipate the large turn–out of applicants for the Jobs.
It beats ones imagination that 705,352 applicants had applied for just 10,000 job offers as at present. This suggests that there is high unemployment rates in the country. The rush might equally be as a result of attractive salary scale of the police.
Given the current security challenges of the nation, the idea of adding 10,000 police officers to the current size is in my view a sensible option. No responsible government would handle issue of security with levity.
More importantly, with the population size, heterogeneity and complexity of our federal structure, I feel strongly that Nigeria requires adequate security for sustainable growth and national stability.
We may hate or love the police, the truth remains that the services of police are indispensable. By constitutional order, court of law always rely on report of investigation by the police on criminal matters and the officers of the police service are usually the prosecutors in criminal cases. So, the discipline and competence of officers of the Nigerian police will determine the survival and stability of the nation’s socio-economic and political systems.
In shortlisting and recruiting the 10,000 police officers, the Police Service Commission must ensure that only qualified applicants are employed. The police recruitment exercise should not be politicized.
Except there is transparency in the ways the recruitments are handled, the whole exercise would become objectionable. Without thorough screening, persons with criminal records and questionable characters will find their ways into the police service.
The blistering response of applicants to police Job vacancies in another sense might be as a result of either prevalence of ‘egunje’ syndrome or other unethical attractions which are common attributes of an average police officer in Nigeria.
The current profile of police in Nigeria is that of an organization known for impunity. It is becoming a cliche to stress that many of the officers do smoke or find convenience in excessive alcoholism while in official uniforms.
If the government would succeed in its quest to build an highly competent and skillful police force, it is essential that emphasis be given to training and value re-orientation to the recruits at entry.
From experience, persons who are decent before joining the police service are often being polluted by the culture of corruption which has long characterized the history of the police service in Nigeria. Arguably the potential recruits are likely to fall victims of bandwagon effects of decadence in the police service.
It is therefore incumbent on the government to devise strategies towards ridding the force of corrupt elements . The call cannot be ignored if the nation truly wants to achieve the full object of building an efficient security system.
From evolutionary trends, there is reasonable grounds and plausible justification for the targeted size for the Nigeria’s police. If the government succeeds in her effort to recruit 10,000 qualified, disciplined, properly trained and well equipped police officers, it is my considered opinion that security situations in the country will improve.
In the final analysis, the quest to increase the size of the police force in my perception is not only timely but it will equally avail the country an opportunity to build a police force that will command respect across the globe.
Rahaman Onike, author, public administrator and public affairs commentator writes from Oyo in Oyo State.