- South East youths shun police enrolment
- Ohaneze Ndigbo, political leaders express concern over the ugly development
- Experts reveal reasons behind the trend, proffer solutions
Experts, leaders and political stakeholders in the South East are currently worried that youths of the region seem not interested in joining the ongoing recruitment of constables by the Nigeria Police Force.
Findings showed that the situation has been in existence for over half a decade with no end in sight over ugly trend.
In any case, disturbing details recently released by the chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Solomon Arase, indicated a great deal of apathy on the part of youths from the zone in pursuing careers in the police
Recently, in a statement by Ikechukwu Ani, head, Press and Public Relations, PSC, Arase called on the leaders of the zone to find a way of convincing the youths to embrace the opportunity the ongoing recruitment has provided.
He noted that it will be difficult for anybody to listen to cries of marginalisation from the zone if the people chose to remain indifferent to the Federal Government’s decision to offer employment to Nigerian youths into the Police Force.
Details of recruitment data by the police
Going by the details from the Police Commission, Kaduna State was leading with 20,259 youths having already completed the online applications, while Adamawa State followed with 18,933 applications.
Others are Borno, 18,305; Bauchi, 16,554; Katsina, 16,232 and Kano, 15,888.
Unfortunately, South East states took the back seat in terms of number of applications: “Next to Anambra State from the rear are Ebonyi, 737; Abia, 966 and Imo 999. Bayelsa, has 1020; Enugu, 1036; Lagos, 1259; Delta, 1338 and Edo 1526.”
Why South East youths show apathy in police recruitment
Findings showed that there are so many reasons South East youths shun police recruitment.
Poor remuneration/lopsided promotion
One of the reasons for shunning the police recruitment by the South East youths is poor remuneration of the personnel. After the 2010 police remuneration reforms, the salary of a Constable Grade Level 03 ₦43,293.83.
After the 2018 Police salary reforms by the Mohammadu Buhari administration which is yet to be made public, insider revealed that there was no much difference between both salaries.
Also many Igbos believe that there is lopsided promotion in all the Nigerian security agencies in the country.
WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that since the retirement of Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo in 2010, no Igbo man has been ascended to the rank of Inspector General of Police.
This has made many Igbo youths believe that indeed, police force is not for the Igbos.
Soaring insecurity in the zone
The soaring insecurity in the South East zone has become a source of discouragement on the youths of the zone to join the force.
Many youths in the zone see it as going on suicide mission. This is mainly because the security personnel in the zone are usually target of frequent attack by criminal elements.
Findings by WITHIN NIGERIA showed that 90% of policemen in the zone do not wear their uniform to work mainly because they don’t want to attract avoidable attack by criminals in the zone.
It was gathered that police job is the least government job any youth can engage in the zone.
President General of Coalition of South East Leaders (COSEYL), Goodluck Ibem, Director General of Peace and Good Governance Group (P3G) and Convener, Youth Security Summit 2023, Monday Diamond Ani, as well as Publisher, Fact Sheet Newspaper, Moses Idika, blamed the disinterest on the recent attack on police in the zone by non-state actors. In fact, youths of the zone see “the police as death sentence.”
Activities of IPOB
Many Igbo who are on the part of Indigenous People of Biafra no longer believe that they are part of Nigeria.
In fact, many of them see themselves as Biafrans and not as Igbos. They don’t want to have anything to do with Nigerian nation.
Whenever there is anything that has to do with Nigeria like census, election, voters’ registration and many others, they usually count themselves out of it.
So, this has greatly affected recruitment of south East youths in Nigeria Police Force.
Alleged bad image of the force
Policemen in the zone and even other parts of the country are seen as people with low morale standing. They are viewed as people who are allegedly corrupt, foul mouthed and ill-mannered.
Reactions of the concerned South Eastern people
By and large, the ugly trend had prompted Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide to appeal to leaders of the zone at all levels to appeal to their youths to apply for the police recruitment.
The President General of the apex Igbo organisation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, expressed worry over the situation.
According to Chief Iwuanyanwu, “the lack of interest by the Igbo youths towards the Nigeria Police Force is disturbing because, it is only by enlisting in the Police Force that offers the unique possibility of becoming a senior police officer in the future.
“I hereby call on the South East Governors led by Sen. Hope Uzodimma, CON; the Chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers led by Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu; the States President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo; the Chairman, Association of South East Town Unions led by Chief Emeka Diwe; the clergy and the various Igbo groups and social movements to use their various structures to sensitize the Igbo youths to embrace the opportunity provided by the ongoing recruitment exercise.”
However, to drive home the message, the Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Aka Eze Aka has commenced enlightenment campaign to the grassroots.
At Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area, he appealed to the youths to embrace the opportunity.
Stressing further, Mr. Aka said that “Many of us have other things we are doing which may not be as viable as joining the Nigerian Police. I have one or two persons who will tell you the advantages of joining the Police as at today.
“When we look at it peripherally, we will see that it may not be as impressive as we may look at it, but sometimes opportunity calls in a manner that tomorrow may be better than today. The only thing is that please we want people who are qualified to be enlisted in the Police Force.”
His Ebonyi State counterpart, Jude Okpor, said that his office in liaison with the Public Relations Officer of the state command was leading the campaign with the support of the state chapter of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON).
They also lamented that many youths from the region believe that they have no future in the police force because of alleged skewed promotion in the police system.