The Police Service Commission (PSC) has said on-going conversation in the media on whether retiring senior police officers’ would affect the 2023 general election’s security was unnecessary distraction and an affront on all existing laws guiding entry and exit in the public service.
This is as the commission has directed all police officers due for retirement to proceed on retirement.
The directive may not be unconnected with media reports on alleged plans to elongate the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, some Deputy Inspectors General (DIGs), Assistant Inspectors General (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), and other senior police officers.
Blueprint reports that Baba was appointed as police boss by
President Muhammadu Buhari on April 6, 2021, and would clock 60 years on March 1, which is the official retirement age for serving police officers.
The commission, Monday, denied media report that the commission had endorsed alleged tenure elongation bid by IGP Baba.
As a follow up, the PSC, Tuesaday, in a press statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, in Abuja, noted that the commission was the statutory government executive body with the Constitutional mandate to recruit, promote, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding offices in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) except the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The commission also assured Nigerians that there could never be any leadership vacuum in the NPF.
The statement read in part, “The Commission has watched with keen interest the conversation in the Media on whether retiring senior Police Officers’ tenure should be enlongated or not and whether such retirements would affect the 2023 election security.
“Rising from a management meeting on Monday, January 23, 2023, in Abuja, the commission said the on-going campaign for the extension of the tenures of some DIGs, AIGs, CPs, and other senior police officers, was an unnecessary distraction and an affront on all the existing laws in the country guiding entry and exit in the public service.
“The commission took a decision that it will not extend the tenures of the retiring senior Police Officers, stressing that even when requested, it can not do so as it is against all existing laws, Police Act, Police Service Commission Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
According to the statement, “It noted that the Police have capable men and women who should be encouraged to step into the vacancies that would be created by the exiting Officers. It assured Nigerians that there is an institutional succession plan in the Nigeria Police Force especially with the current injection of 10,000 Constables and several other thousands of cadet ASPs from the Police Academy every year.
“The commission assured Nigerians that there will be no vacuum in the hierarchy of the Police with the touted retirement of hundreds of senior police officers.
“It took a decision to rigidly uphold the provisions of the law which stipulates that a serving public officer, whether in the Police or in any other Government Agency, must exit the service at the age of 60 or having served for a period of 35 years.
“The commission said it would not encourage the subversion of the laws guiding entry and exit in to the Nigeria Public Service, adding that the retiring senior police officers are not indespensable and that their exit would not in any way or manner affect the success of the 2023 general election.”