Obasanjo asks FG to appoint civilian head of PSC


The Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, asked Federal Government to appoint a civil servant to head the Police Service Commission (PSC), in order to address the lingering war between the police force and PSC.

Obasanjo, who made the call at the public presentation of a book, ‘Policing the Nigeria Police’ authored by a former PSC chairman, Simon Okeke, said retired police must not be charged of PSC.

He said that it was a disservice to the nation to always appoint retired police officers to head a supervising agency that oversees the activities of the police officers.

He further stated that the mandate of the PSC as stated in the 2001PSC ACT stated that it was the job, however, the inspector-general of police has often times, gone beyond their duties to interfere with the jobs of the PSC.

He further contended that the Police should be allowed to be monitored and supervised as stated in the PSC ACT and that the PSC must be allowed to do its normal oversight function.

Speaking on the creation of state police, the former president said though the book spoke on the creation of state police, he is calling for the creation of a state guard that would assist in tackling the challenges of insecurities in the state.

He stated that the argument of state governors abusing the state police can not stand the test of time as even the federal government has been found guilty of misusing the police too.

He said: “The police must be policed by a strong civilian peoples’ community, not police being policed by the police. If that is addressed, I believe we will get better police than we have today.

“This is because there are jealousies and biases within the police, and therefore when you make a retired policeman the head of the commission it is like asking a thief to catch a thief. Those jealousies and biases will come to the fore. From the book, and of course as president, I cannot say I do not know some of these Acts.

“The IGPs tend to want to take more than their mandate allows them to take. The headship of the commission, I believe must be a civilian, not a retired police officer. A retired Police officer should be a member of the commission.”

He further called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to implement state police to adequately safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians at the state level.

“People have said that state police will be abused by governors, I won’t say yes or no, but are they not being abused by the central government? But I believe we can have guides for state police, particularly for the communities to reduce to the bare minimum that abuse of police by the state government.”

In his remarks, the author, Okeke appreciated the participants for attending the programme.

The Chief Launcher, Emeka Okwuosa, who supported the project with N20 million, said the book was a manual for serving and retired police officers.


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