ONITSHA (Sundiata Post) – Human rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has said the continued exclusion of the South-East from the top echelon of the Nigerian Police has become an issue that needs to be addressed urgently and holistically.
In a statement made available to Sundiata Post on Friday, the group said if the trend is not reversed it could put the police on a destructive path, push the Igbo to the wall and fuel insecurity in the country.
The group said it was shocked that in recent promotion exercise carried out by the Police Service Commission (PSC) at its plenary on 25 January 2021 out of the nine new Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs), not one person from the South-East was promoted to that rank.
The full statement reads:
The total exclusion of the Igbo Nation from the rank of Police AIG, till date, and disproportionate, abysmal and skewed slots given to the Ethnic Nationality in the areas of CPs, DCPs, ACPs, CSPs and others is now a tsetse fly that perches on the corporate manhood of the PSC. When left on testicles of manhood, tsetse fly can suck him to death and if removed hurriedly or carelessly, the testicles can be crushed-leading to same death or incurable impotency. In other words, the Igbo exclusion or under representation in the Police promotions has become an issue that must be inexcusably, judiciously and holistically addressed by the PSC and leaving same unaddressed is nothing short of putting the NPF on a destructive path, breeding more insecurity for the country and fueling same; pushing the victim Ethnic Nationality to the wall including encouraging them to resort to civil disobedience and citizens’ radicalism as well as dividing the country by other means. Intersociety also make bold to say that no amount of primordial, clannish and ethno-religious cards can stop the monumental injustice from being reversed.
As an ethnic nationality with global population of 60 million or more with highest traveler or pastoral population in Nigeria, the Igbo ethnic nationality must be strategically captured in the country’s security and defence architectures especially in the areas of internal policing and territorial security and their command and control handlers. This is more so when the territories, borders, boundaries and mobility networks playing host and guest to the ethnic nationality are industrially ‘blue-collar’ with high population densities constituting serious security threats and other unsafe conditions for entire sedentary and pastoral Igbo population.
We are therefore still shocked that the PSC could hold its 11th plenary two days ago or on 25th January 2021 and still refuse to address the Igbo exclusion from the AIG list despite sustained and legitimate outcries; to the extent that out of the nine new AIGs promoted, none came from Igbo/Southeast. Also in the list of the now 31 serving AIGs studied, Northwest took 11, Southwest 7, South-south 7, Northeast 4, North-Central 3 and Southeast nil. The PSC was also silent on the replacement of the three retiring DIGs and the 17 shortchanged ACPs due for DCP ranks. The Police Service Commission must therefore address this monumental injustice-whether it likes or not.
Finally, Igbo intellectuals are called upon to emulate their counterparts in the Yoruba nation especially in the areas of research, investigative and strategic platform advocacies. It is time for them to stop spending most of their social rehearsal times on social media platforms with no major significant impart in the molding and shaping of the Society. Apart from such chats not having intellectual reference points, they are majorly outside facts and not in tandem with the eight principles of intellectual discourse.
Since the homeland apex socio-cultural and political platforms in present Igbo Nation have been “Caliphatised”, it is time for middle class Igbos especial the cerebrally educated to takeover. If a former president of Nigeria from South-south could intervene and save a senior police officer from his region from ‘being promoted to DIG on 25th Jan 2021’ and ‘retired on Monday, 1st Feb 2021’, same day the IGP and his DIGs are going, as against his exit date that runs till 2029; then it clearly shows how Regional leaders and interest groups fight to get their own share on the basis of equity and fairness. We dare ask: where are the Igbo/Southeast Govs and the leadership of “Oha-na-Eze Ndigbo”?
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Obianuju Igboeli and Chinwe Umeche (Principal Officers)