Barely one week after the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, directed state police commands to kick-start the process of the recruitment of special constables nationwide preparatory to the implementation of federal government’s community policing policy, many state commands have constituted screening committees and are awaiting approvals and full guidelines from the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The IG in a signal had ordered all state Commissioners of Police (CPs), Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in their domains to screen volunteers between the ages of 21 and 50 who would be engaged after passing the screening tests.
The directive was issued amidst the raging controversy over the setting up of a security outfit, Amotekun, by South-west governors to tackle the spike in insecurity in the region.
While some CPs have constituted screening committees and are waiting for approvals and signals on how to proceed with the recruitment process, others are still waiting for the signals from the Force Headquarters on how to go about the recruitment.
Speaking at the weekend, the Police Public Relations Officer for Sokoto State, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Muhammad Sadiq, said the names of the screening committee for the state had been sent to Abuja for approval.
“We have sent the names to the Force Headquarters for approval. I can’t tell you anything for now as we await approval,” he said.
In Katsina State, the state police command also said that it has inaugurated the screening committee comprising heads of local government councils, traditional and religious leaders and members of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) for the recruitment.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said the committee would adhere strictly to Sections 49 and 50 of the Police Act and Regulations while screening applicants for the recruitment.
“We have constituted the committee and forwarded (members’ names) to Abuja as requested by the Office of the Inspector General of Police. This committee consisted of traditional and religious leaders, state government and some senior police officers from the headquarters, including my humble self.
“Up to now, we have not gotten the official numbers of people to be recruited from Abuja. So, we are waiting for the office of the IG to give us the exact number of persons to be recruited in Katsina State.
He assured the indigenes of the state of the command’s readiness to recruit qualified persons irrespective of religion, tribal or political affiliation as enshrined in the Police Service Act and Regulations.
The Kaduna State Police Command also said it had set up a committee for recruitment of constables for the community policing.
Spokesman of the command, Mr. Yakubu Sabo, said in an interview on Saturday in Kaduna that all necessary arrangements had been made and the process would soon commence “possibly by next week or so.”
Sabo said: “Recruitment for community policing will soon start because the IG has directed all commissioners of police to submit the names of members of the committee that will do the screening and recruitment.
“All necessary arrangements have been made; it is just for the process to commence possibly by next week or so.
“The committee has been set up. The number of members of the committee depends on respective states. There are some criteria based on the Police Act and Regulation. States vary based on the number of formations they have. Initially they are saying 40,000 should be recruited, but now we are waiting for further directive for the number to be recruited,” he explained
The spokesman of the Adamawa state Police Command, Mr. Suleiman Nguroge, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the command had also constituted a committee saddled with the responsibilities of handling the recruitment but the committee was yet to be approved by the IG.
The spokesman said until the IG’s ratification of the committees in various states, no state police command can make the membership public.
“Once we get approval from the IG, we will declared the committee publicly and they will kick-start the process immediately,” he added.
The Anambra State Police Command has also constituted a committee for the recruitment.
The spokesman of the command, SP Haruna Mohammed, confirmed this development.
“Yes, the command has set up the committee (for the recruitment of constables) and we are now waiting for guidelines please.”
The spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr. Frank Mbah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), declined to comment when contacted to speak on when the full guidelines for the exercise would be sent to the state commands.
But the Kano State Police Command said that it had completed preparations for the recruitment of constables.
Spokesman of the command, DSP Abdullahi Kiyawa, said the command had provided a registration portal online through which interested candidates could register.
He added that all necessary details required about the registration could be accessed on the registration portal, but that the command was still waiting for signal from Abuja to commence the recruitment.
The Ekiti State Police Commissioner, Mr. Asuquo Amba, said that the village heads across the 16 local government areas of the state had been mandated to constitute committees that would screen all intending candidates for the special police constables.
Amba said the command would partner communities as well as traditional and religious leaders for the recruitment to get those with impeccable records to constitute the community police.
Amba, who spoke through the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sunday Abutu, added that the recruitment will commence across the 16 local governments soon.
“The recruitment is not going to be done by the police alone. The village heads in partnership with other stakeholders had been mandated to constitute committees because they are the ones who understand their people and it is what they come out with that the police will work on,” he said.
On its part, the Kwara State Police Command has stated that it would soon inaugurate the screening committee that would handle the recruitment.
The command’s PPRO, Mr. Ajayi Okasanmi, told THISDAY that the committee would comprise three first class royal fathers that would represent traditional rulers, three persons from professional bodies, three Area Police Commanders, three local government councils chairmen and other prominent individuals in the state.
Okasanmi stated that the screening committee would assist the police command to get those that would be committed and honest in the discharge of the duties.
On the number of those to be recruited, the PPRO said was uncertain yet, adding: “The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has hinted that about 400,000 volunteers will be recruited nationwide for the community policing but our command is yet to have the sharing modalities on the number that would come to Kwara State”.
However, the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Awoshola Awotinde, said that the command was still awaiting further guidelines from the Force Headquarters, Abuja to commence the recruitment.
Awotinde noted that the command had received signal but it could not go ahead without the guidelines.
“Yes, we have received information or signal on the proposed recruitment of constables into the community policing scheme. The instruction has come, but without guidelines, it cannot thrive. So, we are still waiting for the guidelines so that we can act on them. We are still waiting,” he stated.
He added that before the end of this week, the guidelines would get to the command.
“It is only when we get them that we can know the category of traditional and religious leaders to meet with on this,” he explained.
Also, the Plateau State Police command has said it has not received the signal on recruitment yet.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Uba Gabriel Ogaba, said: “We have not received the signal yet. When the signal is in the command, we would let the public know about the recruitment. We don’t have details on when recruitment will start and the composition of the screening committee, and the number to be recruited because all of that are supposed to be contained in the signal that we have not yet received.”
The Osun State Police spokesperson, Mrs. Folashade Odoro, said that the command has not received any signal to start recruitment of constable for community policing.
Also, the Oyo State PPRO, Mr. Gbenga Fadeyi, said the recruitment for community policing would start when all the necessary requirements needed were ready, stressing that the state police command is still awaiting further directives from the police headquarters in Abuja.
Spokesman of the Taraba State Police Command, DSP David Misal, also said that the command is yet to set up a screening committee to conduct the recruitment.
According to him, whenever it is put in place, the committee would determine the total number of constables to be recruited for the initiative.
The PPRO for the Ondo State Command, Mr. Femi Joseph, said the command would soon constitute the screening committee that would comprise community leaders since the constable would work in specific communities.
“We are going to involve traditional rulers and community leaders where the constables are going to work. The recruitment would not be done anyhow. Community leaders must be able to vouch for characters and behaviour of those that would be recruited,” Joseph said.
The PPRO said it was the Force Headquarters that would direct the number of constables that would be recruited in each local government and the exact day that the recruitment would start.
Also, the Bauchi State Police PPRO, DSP Jamal Datti Abubakar, said that “we are in the process of setting up a committee to implement the state community policing policy”.
The Benue State PPRO, DSP Sewuese Anene, also said efforts were being made to constitute a committee for the take-off of the recruitment.