Molly Kilete and Okwe Obi, Abuja
Activities at the Police Service Commission (PSC), Abuja, was grounded, on Thursday, following a peaceful protest embarked upon by civilian staffs of the commission.
The staff, under the umbrella of Nigeria Civil Service Union (NSCU), embarked on the protest to kick against the continuous appointment of retired Police Officers to head the commission since its inception.
They say they were carrying out the protest to avoid a situation where another retired police officer would be appointed after the expiration of incumbent chairman, Mike Okiro.
Okiro’s tenure ends in June 2018.
Chairman of the union, Comrade Umar Sharubutu, while addressing the crowd, said that the civilian staff of the Commission had been relegated to the background as the chairmen concentrated more on the welfare and promotions of only police officers.
Sharubutu also accused the leadership of the Commission of arbitrary promotion of unqualified staff which, he said, negates the principles of merit and seniority and also described the current leadership of the commission as the worst compared to others.
According to h Sharubutu, “This issue has been disturbing us for the past ten years. The Act that guides the commission states that a civilian should oversee the body.
“And to represent the interest of the police, you have a commissioner who is appointed by the body to serve as an adviser on technical issues concerning the police. So appointing another police is a duplication of the board.
The protesting staff carrying placards with inscriptions such as ‘Mr President, please give us a civilian chairman’, ‘the days of impunity are over,’ ‘the police cannot be a judge in their own case’, marched towards the National Assembly but were prevented by stern-looking policemen from gaining access into the Assembly complex.
It took the intervention of the Permanent Secretary of the Commission, Istifanus Musa, to persuade the protesters to return to their offices where he promised to dialogue with them.