By Ologeh Joseph Chibu
The Igbo South East has the lowest requests from citizens to join the Nigerian Police Force, authorities have said.
The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Solomon Arase said the South-East’s participation in the ongoing police recruitment drive is very low.
The most affected states are Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia, and Imo states.
Of the 36 States of the Federation, Anambra State has the lowest count with just 541 applicants.
Ebonyi has 737 applicants, Abia has 966, Imo has 999, and Enugu which has the highest in the South East has 1,036 applicants.
The implication is that fewer Igbo will be enlisted in the Nigerian Police Force.
Compared with States in the North, Kaduna State led with a staggering 20,259 applicants. Other states with high applicant numbers included Adamawa with 18,933, Borno with 18,305, Bauchi with 16,554, Katsina with 16,232, and Kano with 15,888.
The spokesperson for Ohanaeze, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia asked Igbo youths to seize the opportunity to enrol in the police
Ogbonnia expressed, “Our people are advised to key into the police recruitment because at this time around you can’t begin to talk about marginalisation when they are calling for it and our people are not showing interest. Regardless of the rank being recruited, our boys roaming around should go and join the police.”
But the Indigenous People of Biafra said the low interest by the Igbo signifies loss of confidence in the system.
He said South-East youth’s lack of interest is driven by historic marginalization.
The spokesman of IPOB, Emma Powerful told Punch Newspapers that
“The police authorities should stop playing to the gallery and public sentiments. They always lie to the public on issues concerning the South-East. They already know that the reason for the low enrolment of our people in the police force is due to their deliberate marginalisation of our people who apply.
“Every year the Nigeria Police announces their recruitment, they will deliberately pick a few people from the South-East while picking large numbers from the North.
“For instance, if there are about 500 vacancies to fill in the force, they will pick 400 from the North, 80 from the South-West and 20 from the South-East. This will only discourage the youths from further applying.”
Nonetheless, the Police Service Commission (PSC) refuted IPOB’s allegations, emphasizing that the police authorities have never practiced discrimination against the Igbo or any other ethnic group.
The spokesperson for the Police Service Commission (PSC), Ikechukwu Ani stated,
“There’s no marginalisation of Igbos in the police. The PSC and the NPF have always encouraged Igbo youths to join the Nigeria Police Force. In fact, the PSC Chairman, Solomon Arase, recently urged leaders in the South-East to encourage Igbo youths to join the police.
“And we’re happy that the state governors in the South-East are now making moves to encourage young Igbo to join the police. Since the PSC chairman’s comments, we’ve seen official circulars where states Commissioners for Information are encouraging youths in the South-East to join the police. The police do not discriminate against anyone. The Igbo are Nigerians just like every other Nigerian, hence, they’re always welcome to join the police.”