Mon. Dec 5th, 2022
By Nneoma Benson

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is expected to add 60,000 men to its workforce over the next six years as part of efforts to tackle widespread shortage of policemen and rising insecurity across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in his 2021 Independence Day speech directed the police management to recruit 10,000 policemen annually for six years to boost the strength of the force.

However, there are strong indications that majority of the 60,000 officers to be enlisted into the force may emerge from northern Nigeria.

Investigation shows that 82% of the 124,291 candidates that applied for the 2021 recruitment exercise are from the three geo-political zones of the North.

While the police received 101,207 applications from the North East, North West and North Central geo-political zones, only 23,084 candidates applied in the South-East, South-South and South-West geopolitical zones.

A breakdown of the applications seen by our correspondent showed that contrary to claims that northern candidates were given preferential treatment, the force received fewer submissions from southern candidates compared to their northern counterparts.

A further breakdown showed that the South East geo-political zone had the least number of applicants at 2,932 while the North East had the highest number with 41,006 entries.

In an earlier statement, the Force PRO, Frank Mba, had said the deadline for application was extended to “ensure equal opportunity and even spread of applications, particularly from States in the South-East, South-South geopolitical zones, and Lagos State, to enable them to meet up with the required quota for their respective areas”.

A senior officer at the FCT Police Command who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the low number of applications received from the Southern region could be attributed to lack of interest in police jobs in the region.

He said, “Northerners are more security inclined. Give a northerner uniform and put him at the gate he will wear the uniform…He is so proud, but in the South West, parents will swear not to have their children in the Force, and sometimes prevent their male children from marrying a policewoman.

“The high number of applicants in the north does not translate to a favourable opportunity to the north,” he said, adding, “applications into the job is a function of desire and the function of preference”.

The officer further said the fact that a large number of northerners applied for the job “does not mean they will be recruited”.

Meanwhile, a breakdown of the 7,708 officers enlisted into the police force in 2020 show that 4,181 of the intake were from the North while 3,527 were drawn from the South.

Credit | The Whistler

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