No fewer than 1,098 Abia indigenes have qualified to write the ongoing recruitment examination into the Nigerian Police Force out of the 1,589 applicants, an official of the Police Service Commission has said.
Mrs Comfort Obi, the Commissioner leading the recruitment committee for Abia, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Umuahia.
Obi said that each local government area (LGA) in the country was entitled to seven slots, adding that Abia, with 17 local governments, had 119 slots.
She said, “Abia, which has 17 LGAs will get 119 slots; Bayelsa, with eight LGAs will get 56 slots, while Kano with 44 LGAs will get 308 slots.”
She said that the committee discovered during the screening that while some candidates presented forged certificates, others falsified their ages.
“If we were very strict, about 40 per cent of the candidates would have been arrested and locked up in cell now for indulging in some acts of criminality.
“You know that certificate forgery and falsification of age are criminal offences.”
She said that some candidates, oblivious of the inscription of their ages on their secondary school certificates, swore to an affidavit declaring different ages.
“This is perjury, another serious criminal offence.”
Obi, who is also the publisher of `The Source Magazine’, also said that the exercise further exposed the level of the fallen standard of education in the country.
“It is disturbing that some of the candidates, who are secondary school certificate holders, could not spell their names correctly.
“These are some of the challenges we faced during the screening which started on Monday.”
Obi further spoke on the poor condition of service for the Nigerian police, saying that police barracks in different parts of the country were in deplorable conditions.
“Nigerian Police live in places not fit for animals,” she said, adding that some of the barracks lacked basic facilities such as bathrooms and toilets.
“When I visited the barracks at Obalende in Lagos, I wept.”
She said that most residents in the barracks usually had their bath in the early hours of the day outside because they had no bathrooms.
“I marvel how these people, who protect the wealthy and mighty in society, live in such dehumanizing accommodation.
“Even when they go on transfer to far away places, nobody gives them money for the inconvenience they go through.
“Nigerian Police are the least paid in the West African sub-region. They are the most abused and dehumanised,” the veteran journalist said.
She said that another major challenge facing the police was the lack of adequate and sophisticated weapons to combat violent crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping.
“How do you expect somebody with AK47 to contend with criminals operating with sophisticated weapons?
“One wonders what the authorities are doing with the yearly budgetary allocation to the Police.”
According to her, the Nigerian Police have the capacity to perform excellently, when exposed to the right environment, atmosphere and logistics.
“They excel during peace-keeping and other foreign missions because they are well catered for by the United Nations,” Obi said.