NPF Addresses Allegations Of Nepotism, Ethnic Bias Against IGP


The Nigeria Police Force has dismissed allegations of favouritism, nepotism and ethnic bias in its administration, particularly with regards to postings and appointments.

A statement issued on Monday by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the clarification had become necessary in the light of the recent allegations, as well as to highlight the commitment of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, to inclusivity and diversity within the Police Force.

TheFact Daily notes reports of the Police Chief’s tribal inclinations, since his appointment as the 22nd Inspector General of Police, by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and which have gone viral on social media.

Critics accuse IGP Egbetokun of bias in postings and appointments within the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), favoring officers of Yoruba ethnicity, thereby compromising the federal character principle that ensures representation of Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups.

A report puts it this way, that “the IGP is clearly running the Force like the South West regional security outfit codenamed Amotekun”, and adds that the composition of the IGP’s secretariat, traditionally reflective of Nigeria’s ethnic diversity, is now dominated by officers of Yoruba descent.

Key positions such as the Force Secretary, Principal Staff Officer (PSO), Force Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Detail, Personal Assistant (PA), orderly, and others are alleged to be held exclusively by Yoruba men. This unprecedented move has sparked concerns about the erosion of the federal character principle within the NPF.

Critics also express a growing concern over the lopsided allocation of postings to strategic and economically significant States such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Anambra, and Edo, which officers of Yoruba ethnicity reportedly dominate. This trend extends beyond to encompass critical operational and tactical command positions. Postings such as Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Assistant Commissioners (ACs) of Operations, Commanders of the Mobile Police Force (Mopol), Commanders of the Special Protection Unit (SPU), Commanders of the Counter-Terrorist Unit (CTU), and even their second-in-commands (2ics), Administrative Officers, and other crucial positions are said to be predominantly filled by Yoruba officers.

Adejobi in his statement averred that the process of appointments, especially of State Commissioners of Police, “lies within the jurisdiction of the Police Service Commission on recommendations by the Inspector General of Police”, and involves wide consultations with stakeholders including State Governors, who are the chief security officers of their States, and very senior officers both serving and retired.

“The IGP has never unilaterally carried out such postings which are always based on capabilities, hardwork, commitment, and loyalty”, the FPRO said, stressing that, “the Force operates on principles of meritocracy, ensuring that individuals are selected based on their qualifications, competence, dedication to service, and rank”.

Clarifying further, Adejobi made reference to the previous Force Secretary who served under this same administration and whose elevation to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police led to the appointment of the current officer was DIG Habu Sani from the North West. Similarly, the current Deputy Force Secretary is an officer from the South Eastern part of the country.

“Also, it is vital to clarify that contrary to the publication by SaharaReporters, the Commissioner of Police Oyo State hails from North Central, and the Director, Peacekeeping Operations hails from Niger State. The Force Insurance Officer, whom the allegation claims to also be Yoruba is actually from the North Central. It is vital to mention that the appointment of the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) is solely the prerogative of the IGP, who serves as a personal aide and must be a competent individual”.

Adejobi also referred to Egbetokun’s personal background and relationships as reflecting a commitment to inclusivity and diversity. “The IGP’s marriage to his wife from Bauchi in the North, and his extensive network and fraternity with friends from across all geopolitical zones affirms his dedication to serving all Nigerians equitably, and crowns him a great nationalist”.

The Force PRO noted that the IGP holds the contributions of retired IGPs and other senior officers in high esteem and values their expertise, including that of the Chairman Police Service Commission which is evidenced by the amazing rapport shared by both institutions in recent times. “Any suggestion that the current leadership disregards their counsel is unfounded, misleading, and thus mischievous”, he said.

“The Nigeria Police Force, as guardians of law and order, maintains an unwavering dedication to professionalism, integrity, and fairness. We emphatically denounce the baseless allegations propagated in the SaharaReporters publication, which are rife with distortions and clearly intended to tarnish the reputation of our esteemed institution, a norm by the news platform”, Adejobi said.

He urged the public to “see through these falsehoods and discountenance the publication which is purely baseless, unfounded and mischievous to please the selfish interest of the publisher and his cronies for reasons best known to them”.

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