Workers of the Police Service Commission on Thursday stormed National Assembly to protest against the practice of appointing retired police officers as the chairman of the commission by the Federal Government.
The workers, under the aegis of the Nigeria Civil Service Union, PSC chapter, said that going by the Act establishing the commission, a civilian should be appointed as the commission’s chairman, and not a retired police officer who they claimed may have bias for the police.
They asked the Federal government to stop the practice which they described as illegal.
Speaking with newsmen, the union chairman, Umar Sharubutu, said it had been difficult to work with the retired police officers who have been heading the commission because of their background.
He said, “Why we are here today is to address an issue which has been bothering us for the past 10 years. It is wrong constitutionally to have an ex-police boss heading the commission. This is because the commission, by the Act enabling the commission, is defined as a civilian oversight body on the police.
“To represent the interests of the police, you have a Commissioner of Police 2 appointed on the board to serve as an adviser on technical issues relating to the police. So, the appointment of a former police boss as a chairman of the board is a duplication of interest.”
He further threatened that the workers will resist in the most lawful manner any move to appoint another former police officer to head the commission, pointing out that the union has tried to work with the former police bosses but have found it difficult.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions, such as “Police Service Commission is not a retirement resort for ex-police bosses”, “Mr President, please give us a civilian chairman” and “FG, respect the constitution and appoint a civilian chairman for PSC.”
While urging the protesting workers to return to work, the permanent secretary of the Police Service Commission, Musa Istifanus, asked them obey rules set by the government in their various activities.