There are strong indications that the recent retirement of 21 Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) by Ibrahim Idris, the Acting Inspector-General of Police, on the approval of the Police Service Commission (PSC), has provoked deep resentment in the force.Senior and junior police officers, who spoke anonymously, lamented that with the mass retirement of the DIGs and AIGs, the presidency may have dampened the morale of serving police officers.
Inside sources disclosed that the mass retirement jolted the service, which is now faced with remarkable depletion of well-trained and experienced personnel.
According to them, many of those forced to retire were still very young and were at the high point of their careers when they were going to give their technical best to the nation.
With the present regime of premature retirement, many senior police officers now consider the future of their career very hazy, it was learnt.
“The development could take a toll on the commitment of police officers since they are no longer sure of long service,” a serving officer noted.
According to an Assistant Superintendent of Police serving at the Federal Capital Territory Police Station (FCT), in Abuja: “There is nowhere it is written in the Public Service Act that when a junior officer is picked or promoted to a higher position, senior officers should be sacked or retired.”
However, checks revealed that promotions, postings and re-deployment of police officers from the rank of Police Commissioner, through that of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), are basically political.
The implication is that the president, governors, ministers, retired IGPs, traditional rulers and other prominent persons could influence promotions, redeployment and postings of officers.
Regardless, the recent appointment in which President Muhammadu Buhari sidelined other equally qualified contenders to appoint Ibrahim Idris as Acting Inspector-General of Police is not a good omen for the country, our source said.
A major issue, as noted by some officers, is that many of the officers who were retired had trained in notable institutions abroad and were still very far from retirement age, a situation which has deprived the nation of great human resources to tackle insecurity in the country.
On another level, resentment exists among some serving officers who have expressed fears that their ethnic background could be the basis of early retirement for them.
As would be recalled, some critics had described the last forced retirement as skewed against senior officers from some parts of the country.
A Police Inspector at the Lagos State Police Command in Ikeja insisted that with the recent retirement the nation was fast losing out on the technical depth of its security architecture while reducing promotions, postings, re-deployments and appointments to mere gambling.
“This unfolding scenario, if not checked, could eventually lead to protest by serving police officers in future,” he said.