The Federal Government had on January 23 directed the police hierarchy to commence the recruitment of special constables nationwide preparatory to the implementation of its community policing policy.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in a wireless message directed state police commands to set up screening committees for the recruitment of community policing constables.
The IG ordered all state commissioners of police, assistant commissioners of police and divisional police officers to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in their domains to screen volunteers who would be engaged after passing the screening tests.
The Federal Government plan came on the heels of the South-West states’ launching of a security outfit, Operation Amotekun, to address incessant killings and kidnapping in the zone.
As part of the moves to recruit community policing constables, the Ekiti State Police Command on Sunday said it had sent recruitment forms to all police stations in all the local government areas of the state. According to the command, applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 50.
It’s not another job opportunity – Ebonyi CP
The Commissioner for Police in Ebonyi State, Sola Awotinde, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday, shed light on the community policing policy.
Aworinde said the proposed recruitment was meant for Nigerians who were already employed.
He said that it was important for Nigerians to be told the truth so that whoever wanted to be part of the scheme, should be prepared to know what to expect.
The police commissioner added that people had misconstrued the recruitment order of the IG into the community policing to be another paid job opportunity.
He said, “We have not been given the green light to recruit anybody. We are just at the committee level. I mean the committee that will screen the would be special constables. No command has been given the go-ahead to commence the said recruitment. The Force Headquarters has not done that.
“It is the headquarters that would say go ahead and we will start. But no command has been given such an order. The first stage is screening and we are just setting up the screening committee.
“And please, people should be told this truth and sound it clear to them; it is not remuneration-based job. It is voluntary. It is just going to be like the special marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps.
“It is for those who are gainfully employed or self-employed. There is no salary for anybody in the community policing scheme. People are misconstruing it to mean another job opportunity and I have received so many calls over this.
“It is not a paid job. Again, it is a voluntary job. And there is nothing like recruitment of constables. Also those to be engaged must be between the age of 21 and below 50.”
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, said that the special constables that would be recruited would not be paid.
Abutu, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the special constables would work voluntarily in their communities.
When asked if the special constables in Ekiti State would be paid, he said, “It will not be different from what is applicable across the federation. For now, what we know is that these people are coming voluntarily. It is going to be voluntary, no monetary attachment for now.”
The Ogun State Police Command also said it would not pay any of the recruits for the special community policing scheme.
Oyeyemi said the exercise started on Monday with a meeting held between the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, and the executive members of the Police Community Relations Committee in the state.