IPAC defends Okiro’s appointment as police commission chair

Mike Okiro and Ken Nnamani

The Inter-Party Advisory Council wants federal and state lawmakers to enact laws on appointments on non-partisan basis.

The Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has come out in strong defence of the appointment of the former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, as the chairman of the Police service Commission, PSC.

IPAC advised those against the appointment to see it as purely on the basis of merit.

The council’s chairman, Tanko Yusuf, in a statement on Sunday, said though the ongoing debate over Mr. Okiro’s appointment is another test for the Nigeria’s laws, not every appointment should be regarded as a patronage based on party membership.

Condemnations have trailed the appointment of the ex-police chief as the new chairman of the PSC by President Goodluck Jonathan. Critics of the decision said it was wrong to appoint a card-carrying member of a political party as head of the commission.

Mr. Okiro, a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was recently sacked as the security adviser to the party’s chairman, Bamanga Tukur before the appointment.

The chairman of IPAC, a body of all the existing 25 political parties in Nigerian constitutionally mandated to advise INEC, said a recent paper presented by Mr. Okiro on how to resolve the nation’s security challenges was good, adding that if such experienced service men could come together they could save the country from sliding into anarchy.

“I was at a program organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where Chief Mike Okiro presented a very concise paper on the security challenges in the country and I thought that was very good,” Mr Yusuf said.

“If our very experience service men can come together and work towards saving this country from anarchy.

“The position canvassed by Mike Okiro include provision of adequate welfare for the men of the service, equipment like helicopters to be on spot of a crime, and commensurate pay package to stop N20 bribe collection, which is very insulting to any Nigerian citizen and others.”

The IPAC chairman said a situation where people don’t get good appointments either at the national or state level despite their expertise because they do not belong to the party in power is lamentable.

He asked the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly to enact laws that would make it possible for Nigerians to get the appointments they are qualified for despite their political affiliation.

“The ball is in the court of the National assembly to look beyond party line to clear credible Nigerians to give service to Nigerians,” he said.

“At the moment, it is the State or National Assembly that make laws for the land and they are controlled by the ruling party either in the state or National.”

The council said Mr Okiro’s case should be looked at purely on his merit.

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