Many top officials of Nigeria’s military, paramilitary agencies are incompetent- Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

The president said this while inaugurating the police service commission.

President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed his dismay that the most senior officials of many of Nigeria’s military and para-militaary security agencies are incompetent and do not merit their positions; thus leading to a dismal performance by the agencies.

The president, who stated this while inaugurating the Police Service Commission on Wednesday at the State House, Abuja, called for a total overhaul of the security agencies, and charged the commission to flush out the bad eggs in the police.

He charged the new police commission chairman, Mike Okiro, and the other five members, to instil discipline in the force and ensure that promotions are done purely on merit.

Mr. Jonathan said indiscipline and irregularities in staff promotion exercises were a major problem in military and para-military agencies.

“I believe there are two things, one is the issue of discipline, and so one of the responsibilities of the Police Service Commission is to instil discipline. Another thing I believe is that people who have no merit to certain ranks are being promoted to those ranks.

“One of your responsibilities is to handle promotion. I believe with you only those who merit or deserve promotion should be promoted. Those who deserve to be disciplined or even dismissal must be disciplined,” the president said.

Unqualified immigration

To justify his claim of incompetent individuals heading Nigeria’s security agencies, the president made reference to the recent screening and review process of six candidates for the post of the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service. He said most of the six were not only undeserving of the position they were nominated for, but should have been sacked from the service.

“Few days back I did approve the new comptroller general of immigration, …, of about six that were to be reviewed, some were sent from the ministry, some were picked from amongst the most senior.

“When we reviewed the six, from my intelligent investigation most of them were supposed to have been dismissed. But those were the people that were being forwarded for appointment as Comptroller General of Immigration. Among them only one is qualified to even stay and serve, others ordinarily are supposed to be dismissed from the records,” the president said.

The President had on Tuesday approved the immediate retirement of five deputy comptroller general of immigration service. Those affected were R.B. Musa, Denen Akaa, F.T. Mologe, Umar Suleiman, and Kuso Abubakar Khalil. It is not clear if or why the president did not demand that the officials be prosecuted for whatever crimes they committed to warrant their dismissal.

Mr. Jonathan said he believed that the immigration case was similar to what obtained in other security agencies.

“I believe that the story of Immigration is the same with most of our services. I believe that is why the performance of some of our military and para-military officers is abysmal, because the yardstick being used for promotion is not based on competence, merit and performance.

“And that is one area I believe you (the police commission) will go into. People who are promoted to assistant police commissioner and above must merit the rank. If you don’t merit the rank you should be retired from the service because is better for you not have enough manpower than for you to have viruses and all kinds of characters in the police force,” he said.

The president said that Nigerians were beginning to lose confidence in the Nigerian Police.

“You will agree with me that Nigerians don’t have so much confidence in the Nigerian police but Nigerian police are good. The Nigerian Police that work outside under United Nations are highly honoured, highly commended and Okiro will agree with me. But once we come back home that is not reflected in what we do,” he said.

Advised to sack senior officers

The president also revealed that he was advised to sack all senior police officers working at the police headquarters.

“Even now that we have challenges, you will see that, especially when the Police Headquarters was bombed, some people came to me and say Mr. President sack all police officers working in that place from Assistant Commissioner of Police and above.

“I did not sack any because of that incident. But that was the advice I got; that if you do that subsequent people that would be posted there will sit up. How could the police allow their headquarters to be bombed by a very local group called Boko Haram?” he said.

Mr. Jonathan also advised Mr. Okiro and his team to review the command structure in the police.

“The Federal Executive Council, maybe in the next one or two weeks we, are going to look at the report because we want to come up with a white paper on the police reform report.

“But since we have just appointed you we give you privilege to look that document before we come out with a white paper. So that if there is a suggestion that you will bring, you bring it so that it will be part of the white paper since you are the one to manage the police.

“It is only proper that you and I will think alike and be on the same page, because we need to reform the Nigerian police for a better service for us all. I believe with you working with the Inspector General of Police and other senior police officers, Nigeria police will be a better force,” Mr. Jonathan stated.


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  • dankor

    So what to do Mr president? Saclk or prosecute the offenders? Tell us. Then take action.

    • this man

      is that suppose to be threat?

  • PureNigerian

    Look who is talking about competence>
    Wahala dey Nigeria or
    Nigeria dey wahala

  • Dankasa

    Real Wahala ooh! Please this guy should not talk again, Good luck Ebele Johnathan, BSc, MSc, PhD, Researcher, Associate Prof., Fellow, GCON etc, the most Competent African President who couldn’t address the African Union General Assembly. Wahala dey ooh!

    • Peter2000

      are you one of the quota system beneficiary.

    • OLA PEDRO

      Yes that is Nigeria for you when the president speaks truth to his power base-we act as if we hail from togo-have we not heard how ribadu got promoted from the rank of ACP to AIG-without passing through the PSC? Beyond that did the Army chief of staff an Ibo man not tell the nation recently that some of his soldiers work as spies for boko haram-carry on with your work-Jonathan– the shame of it is that their leaders never ever were able to get there-

    • The Truth is always bitter!

      For so long, incompetence has been the bane of the Armed forces. Quota system not merit. Once in the Nigerian Navy, there were commissioned Officers from certain part of the country with Primary seven(7) certificates.directing and ordering qualified school certicate holders. Na today!!!!

  • gringory99

    9 Northern Govs. Plot to Float a New PDP …backed by

    If Dr. Dumbo is not rushed to a detoxification center, he will drown himself in the bottle. His bad news is our good news. Wamakko’s tirade is certain proof he has turned his back on the Otuoke Clown Prince, an ingrate whom he (Wammako) rigged into office with 100% of all elective positions in Sokoto State! A miracle even for PDP standards. It means, all the opposition candidates lost their wards …not even Anenih has pulled off such incredible stunts!

    Sha, like I know, when the line is drawn in the sand, there will be 22 APC Govs against what is left of Dumbo’s PDP. Without the NE, NW, SW and parts of SE & SS; Dumbo will realize the battle is lost and engineer a coup hoping the military will retain him to conduct a deferred election. A mistake because no military goon gives up power voluntarily!

    Meanwhile, more bad news: 9 aggrieved Northern PDP Govs. want to break away and form a new party, guided by OBJ and some ex-military thugs. I neva begin laff Oooh!

  • odia

    My own definition of incompetence is when one says that 16 is greater than 19. When a thief could not be prosecuted and fraudulent jail breaker is given a presidential pardon. When a vibrant party got torn apart under ones noses. When terrorists run amok and law abiding people are insecure. When militants are glorified. When a president cannot address his peers at a forum. These define my own understanding of incompetence.

  • SK

    If Mr president come out clearly to speak on incompetence in various agencies, my advice is ds he should make sure he monitor promotns n positn held. They military should nt be left over.