Suleiman Abba, former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and Israel Ajao, retired Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) of Police, have been shortlisted for the position of Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC).
The tenure of Sir Mike Okiro, retired IGP and incumbent chairman, would statutorily expire on June 12, 2018.
The position of chairman of PSC carries five-year tenure and it is renewable.
However, sources close to Okiro and the presidency revealed that although Okiro is not willing to stay another five years, the presidency is not disposed to renewing his tenure.
“There are pressures from some serving police officers urging Okiro to seek for an extension, because since he took over there have been rapid promotions for policemen.
“Officers are promoted as and when due and on seniority basis. He also encourages hard work by promoting officers who perform the extra feat, and he is not biased,” sources at PSC and Force Headquarters hinted.
However, investigations have revealed that politicians who have the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari are pushing against Okiro’s extension in order for their candidates to take over.
It was further learnt that some top northern politicians are pushing for Suleiman, giving the reason that former President Goodluck Jonathan sacked him on grounds of disloyalty to him, alleging that he was working underground for Buhari when Buhari was yet to be sworn in as president.
In the same vein, it was gathered that a top politician from the South-West is making strong overtures for Ajao on the grounds that the Yoruba votes contributed largely to Buhari’s victory, and as such, a Yoruba officer should be given the job.
The top politician, in order to drive home his point, reportedly told Buhari that for him to convince the Yoruba race to vote for him again, he should appoint a Yoruba persons into sensitive national positions.
In addition, he was said to have told Buhari that for a national spread, the chairman of PSC should not come from the North when the IGP is from the North.
His reason: Police officers from other parts of the country would not feel secure.
It was learnt that the deal was discussed when Buhari came to Lagos last week on a two-day working tour.
“The president is already succumbing to the pressure from the top politician,” one of the newly appointed commissioners who is yet to be sworn in confided in DAILY INDEPENDENT.
The commissioner said, “Whoever the president appoints, we will work with him.”
Suleiman Abba, from Jigawa State, was Commissioner of Police (CP) in Rivers State before he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) from which position he was appointed IGP by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Israel Ajao, from Lagos State, is presently the chairman of Neighbourhood Watch, a security outfit created by Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
He was CP Lagos before he was promoted AIG and headed Zone 2, Police Command, comprising Lagos and Ogun states. He was later promoted DIG before he retired.