Group to Buhari: Disband Police Trust Fund board now
The group also urged the president to reconstitute the board to allow the pattern of appointments of its membership to reflect federal character and the diversity of the country.
According to the group, the current arrangement, in whatever way it came about, makes the Nigeria Police Force an instrument in the hands of the North West region.
In the statement signed by the group’s national coordinator, Dandison Oruwari, it noted that in spite of the clear provision of the Police Trust Fund Establishment Act, President Buhari still appointed the chairman of the board, Suleiman Abbah, and Executive Secretary, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, from the same North-West Geopolitical Zone of the country.
The statement also noted that two other members of the eight-man team, Mansur Ahmed and Usman Bilkisu, are from Kano and Kebbi states respectively in the same North-West region, despite the fact that the minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, also hails from same region.
The statement reads: “We are , once again, compelled to speak truth to power considering the undying penchant of the Muhammadu Buhari administration for a skewed and inequitable order in Nigeria. We have been in the vanguard for change in this regard since Buhari came on board as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But it is regrettable that all efforts to get the administration to act right have not yielded the desired results. However, as an organization committed to change, egalitarianism, justice and fair play, we cannot but continue to lend our voice to genuine outcries seeking for change.
“In this regard, we view with dismay the composition of the Police Trust Fund Board of Trustees. A recent announcement made by the Presidency shows that former Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abbah is to serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fund, while one Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto is to serve as Executive Secretary. Let us state, for the avoidance of doubt, that Suleiman Abbah and Ahmed Aliyu come from Jigawa and Sokoto States respectively. With this arrangement, it means that the North West geopolitical zone where both men come from will produce both the chairman and secretary of the Fund. We know that the Police Trust Fund Establishment Act did not provide for this sectional and lopsided arrangement.
“It is also noteworthy that two out of the remaining six members come from the north west as well. They are Mansur Ahmed, the member representing Organised Labour and Usman Bilkisu representing Minisrty of Justice. Ahmed and Bilkisu hail from Kano and Kebbi States respectively. To cap it all, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, also hails from Sokoto State in the same northwest. This arrangement, in whatever way it came about, makes the Nigeria Police Force an instrument in the hands of the north west”.
Oruwari further added that if the reason for the establishment of the PTF as government said is to ensure a professionally run, well-equipped and well trained police force in line with international best practices, then the same government has committed a faux pas by concentrating the powers of the national police in the hands of a section of the country.
“This arrangement does not also support the plan to reform the Nigeria Police Force. Reformation begins with inclusiveness not exclusiveness. We therefore urge the Presidency to revisit the composition of PTF board,” the statement concludes.
Source: The Nation