Over nine thousand residents from the eighteen local government areas (LGAs) that make up Ondo State are struggling to be recruited into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), SaharaReporters has learned.
These police force candidates, mostly youths, are struggling to be enlisted as Cadets, Assistant Superintendents of Police, and Inspectors.
Other are also jostling to be employed as Constables with lower ranks, Hilda Ibifuro- Harrison, the Ondo State Police Commissioner, told sources close to a SaharaReporters correspondent on Thursday.
Mrs. Ibifuro-Harrison spoke shortly after attending to some applicants who applied for the screening exercise of the police at the command’s headquarters on Igbatoro Road in Akure, the State capital.
Our correspondent observed that most senior officers of the command were handling the screening exercise together with emissaries from the Police Service Commission (PSC) sent from the force headquarters in Abuja.
Some applicants had on Wednesday raised concerns over attempts by police officers from the State headquarters to demand bribes from them before the commencement of the screening exercise.
This action prompted SaharaReporers to visit the Ondo State NPF headquarters on Thursday.
“Some unscrupulous senior police officers are demanding bribes from us before they could even allow us entry into the screening venue,” a source told our correspondent.
Mrs. Ibifuro-Harrison, however, denied the claim.
“Our officers have been warned against any action that could tarnish the image of the force during and after the completion of the whole exercise,” she said while addressing some visitors to her office.
The police chief further disclosed that the command has been ‘very transparent’ in its dealings with the applicants since the commencement of the exercise.
She also told our correspondent that the final selection of the applicants after the screening exercise would be based on merit and not on financial inducement.
Our correspondent reported that applicants have been flushing the State Police Command headquarters with their relevant credentials and certificates in a view to get enlisted into the force.
It was observed that many applicants went through stressful lengths to ensure their applications were filed.
Many of them had to loiter around the outside compound of the command’s headquarters while others slept overnight in rented shops opposite the entrance of the command.
“This shows there was no basic provision for the welfare of applicants who came from far distances to the State capital for the exercise,” our correspondent said in his report.