Stop profiling South-East youths negatively, group tells Solomon Arase

South-East youths

A group, Worried Nigerian Citizens, has lashed out on the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Solomon Arase (rtd), to cease from cajoling South-East youths into joining the Force.

According to the group, it was unpatriotic of the PSC Chairman to opine that the youths of the South-East were “embarrassing anti-government criminal gangs”, adding it was unethical, preposterous and unconscionable for the police agency boss to maintain such a stance.

The Convener of Worried Nigerian Citizens, Comrade Moses Idika, said this during an interview with journalists, in Abakaliki, on Tuesday.

He said, “The attention of Worried Nigerian Citizens (WNC) has been drawn to a statement credited to the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), IGP Solomon Arase (Rtd), where he was quoted to have said that South-East youths were “embracing anti-government criminal gangs.”

“The statement issued by Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, Head, Press and Public Relations of the PSC on Sunday, 19th 2023 on behalf of Mr. Arase is most unfortunate and we strongly condemn it as it is divisive, unethical, preposterous, unconscionable, and direct affront on the sensibility of the oppressed Nigerian youths at large.

“The statement credited to Mr. Arase is a subtle justification of the brutalisation and harassment of the youth and people of the South-East by security forces, especially operatives of the Nigeria Police.

“Arase, who has resorted to name-calling and outright negative-profiling of South-East youths in his effort to bludgeon and blackmail them into joining the Constable cadre of Nigeria Police should be reminded that joining any government institution is by choice and not by force.

“While stakeholders, leaders and the people of the South-East continue to call on school leavers in the region to apply for the police job first as a way of mitigating the pervasive unemployment in the region and as a way of affirming their patriotism, it must also be noted that they have to be given the assurances of inclusion in the recruitment process.

“It is not lost on Nigerians that youths of the South-East have been schemed out in recruitment into various federal establishments, a situation that has largely left them with shaken confidence in the system.

“Mr. Arase is working hard to compel young school leavers in the Southeast to apply to be recruited into the rank and file within the Police, whereas several officers from the South-East who are well qualified for promotions and appointments are ignored in the same force just like in other federal agencies and especially the armed forces.”

He added, “It is important to remind Arase that his commission or any agency of the Federal Government has never been in the habit of forcing young Nigerians to apply for “juicy” federal jobs. We have not heard the likes of CBN, FIRS, NCC, NERC, DPR, NNPC, FAAN, NCAA, NASC, etc calling on young Nigerians to apply for jobs in their establishments. We, therefore, call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call Mr. Arase to order to stop the negative profiling and tagging of South-East youths.

“Nigeria is currently divided along ethnic lines due to the behaviour, unguided and unguarded utterances of the likes of Mr. Arase who have arrogated to themselves the right to classify Nigerians and their behaviour along ethnic and regional lines even when such classifications are squarely rooted in crass prejudices and lies.

“South-East youths are noted for their strong work ethics, industry and quest to succeed in their jobs or businesses.
The unfortunate security situation in the southeast is more traceable to the neglect and oppression of the agencies like the Nigeria Police in the region and should never be an excuse for Arase and his likes to negatively tag and profile young people in the South-East.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria must as a matter of urgency device and create programmes and policies that will give South-East and indeed all Nigerian youths the confidence, not just to join the police but believe in a future in Nigeria as citizens.”

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