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Police Corporal Nnaji PhD: When educational attainment seems derided

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NNAJI Ebenezer Chibueze, a police corporal with a doctorate degree, is marooned in apprehension as he watches his career progression entangled in bureaucratic bottlenecks.

   He has passion for teaching, particularly lecturing in higher institutions. He also enjoys reading, research.

  If the Nigeria Police encourages personal development of its officers to be of better service to the force and Nigeria, Nnaji believes that the force should recognise his effort, reward and encourage him, but finds himself in the opposite direction. His effort by extension would motivate other officers for more productivity.

   Success has a price and reward mechanism. The beauty of it is the reward aspect of it. The fruit of success wipes away the toil of its making. Every human anticipates their effort to be rewarded. By human design of a second or third party years of sacrifice could develop question marks. Progress is the order of nature.

   In 2012, as a fresh university graduate, Nnaji grabbed the opportunity to enlist into the Nigeria Police as dearth of job plagued the country. A career in the force looked promising as he thirsts for more academic qualification.

  Having completed his education and having bagged his PhD, he made vigorous and meticulous efforts, wrote to various police authorities for the acknowledgment of his academic breakthrough and the need to upgrade him from a recruit to a cadet officer as a way of motivating him. All the effort could not bear any fruit.

  Corporal Nnaji was born into the family of the late Chief Louis and Grace Nnaji, of Umuezibuoko Umualu, Isiuzor, Local Government Area Enugu State.

  Corporal Nnaji began his educational quest with his primary education at Odorbia Primary School in Umuezibuoko Umualu in 1994, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1999. He then proceeded to Community Secondary School, Umualu, where he got his Junior Secondary School Certificate (JSSC).

   Shortly after this, he proceeded to Community Secondary School Ihaohuala in Ihamufu, Isiuzor Local Government Area Enugu State for his Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSSC) and finished with an excellent grade in his West Africa Senior School Certificate in 2005.

   In 2005, he secured admission into the Institution of Economic Education Thinker College, Enugu, for the 2005/2006 academic session, graduating in Political Science and Social Studies with distinction. He equally earned his First Degree in Enugu State   University of Science and Technology (ESUT) where he got a Bachelor of Science Education in Political Science, Administration and Supervision in the year 2010 with a cumulative grade average of 4.40.

   In the year 2012, he was admitted into the Master’s Degree programme in the Department of Education, Administration and Planning of Abia State University, Uturu, obtaining his Master’s Degree in 2016 with a cumulative grade point average of 4.35.

  His academic proficiency based on his lecturers recommendations to further his education made Nnaji commenced and completed his Doctorate Degree in the year 2019 in the same department of Educational Administration and Planning with a cumulative grade point average of 4.3. While still in the service of the Nigerian Police Force, he earned his PhD as a police corporal.

  After  been enlisted in the police as a cadet in 2012 after his university education, the connection ‘long leg’ as Nigerians call it in the parlance killed his dream of upgrading his career status. Notwithstanding, he made vigorous and multiple efforts, applied, and passed successfully at the state level. But this dream was however, truncated at the zonal level when he was asked if he knows any senior officer, the likes of IGP, AIG, DIG or politically exposed persons who can help him.

   To this, he answered, “I told him, I had no one other than God Almighty who bestowed on me excellence in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Only Him enabled me to excel academically and have my good records.”

  “I had already participated in recruitment in 2010 for people with NCE, OND, and HND. Then I was advised by a serving police officer to forget about the shame, upon my higher education, I should start from the lower cadre.”

  ”Without minding the discouragement, also as someone who was a dedicated, patriotic citizen who was ready to deliver his best to serve his country, and contributes meaningfully to national development,  I was enlisted and completed my course at the Police Training College in 2012.

  ”Thereafter I was posted to Abia State in 2013, deployed to the Abiriba Police Division. That was actually when I started my journey to the PhD programme at Abia State University.

  ”Having completed his education and having bagged his PhD, he made vigorous and meticulous efforts, wrote to various police authorities for the acknowledgment of his academic breakthrough and the need to upgrade him from a recruit to a cadet officer as a way of motivating him. All the effort could not bear any fruit.”

   He stated further, “When I bagged my PhD in 2019, on 19th December 2019 to be precise, I wrote my first letter, attention was not given. On 9th January 2020, police lawyers had meeting with the Inspector General of Police, after the meeting some of the lawyers and friends who feel my predicament on daily basis told me that the IGP told them that, any interested person with      Masters or PhD who wishes to lecture in Nigeria Police Academy, Kano State should apply; that such person will be recruited and posted to that place. As a book lover, academician, and researcher, who is willing to perform at a given opportunity, I wrote on 15th January 2020, but my letter was not given attention.

   Then on 9th March, Nnaji met a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ivy Okoronkwo. After stating his predicament to her, she placed a call to one CP, Mike, though Dr. Nnaji never knew the said CP, however, spoke with him through DIG Okoronkwo.

   He says, “She explained to him that I have tried and need help. That I ought to have entered as a cadet but nobody to help me, the man now asked me if I have the IGP’s authority for my PhD and I said actually I got my first degree before getting the job but because of my love, dedication, and commitment to my job, I did my PhD as a part-time student and was also placed on permanent night duty based on the arrangements during my master degree before the commencement of my PhD, the man said since I did not indicate so in my previous letter, that I should write to him directly, which I did without hesitation on 9th march 2020.”

Nnaji included all the necessary documents, indicating that he has got his first degree before joining the police. As God may have it, the retired DIG also continued monitoring the letter until Chibueze was recommended as a lecturer into the Nigeria police academy and as human resource personnel.

After two weeks in the month of June 10, he received a call from SP Solomon from the Department of Training and Development in respect of his letter to IGP and recognition of his PhD and a position as lecturer in the Nigeria Police Academy dated January 2020.

”He asked if I have the IGP authority, I said I don’t know the person speaking with me and the letter you are referring to and that I have so many letters in the office of the IGP and DIG Training and Development.”

“He specifically mentioned the letter dated 15th January but the former IGP has ordered that it be processed but the problem is, if I have the authority and who asked me to write, if I do the police will query me or default me.

“I asked why will the police query me or default me for which offense, that I went to school for the improvement of myself as an individual, improvement of my organization, improvement of the society, country and of the world globally and then he later told me that I can reply to the letter.

“Thereafter I called the woman who has been monitoring my letter informing her about the whole scenario, the woman told me not to mind anyone giving me such information, maybe the person has seen the recommendation and he’s looking for a means to extort money from me.

“I told her that I rely on her even though I have not seen the letter, eventually the letter got to me on the 10th of July 2020, but dated 19th June 2020, the formal DPO, SSP Kenneth Nwajuwa presently Commissioner of Police who was in charge of the division where I work as the division intelligence officer, saw the letter and was mad.

The DIG for Training and Development ordered me to avail them of the IGP’s authority for my PhD studies that will enable them to facilitate my letter. On 14th of July 2020, I replied to the letter with its attachment that I have got my first degree before I was enlisted into the Nigeria police force.

“I gave proof that my Masters and PhD were done under part-time studies and because of my love, commitment and the dedication I have for the job and as a patriotic citizen ready to serve the country to the extent that since I joined the police force, I have not gone for any annual leave.

“In addition I am 100 per cent ready to transfer my service to any organisation especially academic institution for the purpose of teaching, reading, researching so that I will continue to function effectively,” he said.

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