Among all the allegations against men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the most unfriendly one is that policemen do not read. But in the case of Corporal Nnaji Ebenezer Chibueze, now a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), the narrative has begun to change.
Aside being the first rank and file policeman to bag a PhD, Cpl Chibueze is also the first to bag such certificate in his village.
Cpl Chibueze obtained the PhD from the Abia State University (ABSU) and was conferred with the degree at the joint 27th and 28th convocation of the university.
Born into the family of late Chief Louis Nnaji and late Grace Oriaku of Umuezuboke Umualor in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area Enugu State, Chibueze attended Odobido Primary School, Umuezuboke, Umualor. Thereafter he proceed to the Community Secondary School, Umualor, before gaining admission at the Institute of Ecumenical Education, Thinkers’ Corner, Enugu, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Education in Political Science/Educational Administration with a 4.40 CGPA. He obtained a masters in Educational Administration and Planning with a CGPA of 4.35 from ABSU.
Based on the recommendations of his lecturers, especially Prof Esther Nwosu and Prof M. C. Amina, Chibueze commenced and completed his doctorate in 2019 while in the service of the NPF.
Chibueze was enlisted into the police rank and file in 2012 after his first degree. He was to be enlisted as an officer cadet but not having a “long leg” killed that dream.
He said, “Alternatively, I had already participated for recruitment in the same 2010 after my graduation for people with NCE, OND and HND. I was advised by a police officer to forget it and start from the lower cadre.”
After his training at the police college he was posted to Abia State in 2013, and that was when he started his journey for a PhD.
He said after bagging a PhD he wrote to various police authorities for the acknowledgment of his academic qualification and the need to upgrade him to the officer cadre, but met resistance all through.
He stated further, “When I bagged a PhD in 2019, on December 19, 2019, I wrote a letter to the authorities, but attention was not given. On January 9, 2020, police lawyers had a meeting with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), after the meeting some of the lawyers and friends who felt my predicament told me that the IGP told them that any interested person with a masters or PhD who wished to lecture in the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State, should apply. So I wrote on January 15, 2020, but my letter was not given attention.”
However, based on the intervention of a retired female Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), he said, “I was recommended as a lecturer and human resource personnel at the police academy.
“Then on June 10, 2020, I received a call from a Superintendent of Police (SP) from the Department of Training and Development in respect of my letter to the IGP in recognition of my PhD and position as lecturer in the police academy dated January, 2020.
“The SP said the IGP had ordered that my application for upgrading be processed, but that the problem was if I had the authority to go to school while doing police duty. That I should not reply if I did not want the police authorities to query or default me.
“I asked why the police will query or default me; for which offence – that I went to school for the improvement of myself, my organisation, society, country and the world? He then said I should reply the letter.
“Thereafter, DIG for Training and Development ordered me to avail them with the IGP’s authority for my PhD studies; that it would enable them to facilitate my letter. I replied stating that I got my first degree before I was enlisted into the police.”