By our correspondent
THE Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba visited Edo State police Command a few weeks ago to lecture officers and men of the police force in ways that will endear them in positive light before the general public. At the same time the IGP lectured them on the basic ethics of collaborative policing with their host communities in the course of duty.
The arrival and lecture was timely owning to the fact that in recent times the Nigeria police have lost a great deal of respect usually accorded and the unsolicited support they enjoyed in the past.
The public relations image of many police officers was a serious source of concern for the IGP as a lot of them preferred to communicate with members of the public in Pidgin English. The English language is the Lingua Franca of the nation due to the colonial influence and so the IGP urged the officers to speak in it publicly so as to earn the respect of the public.
The IGP is not oblivious of the fact that the conditions of living in most of the barracks is worse than sub human; the policemen are hardly insured and when they die in active service, their dependants are immediately ejected from the barracks and in most cases leave without the death benefits of their breadwinner.
The inhumane conditions that many police pensioners are subjected to leaves a chill down the spine; no wonder many serving officers care little for securing lives and property as they hardly have the sophisticated tools that their adversaries have and they have long concluded that Nigeria isn’t worth dying for. He promises improvement on the police welfare and other ancillary issues mitigating against the performance of the officers.
The police authorities shouldn’t stop at promoting Ojo as sources within the Edo State Police Command said that he is due for promotion soon; a national honour should be given to him as well.
In the midst of such hopeless condition of service and lack of adequate motivation there are hundreds of officers who stake their for the safety of law abiding Nigerians. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Lucky Ojo is one of them.
(ASP) Lucky Ojo who is attached to the anti-cultism unit of the Edo State Police Command has every reason under the sun to be disillusioned about his work and hence exhibit a lackadaisical attitude to it. The pay for junior police officers is nothing to write home about. The salary is so miniscule that the entire rank and file of the force once went on a strike in 2002 to press home their demands for a better deal from the government.
ASP Ojo didn’t allow the horrible conditions of service hamper him from doing his lawful duty to the good people of Edo State. He bravely repelled a criminal syndicate that specialized in car snatching and the murder of their victims in the state.
The patriotic act occurred on June 20, 2021 around 9 pm according to an eye witness account. He ran into the armed robbers along Guobadia Street off Etete Road in the Government Reserved Area and he killed two of them while the third one escaped with bullet wounds. He was able to recover some arms and ammunition from them.
Under normal circumstances he could have looked the other way as a major complaint of many police stations across the country is the lack of adequate patrol vans but he chose to risk his life in service to Edo State. Not only does he deserve a promotion, he should be specially honoured by the Governor who doubles as the State’s Chief Security Officer.
With the fall out of last year’s End Sars Protests – the raison d’etre being the reforms of the Nigerian Police Force, the powers that be should ensure that the environment for the replication of more Ojo’s is created so that his brave acts will be cloned across board by all the police officers nationwide so that it’s no longer news for a police officer to engage in a gun battle with armed robbers.
His dare devil act will inspire many officers to give their best in service to Nigeria despite the challenges that comes with the noble job in lowering crime rate to the barest minimum.
Ojo’s rare show of courage comes at a time when the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) specially commended the Edo State Police Command for effectively tackling crimes in the state with the sobriquet ‘Heart Beat of the Nation.’ The IGP promised better welfare for the cops as well as better accommodation for them.
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