The police command in Abia on Saturday night organised an appreciation/farewell party in honour of serving and four retired officers in the command.
Speaking at the colourful ceremony held at the Abia Hotels, Umuahia, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Ezike, said the event was organised to give honour to the deserving officers.
Ezike said, “We thought we should recognise our own. And to say well done to our officers, who have served their fatherland meritoriously.”
He said that the ceremony was in line with the old tradition of the Nigeria Police Force which, he regretted, was fast fading away.
“This is old tradition of the police but it is dying. My charge is please do not allow it to die.”
“Any time you are not recognised by your own people, you feel seriously pained, hence we have decided to say well done to our retired officers.
“We also want to say thank you to all our officers and men for a job well done during the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” the police boss said.
He said that the operatives of the command were able to keep the crime level low and ensured that the ones that were committed during the period were busted.
“So I feel we should come together, listen to good music, dance and interact in a convivial atmosphere,” he said.
Ezike, who was among the recently promoted officers to the Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police, said that the command had made significant progress, the challenges notwithstanding.
He said that he had been able to penetrate into the communities, having institutionalised Community Policing “for which God rewarded me with the promotion.
“I thought that I have come to the end of the road, but God has the final say,” he said.
Ezike said that the road through his career had been “bumpy and very rough.”
He, however, said that he owed his success to the support and cooperation from his wife and officers and men in the force.
He also thanked Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for his assistance to the command which, he said, “made us to function effectively.”
In their separate goodwill messages, the AIG, Zone 9, Hosea Karma, and the Commander, 14 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia, Abubakar Ibrahim, commended Ezike for his exemplary leadership.
Karma described him as a special breed in the force, saying that he would forever be proud of him and his contribution to the growth of the organisation.
Also, Chief Ukpai Agwu, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, extolled the immense sacrifice and efforts of the Abia police command in ensuring adequate security for lives and property in the state.
Agwu said that the police, in collaboration with other sister-agencies, especially the 14 Brigade, had successfully brought kidnapping and violent armed banditry to the barest level.
In an interview with newsmen on the sideline of the party, Ezike said he felt fulfilled with his elevation to the AIG.
He expressed profound gratitude to the new leadership of the police, saying that he had been further motivated to work harder and continue to add value to the service of the force.
He advocated the intensification of visibility policing as an effective strategy toward achieving greater efficiency in crime reduction.
Ezike further spoke on the need for all the major stakeholders in the nation’s electoral process, including the security agencies, the electoral body, politicians and political parties as well electorate, to discharge their constitutional responsibilities dutifully to ensure a hitch-free, fair and credible polls.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retired officers included Deputy Commissioners of Police, Sagir Abubakar and Samuel Ojo, as well as Asst. Commissioners of Police, Elizabeth Mfom and John Oguche.