Magnus Eze, Enugu
At a period the Nigeria police are suffering from poor corporate image; some police officers have become very good advertisement for the organisation.
Recently, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State honoured the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Ogudu Police Station, Celestina Kalu, a Superintendent of Police, for using her money to save the life of an armed robbery victim.
While hosting Mrs. Kalu last month, Sanwo-Olu described her as “a humane police officer”. He said the DPO’s decision to save the life of the victim, Friday Ajabor, shot by a two-man robbery gang at MKO Abiola Park, Ojota, was a “matchless trait of compassion”.
In Onitsha, another Superintendent of Police and Divisional Police Officer of the Bridge Head, in Anambra state command; Mr. Edwin Okeke, has like Kalu, helped the image of the Force.
Okeke, who was transferred earlier in the year to the new division with little or nothing on ground; reached out to the immediate community and working closely with the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) of the Division, initiated and saw to the completion of a storey building office for the officers and men there.
Anambra state Commissioner of Police, John Abang, who inaugurated the building which was completed from the foundation to furnishing, within six months, recently, could not hide his elation and commended Okeke for being good ambassadors of the Police Force.
It has been all praises for the DPO in Onitsha. The President General, Bridge Head Market Traders Association (BHMTA), Onitsha, Mr. Sunday Obinze, Chairman of the divisional PCRC, Dr. Frank Udemadu, and another major supporter of the police in Onitsha Area Command; Chief O.K Ojimba, all attributed their assistance to the character and personality of the DPO.
Obinze said: “The police are our friend all over but the DPO at the Bridge Head market police station is special; the way he relates with traders has made our relationship more cordial than ever. So, the support we gave to them is not something we should go about broadcasting because the DPO is a hard working officer. Whenever we call his attention, he responds with promptness, so, no support given to him is much. Of course, this work we’re doing is vice versa; if we assist the police in times of need; the police will assist you when there’s crime.”
Similarly, the PCRC Chairman, Udemadu said that the coming of Okeke as DPO there has made them know what policing was all about.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe University teacher said that the DPO was instrumental to the formation of PCRC in the division: “Before this division was created, it was an output; they had only three rooms in a dilapidated building.When the DPO came, he didn’t know where to start. We took him around to solicit support. We met Julius Berger and they supplied us a lot of materials; we then started the construction of the building. Apparently, the former DPO Godson did well too, but the work started with his successor, SP Okeke. He started from the scratch, laid the foundation. The edifice you’re seeing here was done under a space of five months. It’s a thing of joy that the people around, we went to actually assisted us.”
The PCRC Chairman stated that their partnership with the police was yielding enormous dividends especially, since the coming of CP Abang. He noted that crime had reduced drastically at Onitsha: “Actually, I can say crime has reduced due to the help of the governor; the governor has done tremendously in aspect of crime. Before, you can’t walk around the Upper Iweka at night; you’d be molested but now you can move by midnight with a bag at Upper Iweka and nothing will happen. Even this Bridge Head used to be crime prone area, but the DPO and his men were able to make sure it’s ceased.”
Asked why he decided to take the bull by the horns instead of waiting for the police hierarchy to build divisional office; the DPO said that he was convinced that the people would come to their rescue to enable police serve them better. He applauded those he called the friends of the division for the encouragement and the Anambra police boss, the area commander and others for making the division stand tall among its contemporaries.