The newly Lagos Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, has been tasked to create a public-friendly police force, and shun defending bad conduct of police officers in the discharge of his duties as Polices’s image-maker.
This call was made by a team of 16 CSOs (civil society organisations), when they came under the aegis of the Stakeholders’ Forum On Police Accountability (SFOPA) to honour the outgoing PPRO, Bala Elkana, with an Outstanding Performance Award, and to further welcome his replacement, Muyiwa Adejobi.
In his address to welcome the new PPRO, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma of the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), and SFOPA coordinator, tasked Muyiwa to emulate the good qualities of his predecessor as he steps into the helm of affairs, and ensure that he works towards engaging with other key stakeholders. “Police PROs think that the job of a Police PRO is to defend the police at all cost, even in clear situations where some officers have exhibited indefensible bad conduct. Some also feel reluctant to answer or return phone calls or provide information to the public they serve. They avoid CSOs and regard them as adversaries. The job of a Police PRO is not easy. Sometimes, it puts the officer on collision with his colleagues. It also constantly puts him in the public spotlight. Therefore, it requires an intelligent, good-tempered, patient, and creative officer to handle the job and deal with the intricacies and dilemma. And Elkana acquitted himself during his time as PPRO”, Nwanguma said.
Also, Bose Ironsi of the Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP) who further extolled the virtue of Elkana, urged the new PPRO to see CSOs as partners in progress. “Bala Elkanar was a fine, receptive and humble police officer. Our country needs thousands like him in the Police Force. We welcome Adejobi as our PPRO, and I call on him to continue with the high standards his predecessor.”
Responding to the CSOs, the incoming PPRO, Muyiwa, who was represented by Chinwe Anyakudo of the Public Complaints Bureau, thanked SFOPA for their support and assured that he would bring in his wealth of experience, and strive to meet the high demands of his office. He also vowed to create an effective public complaint unit. “One of the key roles of the PPRO is to create mutual respect and goodwill between the police and the public. And that is why we are calling the public to freely access our Public Complainant platforms to report unethical conducts of bad eggs in the police force.”