Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba Usman, has warned police officers not to compromise the integrity of their office because of selfish interests.
According to the IGP, one of the easiest ways to cultivate and sustain public support is for officers to ensure that they do not squander their goodwill.
Usman spoke at the weekend in Lagos while inaugurating multimillion naira projects conceived and executed by the outgoing Commander of Area ‘B’ Command, Apapa, Mr. Olusoji Akinbayo, who was recently promoted to the rank of deputy commissioner of police.
The projects consist of a one-story block, comprising a fully equipped new area commander’s office, conference room, and 10 other offices for senior officers, as well as the renovation and furnishing of other existing structures.
The IGP, who was represented by the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone ‘2’ Command, Lagos, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, said the feat achieved by Akinbayo was worthy of emulation by all officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
He said, “This is indeed an unparalleled achievement. It is apparent that the Area Commander did not mortgage his PR. If he had done so, he would never have been able to mobilise people to support him in this manner.
“DCP Olusoji Akinbayo has demonstrated professionalism and shown an example which other area commanders have a lot to learn from. One thing is clear from what we have seen here, if you show that you are for the people, the people too will be there for you. And so long as you don’t mortgage your PR, you will have no cause to sacrifice your integrity.”
The IGP commended the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, for creating a conducive atmosphere for Akinbayo to embark on a project of such magnitude. He also expressed gratitude to all those that contributed in one way or the other to the successful completion of the projects.
Also speaking in his personal capacity, Kokumo observed that the day was the second time within a space of six months that he would be inaugurating projects completed by Akinbayo at the area command headquarters.
In his speech, Odumosu said the support Akinbayo enjoyed from the people was a testament to his excellent service to the community. He enjoined police officers to work on “improving their relationship with the people and also strive to police with a human face”.
In his welcome address, Akinbayo described himself as an ambassador of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries (MFM) in the police. He said his strong moral upbringing and strong Christian orientation were his primary guides in discharging his duties as a police officer.
Akinbayo also disclosed that, to ensure probity and accountability in the projects, he urged everyone that offered to finance different aspects to pay their donations directly to the designated contractors and never to himself or any of his officers.
“I remember, when I was posted here and we started clearing the junkyard, some Senior Officers mocked me that I had started again, and that Police work should not be taken to high heavens. Some even advised me to use the money I am using to do the projects to prepare for retirement. But my father, when he was alive, always referred me to the Holy Bible, Exodus 23:1, which says, ‘Thou shall not follow the multitude to do evil, neither shall thou speak in a cause, following many to divert judgment’.
“With my moral up-bringing and as a Zonal Pastor in the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries, I am not expected to do otherwise. The donors are here present. You can now see that your various contributions were not diverted. You now trust the Nigeria Police, as we are now rebuilding the trust and confidence of the public and applying restorative justice in our daily working,” Akinbayo said.
The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was represented by his Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka.
In his goodwill message on behalf of the governor, Fayinka commended Akinbayo for setting the right example by ensuring that the projects were built directly by the community rather than asking them to contribute money into a private pocket.
Other dignitaries who delivered goodwill messages included, the Ojora of Ijora, Oba Abdul-Fatai Aromire, represented by Chief Hakeem Ajala; Commissioner of Police, Western Port Command, Mr. Nasiru Mohammed; Dr. Ayo Ogunsan of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, and the Chairperson, Apapa Local Government Area, Mrs. Idowu Senbanjo.
The occasion was attended by prominent individuals and senior officers of the Lagos State Police Command.
Another highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of gifts to all the sponsors of the projects on behalf of the IGP.