Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The Anambra State Police Command recently unveiled a one-storey office complex at the new Bridge Head Division in the commercial city of Onitsha.
The office was built through the joint efforts of the officers and men of the Bridge Head Division, the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) of the division and traders from the Bridge Head Market. The facility was inaugurated by the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, John Bassey Abang.
At the event, Abang warned criminal-minded elements still operating in the state to flee or be prepared to face dire consequences.
Abang said it was only a fool who did not value his or her life that would like to operate as a criminal in Anambra State, which is adjudged to be the safest state in Nigeria.
He demanded that all hands must be on deck to retain the status of Anambra as the safest state in the country.
He also charged officers and men of the division to eschew human rights abuses, extortion, unlawful arrests and illegal duties. He stressed that any act tarnishing the image of the police would not be allowed.
Abang commended the Divisional Police Officer of the Onitsha Bridge Head Division, Edwin Okeke, and other officers of the division for spearheading the building of the befitting office block at their own expense.
He pledged to assist the division with adequate manpower and logistics, noting that the Bridge Head axis of Onitsha, as a crime-prone area, needed to be sanitised so that law-abiding citizens and traders could go about their lawful businesses without fear.
Speaking earlier, the DPO, Okeke, affirmed the loyalty of the officers to the police authorities. He described the visit of the police boss to the division as a great honour, adding that the division was among new ones created by the police authorities to tackle the security and traffic challenges confronting traders and motorists in the area.
Okeke recalled that, at inception, the division was housed in a three-room office block that was unfit for the status of a divisional headquarters and grossly inadequate to accommodate the anticipated manpower.
“Consequently, on assumption of office as the DPO on January 2, 2019, and after due consultations and support from the duo of one entrepreneur, Chief Ngozi Okpagu, and former Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Anayo Nebe, the foundation stone of this new office block was laid on February 14, this year.
“I am satisfied that, through the support and encouragement of the PCRC members, the Onitsha Police Area Commander, ACP John Obuagbaka, the Bridge Head traders association, led by Chief Sunday Obinze, and the entire Bridge Head business community, this division has now stood tall, if not tallest, among other newly created police divisions,” he said.
The DPO pleaded with the CP to look into the division’s manpower shortage, lack of operational vehicles and other logistics. He also urged the police boss to intervene in the issue of jurisdiction between the division and others.
Chairman of PCRC in the division, Dr. Frank Chika Udemadu, described Abang as an accomplished disciplinarian. He urged the police commissioner to continue with same passion and level of energy with which he started.
President of the Bridge Head Market Traders Association, Sunday Obinze, pledged a cordial relations between the traders and the police authorities. He said the friendly relationship between the traders and the police would continue to blossom.
One of the features of the event was the presentation of plaques in honour of friends of the division. Those honoured included the chairman of Bridge Head Market Traders Association, Obinze; Chief Ngozi Okpagu, an entrepreneur, Chief Okwudili Okoro, Chief Basil Ejidike, the state chairman of All Progressives Congress, Chief Ugochukwu Nwosu, and others.