Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Three months after the inauguration of the new Zone 13 Police Headquarters in Ukpo community, Anambra State, encomiums have continued pouring in for the authorities and other stakeholders on the development.
Having assumed duty, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of the zone, Dan Mallam Muhammed, has hit the ground running. It has been a flurry of activities in the zone as various stakeholders, groups and individuals keep thronging the Ukpo headquarters, not only on courtesy calls, but to express their minds on the great prospects that the new zone holds for the three states of Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi.
Nkiruka Hope Nwode, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, has been coordinating the public relations aspect very well as the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer (ZPRO), a position she once occupied at the state command level.
Encomiums have been pouring too for the oil magnate and prince of Ukpo kingdom, Arthur Eze, who facilitated the location of the zone in Anambra and also donated land and properties for its smooth take-off.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Adamu, has been praised immensely for making it possible for the three states to come under the new Zone 13, thereby, saving people from the states the stress of going to Umuahia, Abia State, where Zone 9 that covered the states before now is located.
Anglican Archbishop, Province on the Niger, Bishop of the Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim, while felicitating with the IGP and the entire Nigerian Police Force on the new zonal headquarters, said the move was very vital in beefing up the security network in Anambra State, which would in turn help in curbing crime in the states under it.
While appreciating the initiative, Archbishop Ibezim urged the IGP to increase the trust of Nigerians in the police by ensuring adequate and all-round security of life and property of citizens. This, he said, was achievable through the establishment of more policies that would bring the desired reform in the Nigeria Police.
Various traditional rulers in the state also said there were enormous benefits accruable to the people of the three states under the new zonal arrangement. In their separate submissions, Igwe Ben Emeka of Umueri, traditional ruler of Enugu-Ukwu, Igwe Ralph Ekpe, and his Umuawaulu counterpart, Igwe Joel Egwuonwu, charged police officers posted to the zone to ensure that effective policing was brought closer to the people.
The royal fathers advised the officers to shun illegal arrests and brutality of any sort, but embrace professionalism and bring their wealth of experience to bear on the zone.
Chairman, Anambra State Vigilante Supervisory Committee, Ikechukwu Aduba (Onwa), a retired Commissioner of Police, who led a high-powered delegation of Anambra State Vigilante Group (AVG) and its stakeholders on a courtesy visit to the Zone 13 police headquarters recently, expressed excitement at the prospects of the new zone in Anambra. He pledged effective partnership and synergy with the police towards ensuring effective security of life and property in the state.
A former governorship aspirant in Anambra State, chief executive of Jetlink Group, Mr. John Nwosu, while praising President Buhari, IGP Adamu and Prince Arthur Eze for the approval and creation of the new zonal command, described the development as a positive milestone that would not only bring policing matters and security nearer to the people but also foster development and empowerment.
He described Prince Arthur Eze as a man whose passion for the wellbeing of humanity remains unparalleled and prayed that more good tidings would continue to pour into Anambra State.
Prince Dr. Emeka Eze, medical director, Toronto Hospital, Onitsha, in his goodwill message, said the new reforms and administrative policies in the Nigerian Police Force, which now bear influence in Anambra State, were most welcome and praiseworthy. He said the new Zone 13 would improve response time to incidents across the states and promote efficiency in service.
Meanwhile, AIG Dan Mallam has assured the public of respect for human rights and policing anchored on professionalism and best ethical conduct. While rolling out an action plan recently, he said the zone under him would not tolerate any form of human rights abuses within its jurisdiction.
“We believe in due process. We will do our best to protect life and property in compliance with extant laws of the land. We shall maintain law and order within the zone. We shall uphold human rights.
“We say no to extortion. We say no to extrajudicial killings. We say no to torture and illegal arrest. We will adopt every visibility policy to combat crimes in the zone in line with the policy of our Inspector-General of Police, IG Muhammed Adamu Abubakar,” he said.
Also, while on a visit to some church-owned orphanages in Awka recently, where various items were donated to the children, AIG Dan Mallam sought the cooperation of religious leaders in ensuring harmonious working relationship in the zone. He assured them that the police would always be friendly with the public.
“It is gradually becoming popular that people tilt towards the negative whenever the aphoris, ‘police is your friend,’ is mentioned. I am not unaware of the fact that some unscrupulous elements in the police force are trying so hard to paint us black through their actions, inactions and reactions.
“Nevertheless, we will continue, without any iota of fear, favour or sentiments, to remain your friend and to care for you” he said.