LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Newly-posted Commissioner of Police for Kwara State, Kayode Egbetokun, assumed duty today, and expressed hope of having a ‘pleasant’ stay in the state. He promised that his ‘past’ would not influence the discharge of his duty.
But while refusing to respond to a series of allegations over his posting, Egbetokun warned against spreading falsehood and unsubstantiated allegations, promising to deal with culprits who engaged in such tradition.
The new police boss who addressed news men before going into a close-door meeting with senior officers of the command, said he was ready to offer protection to those who had been on the streets of Ilorin, the state capital, protesting his deployment, so long as they remained peaceful.
Egbetokun expressed confidence that the command under his leadership would accomplish so much, given the calibre of officers and men he had, some of whom he noted had worked with him on different occasions in this trajectory as an officer.
His words: “I am excited to be in Kwara, for one reason. I came in this morning and many of the officers I met on ground are men that I have known and I know they have integrity. They are fantastic men that I have met before and I look forward to working with them again.
“The success of a police commissioner depends on the team that he has to work with. I just feel very much at home in Kwara. All these officers know what I stand for; everywhere I have worked I am committed to excellent service delivery.
“I am in Kwara to discharge my duty with vigour, honesty and integrity. Where I have worked before doesn’t matter. I believe in the principle of rule of law, fairness and justice. My stay in Kwara will be very pleasant. I am committed to upholding and protecting human rights of the people. However criminal elements will not have a hiding place here; they either decide to change or relocate.
“I am sure the Inspector General of Police has responded adequately to the issue of my posting and so I don’t have anything to say again on that. Silence they say is golden although sometimes people may mistake your silence for acceptance of guilt but in his case I know I am not guilty. I will provide a level- playing field for all participants.
“I see protests as exercise of fundamental rights for as long as it remains peaceful. So protesters will always be protected’ it doesn’t matter if the protest is against me. So long as you remain peaceful, you will have my cover.
” I want to warn; let us all be careful not to spread falsehood; let us be careful not to get used to a culture of engaging in misrepresentation of facts. It is dangerous; it is not good for our country.”
He expressed confidence that the visit by President Muhammadu Buhari would be peaceful and also promised that having gone through the operational order for the command, he was sure the forthcoming election in the state would be hitch-free.