By Olayinka Balogun
I have always admired Chief Sunday Adewusi from a distance and that was long before I ever thought I would be a policeman.
I did not physically get in contact with Adewusi until 1981. In 1980, providence and destiny brought me into the police as a Cadet ASP, Assistant Superintendent of Police. Our set, Course 79/80 was interviewed and recruited by Alhaji Adamu Suleiman, who was then the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
By the time we were passing out in 1981, Adewusi had become the new IGP, and so it was he who interviewed us on our way out of Police Staff College. It was he who organized our dinning/passing out parade at the Police College, Ikeja. We were brought in from Jos. His questions for most of us that day were centered on welfare and professionalism.
Later in my career and as Principal Staff Officer (PSO), to four IGPs between 2000 and 2010, I had course to welcome him anytime he came to see any of the IGPs at that time as he would always come or send letters of advice to every new IGP.
However, in 2007, I was posted to the Special Fraud Unit, Milverton, Ikoyi, Lagos. The unit was variously called Special IGP Monitoring Unit, Special Task Force etc., until it was eventually named Special Fraud Unit, which was aimed at fighting economic crimes and various fraudulent practices. I got to know that Adewusi lived there as Commissioner of Police in charge Force CID, Alagbon.
I also got to know that when he became the AIG Operations, he retained the accommodation because of proximity to his new office at that time which is the current Kam Salem House, Obalende. When he was appointed the IGP, he moved to the IGP quarters at Alexander but retained the Milverton Road apartment as Guest House.
I also got to know that sadly when the military coup of 1983 that removed Alhaji Shehu Shagari occurred, he was placed under house arrest at that same 13, Milverton Road for some months.
When I got to know all these, I resolved in my mind that I would do something with that same location to honour the old man. I renovated the place, making it suitable for a Special Fraud Unit of the Police Force (which had always been my trademark anywhere I have worked before SFU and even after SFU). When I concluded the renovation, I started working towards naming the place after Adewusi. I knew it was to be a big task, what with the systemic roadblock and institutional jealousies and bickering that might arise, but I forged ahead.
I got in touch with the then IGP, Sir Mike Okiro. Actually, it was former IGP Sunday Ehindero who recommended me for the post of Commissioner of Police and after that posted me to the SFU after I have been Deputy Commissioner in charge State CID Panti from (2005 to 2007) for two years. But, when Okiro took over as IGP, he confirmed my posting to SFU. He even added a mandate that I should go to SFU, raise up the standard, take it to greater heights that will be at par with the EFCC or even surpass it.
This mandate emanated from the fact that the SFU is actually the mother or origin of the EFCC as the fact remains that most past heads of EFCC came not only from the police as a body but actually from SFU as a Unit. I had a big task of actually raising the standard of SFU. A task that I can say with God and man I was able to accomplish. I therefore felt that the crowning glory of that episode is to name it after an officer who lived there during the turbulent period. After the initial hesitation from Okiro, he eventually agreed with me to take the matter before the Federal Government for approval after given him this background story, to name the edifice after Adewusi. He was able to convince the then President, Umaru Musa Yar’adua, who graciously approved naming the complex after Adewusi. After the approval, I visited Adewusi to formally inform him and met him in his Victoria Island house in Lagos. After introducing myself, I told him my mission that the Police authority, on my humble recommendation, agreed that the SFU be henceforth called Sunday Adewusi House.
I will never forget the expression that came over the old man’s face. He asked me in an emotion laden voice: “My son, Mr. Balogun, do you know me before, have you ever worked with me, what have I done to you to deserve this honour?” I could see the disbelief and transformation in both his voice and expression.
On the day of his pre-launch visit, the old man got down from his car and remained on same spot glaring around with disbelief: “Is this his old quarters where he was later incarcerated after his removal from office? Where is my kitchen, where is that place I used to put my dogs, where is this, where is that?” He was really overwhelmed by the transformation that had taken place in the premises.
Thereafter, the old man sat down and put down some emotional reports of what he went through when he was incarcerated. He likened his return to the same location to the Biblical triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.
Weeks after, the ceremony proper took place and it was grand. The old man and his wife, Alhaja (Chief) Mrs Aminat Adewusi, came gorgeously dressed. The ceremony attracted almost all the living retired IGPs, highly placed personalities, Obas and traditional rulers who all trouped out to give honour to whom it was due. Many Police officers saw him and met him after so many years of separation.
And so, 13 Milverton, Ikoyi, became formally commissioned and remains “Sunday Adewusi House” till date.
•Olayinka Balogun is a retired Commissionber of Police
Anti-corruption war: FG should do its work quietly -Egwim
By Victor C. Amadi
Hon Arthur Innocent Egwim is a member of Imo State House of Assembly representing Ideator North Constituency. Egwim is Chairman on finance. He doubles also as Chairman Judiciary, Local Government and Chieftaincy Autonomous Affairs in this 8th Assembly of the state. In this interview, Egwim speaks on various national issues. Excerpts:
What do you say on the future of the country?
I totally disagree with the talk in some quarters that the future of the country is bleak, that Nigerians are in a state of despair and that the country is in the verge of collapse and disintegration. Going memory lane, at the end of the World War II, the creation of International bodies like WTO, ILO, UNO, IMF, and several other Brentwood institutions, is as a result of the war, and as a result of economic crisis. Perhaps, Nigeria’s greatest problem in governance is that our leaders over the years have not been able to get it right in the sense that the legal and the regulatory frame work have not been laid. I now believe that is what the present leadership of Nigeria is trying to institute. But my fear is that the way they are going about it is not known to ordinary man in the street. If we are able to gather our acts together and get the necessary things done, Nigeria will climb the ladder and become great.
What we need dearly is good government and transparent leadership. We are a very lucky people because God loves this country. Nowadays, the electorates are beginning to know their right and speak out their grievances. That is part of the political light we are campaigning about, the awareness of the masses to national issues. Buhari used the slogan “change” to convince the people. If at the end of his regime, the masses didn’t see the change as promised, he would have failed and become a disappointment to the nation. I am personally worried because I am an APC member and would want our party to prove we are capable of true governance which will make the public heave a sigh of relief. But till now, there is no clear road map yet, and that is why I am a bit confused. If Buhari succeeds, a lot will be in favour of Nigeria globally, believe me. But I still believe that the entire machinery is being put in place to tackle the various facets of national problems confronting our people. Nigerians expect them to get it right.
Religion and nation building
Religion is the cause of our political failure over the past decades. If we don’t separate religion from politics, we will not attain the height expected of us in our nationhood. We are at the red sea now, but still don’t know who will lead us to the Promised Land. Neither Islam nor Christianity can lead us to the dream land in our effort to become an industrialized, crime-free nation with well educated and technically trained citizens. Inability to dig into persons to know their background other than, ‘he is a Moslem like us,’ or, ‘he is a catholic,’ let us campaign or vote for him. That is the ugly thing religion is doing in this country. We have continued to boost tourism revenue for other countries including cities like Jerusalem and Mecca, raking in foreign exchange for them. We have done nothing to bring to limelight our tourism potentials that abound in this country so that other nationals would come and spend their foreign exchange here. We have attractive sites that could earn big money for us. We ought to correct these social and religious defects in conformity to the ‘social contracts’ as provided by Hobbes.
The former ruling party, PDP lost power for obvious reasons. Many antics came into play from 2014. In the school during examinations, every pupil or student knows whether he or she will pass or not. How far you prepared and how far you performed during exams were all you needed to know and assess your chances for pass, and at what level of pass. The PDP before the 2015 elections, their body language had shown and convinced every Nigerian they would lose. The Holy Spirit came into Jonathan to accept defeat. PDP failed to take care of very minor things in the country. If you fail to take control of tiny things, they will cost you bigger things. PDP had no internal mechanism for a blueprint to deliver credible leadership. There is no internal democracy in PDP, therefore you could not have expected the party to provide democratic ideals and proper governance. The results of 2015 stung the PDP like a morning bee. In the eyes of millions of Nigerians, the PDP became the most corrupt political party. Jonathan’s government was the most corrupt in Nigeria’s history. Jonathan was a big disappointment to this country. Our people want basic things of life, social amenities, public infrastructures, electricity, good health care system, affordable housing, cheap goods and services, organized transport system etc. There was no proper frame work and proper foundation from Jonathan and PDP.
What is your take on the anti-corruption war in the country?
I am against the publicity given on the probe issues. It shouldn’t have been made public. Such a thing ought to be done secretly and underground to recover these billions of dollars and trillions of naira from criminal politicians and office holders, military chieftains and traditional rulers. The noise about the probe, I am against it. Let us quietly recover the monies starched away but without having to mention their names.
Do you think the Chibok girls will ever come back?
The issue bothering on the disappearance of the Chibok girls is real, and not propaganda. I have heard people say there was nothing like the Chibok girls who were declared missing, that it was a ghost war’ APC unleashed on Jonathan’s government. Let’s say it was propaganda, the truth is that PDP didn’t manage it well. From my own investigation, it is real. A similar thing has happened in Iran and Mexico.
In the latin American country, it was a case of Gorilla warfare. I heard then the girls were in Sambisa forest. And this place is within the land mass of Adamawa, Borno, and northern Cameroun. The last time, our military boys say the possibility of land mines slowed them down. But now, America has given them anti land mines to enable them make incursions and approach their target zones, and where they believed these girls are kept as the barbarian abductors are using them as human shield. Another cause to worry is the likeliness these young girls may have been married away by Boko Haram members, as majority of these girls have all put to bed or are pregnant.
What do you make of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration?
Well, there’s nothing like Okorocha losing followership. Rochas is a man of the people. In 2011, Imo people demonstrated it and again in 2015. Some people believe he has gone wrong in certain policies. The state of the country now, transition from one government to the other, because of monetary exchange rates, cash squeeze in the economy etc, Rochas is also not finding it easy with his subjects.