The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba Usman has advised policemen not to sacrifice professionalism to favour members of the public, urging them to, rather, uphold the professional ethics of the Nigeria Police Force.
He gave this admonition during the commissioning of a fully furnished one-story block comprising the Area Commander’s office, conference room, secretary office and 10 other offices for senior officers, as well as the renovation and furnishing of other existing structures at the Area ‘B’ command, Apapa, Lagos.
The multimillion naira project was conceived by the outgoing Area Commander, Olusoji Akinbayo, who was recently promoted to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Describing Akinbayo”s efforts at mobilizing some friends of the Police to put up such edifice as an act worthy to be emulated by all Area Commanders in Lagos and other commands across the country, IGP Usman who was represented by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, AIG Johnson Kokumo, disclosed that the occasion was the second projects as excited by Akinbayo , he was commissioning In six months . He said, “This is indeed an unparalleled achievement.
It is apparent that the Area Commander did not mortgage his PR. If he had , he would never have been able to mobilise people to support him in this manner.
“DCP Olusoji Akinbayo has demonstrated professionalism and has 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. . And in the course of not mortgaging your PR, you don’t really need to sacrifice professionalism because you want favour from members of the public”.
While appreciating those who supported the Area Commander in the projects, he sought for more of such support , stating that “ We cannot do the job of policing in Lagos without active support of the people.
We need information, we need support.
Get close to your DPOs, get close to your Area Commanders and your Commissioner of Police and in the synergy of good cooperation and collaboration, we will be able to secure Lagos state”.
Earlier in his remark, CP Hakeem Odumosu, said the support from members of the public, attested to the outgoing Area Commander’s relationship with members of the public.
He said, “ This shows the good relationship DCP Akinbayo have had with those who supported it , despite the economy of the country. It also shows he is in the good books of the people”.
He therefore advised officers and men of the command to put service first, before money.
He said, “ When you know people, money comes in but if you go out to know money, you will never know people. So, let us improve on our public relations, with members of the public” , he advised.
On his part, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide- Sanwo-Olu on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka, lauded the transparency with which the projects were carried out, stating that it was what motivated those who supported the success.
Describing the support from members of the public as a right action in the right direction, Fayinka said “Police officers are men and women like us, they are not animals. We cannot allow them to sleep where our mates cannot sleep”.
Also in her remark, the Chairperson, Apapa Local Government Area, Mrs. Idowu Senbanjo, said, “What we have seen here is overwhelming. This is the first police station I have been to and seen this sort of grand size project and I believe it is the beginning of a lot of good things for us in Apapa. I appreciate everybody who contributed to this and I hope we can do more in many other projects to improve the life and economy of Apapa”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the outgoing Area Commander attributed his strong moral upbringing and Christian orientation to the primary guides in discharging his duties as a police officer.
Akinbayo explained that to ensure probity and accountability in the projects, he advised everyone that offered to support to pay their donations directly to the designated contractors and never to himself or any of his officers.
According to him, “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 present here. 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.
Other dignitaries who applauded Akinbayo”s efforts in their goodwill messages included the Ojora of Ijora, Oba Abdul-Fatai Aromire, who was represented by Chief Hakeem Ajala; Commissioner of Police, Western Port Command, Mr. Nasiru Mohammed and Dr. Ayo Ogunsan of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund.