CrimeWorld weekly Editorial Board
HAVING, successful scaled the first hurdle that greeted his appointment as the Commissioner of Police Lagos State Police Command, Ag. CP Imohimi Edgal’s next task perhaps, is how best to pick his officers and men that will assist him actualize his avowal to make a statement in the art and science of modern policing in Lagos State. A seasoned Police officer, Edgal is no doubt, enviably sound both in operations and academics. He has worked his substantial part of policing career in Lagos State and so, he is conversant with the psychology of policing the state; and of course, he knows the nook and crannies of the entire metropolis and suburbs. This is a great to advantage him as an ardent apostle of community policing. However, it is incontrovertible that Edgal alone cannot achieve all that he had mouthed upon his assumption of office. He needs officers and men who are not only sound both in body and mind but above all, dedicated and loyal work-mates. He needs a team and not group. A cursory check at the list of senior Policemen currently serving in the state Command shows not a few key officers as senior in their present rank to Edgal before his elevation as Ag CP; even though, he is also a victim of the lopsided nature of Police promotion. Aside this, it is bare even to the blind that there is no love lost between Ag.CP Edgal and his immediate boss and predecessor; CP Fatai Owoseni who was eventually uprooted from the fluffy sofa of the number one Police seat at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja. Having policed Lagos State for two years plus, CP Owoseni still wields sclerotic control, obedience and loyalty of more than 70 per cent of the officers and men of Lagos State Police Command. By Police culture, these officers and men will for a long time, if not forever, remain Owoseni’s boys. Conversely, these are the same personnel Edgal has inherited and hopes to use in leaving a footprint on the sand of time in Lagos State. This may not happen without some measure of perfidy. To be able to achieve his dreamed modest success and perhaps, plough back the good gestures of the nation’s number one most security conscious Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Edgal needs immediate overhaul of the various key units under his watch. There is dire need to sieve the chaff from the seed and hit the ground running as fast as his energy can endure him. His first step at the twilight of his assumption of office, in setting up an all embracing committee made up of senior Police officers, media professional and members of the civil society organization to investigate allegation of impropriety and gross unprofessional conduct leveled against the Officer in charge of Anti-kidnapping and Cultism unit, CSP Adejobi who has since been redeployed form the unit is salutary. Though, the action spewed bad blood amongst Edgal’s traducers, the fact that the Committee went ahead, sat and came out with its findings shows that the present Police helmsman in Lagos State is out to police with human face. Now that the report of the Committee has been submitted to him, it is hoped that appropriate action will be taken and made public too. We recommend that whoever is found culpable in the paper submitted should be sanctioned also to serve the desired aim of the committee. Perhaps and this is more important, Ag. CP Edgal needs a full dose of Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince. Louis XII, king of France speedily occupied Milan and speedily lost it because he undermines the principle of ‘composite principalities’ of the Prince. “A prince is always compelled to injure those who have made him the new ruler, subjecting them to the troops and imposing the endless other hardships which the new conquest entails…” Ag.CP Edgal should be told that he would be opposed by all those he has ‘injured’ in occupying the ‘principality’, he cannot keep the friendship of all those who have put him in office, yet he cannot satisfy them in a way they had taken him for granted. All that he needs therefore, is not only be seen as the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, he needs also to heard as such; to be in charge of the affairs of policing the state including choosing his work-mates. The job of policing Lagos State should not come to him as an abstract manual, but that needing a great deal of intellect and independence in taking far reaching decisions. We are aware that some retired senior Police officers are already breathing down Edgal’s neck through imposition of personnel on him. This should not be so. The earlier Edgal realizes that the glory and otherwise of policing activities in Lagos State rests squarely on his shoulders and not the names of the retired officers, the better he would be for it. The zeal to serve in him and fearlessness showcased in bringing the tide of Badoo menace to a halt in Ikorodu while still serving as DCP Ops with the arrest of the alleged kingpin on one hand and the swift with which the suspect was released even without Edgal’s knowledge on the other, underpins the unseen hands that maneuvers the affairs of policing in Lagos State. Whereas, we are rest assured that Edgal would give his all to Lagosians, it is critical to sound it that ‘it is better to be hated and respected by the people than to be loved and jeered afterward’.
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