*CP Alabi and his predecessor, AIG Hakeem Odumosu after the handover ceremony…
By Prince Albert UBA, Publisher/Editor-in-chief, Lagos/
ALBEIT needless foot-dragging, cacophonous controversies and the unwholesome chess game which stalked the appointment of a Commissioner of Police to head the Lagos State Police Command after the elevation of the incumbent, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu to the rank of an AIG, an Ekiti State born Police officer, Sylvester Abiodun Alabi finally won the coveted ticket as the anointed one. He has since assumed office as the 37th Commissioner of Police to head the Command.
Arguably, Commissioner of Police CP Alabi is not a virgin in the maternity ward with respect to the topographical posturing of Lagos State, the colour of crimes and criminality and the psychology of policing the state; having served in leadership positions at various formations as Divisional Police Officer DPO, Squadron Commander, Police Mobile Force (PMF22) and FCID Annex, Alagbon Ikoyi Lagos respectively.
He even attested to the fact during his controlled maiden press briefing that the state is not an unfamiliar turf for him when he said, “Although Lagos State is undoubtedly a familiar turf for me, having served in the state for many years in different capacities, nevertheless, it has become necessary to bring to the fore my template and policing vision, visibility policing and dominance of security space by ensuring the presence of policemen at all times to deter criminals as a preventive measure and ensure that Rapid Response Squad is encouraged and strengthened to respond promptly and effectively to citizens’ concerns.”
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He continued with, “Respect for fundamental Human Rights by ensuring that no breach of Human Rights will be tolerated under my command and watch. Our men’s conduct while discharging their duties must be in conformity with our professional ethics especially with issues of corruption and extra Judicial killing and act of incivility to members of the public.
We will strive to build confidence and trust in members of the public particularly with state actors and non-state actors through intelligence led community policing. Area commanders and Divisional Police Officers will be encouraged to meet regularly with non state actors to ensure common problems confronting their various areas of responsibilities are collectively addressed.”
Suffice therefore, to say that aside being sound academically, CP Alabi is fittingly an enviable manager of human and material resources, crack investigator and astute operations officer.
However, to not so few of us, it may no longer be fascinating to be inundated with such refrains of “visibility policing and respect for human and peoples’ rights” as such had been regular sermons by successive CPs of the Command especially, his predecessor who having gained the confidence of the people, nay media professionals, assumed the cloak of Lord of the Manor, became power drunk and swollen headed. He became nepotistic in principle and practice; deluding in a world of illusion.
Our dear CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi should be as discerning as possible, take what is good in the handover note from his predecessor and discard the ominous; especially, nepotism. The principle of the 16th Century Italian Machiavellian Prince may not comfortably augur well in the 21st century Nigeria. He should therefore, strive to carve a niche for himself both in policing and public relations.
As the number one Police officer of the Command, he is expected to do a holistic audit of what Criminologists call liaison. (Be close to the people and let the people be close to you) In relating with his officers and men he is advised to abhor the infamous dogma of ‘wait for your time’ that is common among senior Police officers.
Again and most importantly, CP Alabi needs not be reminded of the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos State; hosting different tongues and tribes. Deployment and or redeployment of personnel to Divisions and Area Commands should not be ethnic based.
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In the mean and above all, it is expedient to re-emphasize that the office of a state Commissioner of Police across the country is held by stakeholders especially, the media. CP Alabi should be reminded in case he forgets, that no one media is greater than the other just as every media professional cannot work in the same organization. Hon. Patricia Etteh was sauntering into the enviable annals of the nation as first female Speaker of the House of Representatives until she was misadvised to denigrate some not so popular Abuja based evening tabloids. She paid dearly for it.
At this point and referencing his seeming robust policing policy thrust, all that can be wished CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi is goodluck and God’s guidance.
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