Garland for gallant Police officer Okuwobi!

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By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos/

“We sincerely appreciate you. When we came on board in 2017, we paid a courtesy visit to the then DPO , I think you were newly posted as the DCO, then after a time because of the nature of your job, the DPO was posted out and you became the substantive DPO. And ever since then, we have been watching your activities and we decided and say, this is a woman in a man’s capacity; I think  it is on your own case that I totally agree with the saying that whatever a man can do a woman can do better; on you, I agree.”

CSP Okuwobi and members of the Ejigbo Legislative Council after the award…

This was the refrain from the Leader of Ejigbo LCDA Legislative Council, Hon. Olarenwaju Akinbowale while bestowing an award of excellence and selfless services in securing lives and property of residents of Ejigbo on Chief Superintendent of Police CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, the Divisional Police Office DPO of Ejigbo Divisional Police Headquarters. To some who may not be closer to the honoured DPO, the award from the law making arm of the Ejigbo LCDA might look like a bolt from the blue, but to many who are abinitio conversant with the policing policy thrust of CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, the award aside being well deserved, would be one of those flurry of awards that adorn her wall of fame.  When she was made the substantive DPO of Ejigbo Division, CSP Okuwobi even though not a virgin in the maternity ward; saw the ‘strictly male assignment’ as a challenge. She immediately hit the ground running like a colossus with a people-oriented policing model. Series of meetings were held with stakeholders in the densely populated community on the need to volunteer vital information to the Police with a view to serving them better. Unlike her predecessors, her personal telephone lines were conspicuously displayed at strategic locations in and around the Division for unfettered reach. Girded in her loins, an intrepid and incorrigible CSP Okuwobi nicknamed iron lady by not a few who fancies her operational prowess, took the bull by the horns and took the fight against crime and criminality to the doorsteps of the criminals. She would more often than not lead operations to the chagrin of her subordinates.  Notorious and intractable suspects who had made life unbearable to law abiding residents of Ejigbo and beyond were tracked to their hideouts and apprehended. Most of them have been successfully prosecuted in accordance with extant laws.  A public relations personified Police officer who has abundantly endeared herself to the hearts of newsmen across beats, CSP Okuwobi had had to in several instances, combine crime fighting with community development activities. At the risk of adulation, CSP Okuwobi remains the first ever Divisional Police Officer DPO  to publicly fold her sleeves and trousers filling failed portions of the roads in  and around Ejigbo with sand and granites which she personally procured from her meager monthly salary. According to her, a motor-able road would facilitate seamless movements of her officers and men when responding to distress calls. Little wonder that Honourable Akinbowale would repeatedly chorus “we appreciate you, you have done excellently well”; and totally concurred to the saying that whatever a man can do a woman can do even better; while handing over the award plaque to her at the Legislative Council office.  Visibly overwhelmed with excitement Honourable Akinbowale noted, “If it were on other instance, I would disagree with that saying that whatever a man can do, a woman can do even better; but on you ma’am, I agree with that. You have performed excellently well.”

Continuing the distinguished Honourable added, “You know we are all representatives of our respective wards in Ejigbo LCDA and it is our responsibility to provide welfare and security of lives and property in our various wards. Before you came into this Council today, I had cited two or three encounters I had with you on security matter.  There was one period; I think sometime last year we were having serious robbery cases, around 2. 00am, I called you and the line rang once, you picked and I was like waoo! You promised that your men would be there and in less than 30 minutes your men were there. This is very, very unusual of the Nigeria Police.  There are several other instances when I had had to call you, not only during robbery cases but on this covid-19 pandemic; you and your team have been wonderful. It is on this note that we now looked at it that you have been making our job much easier for us in securing lives and property of residents of Ejigbo LCDA. So we can only pray that God Almighty will continue to order your steps, guide you right, continue to protect you and your entire team and  your whole family because Policing business is a very, very risky business. Because you put your life on the line to secure our own lives, we appreciate you. God Almighty will reward and protect you. So, on this note we have decided to honour you with this award in recognition of your outstanding performance, selfless services in security lives and property of Ejigbo residents.”

CSP Okuwobi sandwiched by her officers and men after the award… 

Reacting a visibly elated CSP Okuwobi said she was ordinarily doing her bidding as a Police officer unknown to her that her modest efforts were being appreciated saying, “Let me say that I am humbled by this recognition from the Legislative Arm of Ejigbo LCDA and to assure that this award would act as an elixir for me, my officers and men to put in more into the service of our fatherland. We shall not let you down. We would rekindle our efforts to making Ejogbo community a peaceful place for socio-economic activities to thrive. I appreciate you all for this award.”

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