By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Lagos/
IT was torrents of encomiums and commendations from prominent Nigerians and foreigners alike on Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Olasunkanmi Olasoji Aremu Akinbayo, the Area Commander of Area ‘B’ Command Headquarters Apapa, for giving the almost decrepit Command a facelift. The occasion of the commissioning of the new two blocks of 15 offices, laundry block, renovated recreation and conference halls, one storey administrative building and full interlock and concrete premises presided by the Assistant Inspector General of Police AIG Ahmed Ilyasu in charge of zone 2 Command Onikan, Lagos on Tuesday January 19, 2021, witnessed the crème de la crème in the society especially, in the security sector. AIG Illyasu who represented the Inspector-General of Police IGP MA Adamu was visibly overwhelmed and impressed by the enormity of renovation works carried out by ACP Akinbayo with the assistance of some of his good spirited friends in the community to give the Area Command a unique posture; describes the gesture as not only commendable but the triumph of community policing. According to him, “The new look of Area ‘B’ Command today is as a result of the collaboration, innovation and ingenuity of the Area Commander, Area B Command, ACP Olasoji Akinbayo and the good people of Apapa. While officers must have thorough understanding of community needs, they must also lay emphasis on treating community members with respect, justly, fairly and equitably. Involvement of key community members in policing the community requires reciprocity and foundation of trust and mutual responsiveness. It is my prayer that the bond between the Police and community that yielded this outstanding result in Apapa today will be replicated in other parts of Lagos State and Nigeria. The inspector General of Police IGP Adamu Mohammed is full of gratitude to all distinguished Nigerians who exhibited this high level of social responsibility in completing this project.”
Shortly before the AIG’s speech, Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State represented by Dr. Ayo Ogunsa of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, described ACP Akinbayo as a transformational leader whose innovativeness needs emulation; adding, “What we are witnessing today is at best transformational leadership which is non-existing in most of our Police officers. ACP Akinbayo has shown that he is a transformational leader and we can only pray that that the Almighty God continues to bless him, his family and above all, his management team.”
Earlier in his welcome address, an elated ACP Akinbayo decked in his ceremonial black upon black-laced with white landing uniform and a reflexive-black shoes to match; expressed gratitude to the quests who he said graced the occasion in spite of their tight schedules; stressing that the project billed for commissioning was “Our modest contribution to the upliftment of the Nigeria Police Force, Area ‘B’ Command Apapa, Lagos.” According to him, “This is not a speech making occasion, rather it is to thank the Almighty God for giving us the zeal to accomplish this in line with the Inspector-General of Police IGP Mohammed Adamu’s visions of policing with human face. When we arrived here some months ago, those who were and still here can bear witness to the entire structure and environmental degradation that was the lot of this Area Command. But today, we can comfortably say that the reverse is the case. This is why we shall be honouring those who contributed in one way or another to the success of this project. This is community policing in action.”
*Oba Ojora of Ijor and a naval Commodore at the occasion…
Continuing, ACP Akinbayo who was the man of the moment told the bewildered audience that when he wanted to embark on the renovation of the Command, most of friends and colleagues called to discourage and mocked him on the ground that he was doing it to curry sympathy from the high and might in society. Others he said, even called his wife to dissuade him from carrying on with the project and pocket the money instead; adding that he was however, resolute to doing what God has planted him. He said, “Permit to correct one impression that the renovation records that have been associated with me wherever I am posted to is merely to curry the sympathy of the high and mighty in the society. This is not true. Wherever I am posted to, I ensured that the environment is habitable and conducive for me and my team to operate in. As we all know, cleanliness is next to godliness. As Police officers, we spend ample hours of our daily lives in the office; so I do not see anything wrong in keeping or renovating my Command to such an extent that will improve service delivery of my officers and men. I remember when we started clearing the junkyard upon assumption of office here, some senior officers called to mock me that I had started again and that Police work should not be taken to high heavens. Others called to discourage me that I was wasting my time and energy in a Command that I won’t spend more than a year or at most two years. But I was resolute to do what I know how to do best as a firm believer that your working environment tells so much about your person.”
An incorrigible and intrepid ACP Akinabyo while appreciating the good gestures from donor individuals however, subtly warned that their philanthropy do not in any way, absolves them from criminal prosecution if found wanting; saying, “We quite appreciate you all for your kind donations both financially and materially, however, let me sound this subtle not of warning that crime does not pay and so, that we whole heartedly welcome and appreciate your moral and financial donations towards the success of this project do not in any way absolve you and or your ward from criminal prosecution when you or your ward commit crime. I am a different Police officer who believes in justice and believing in justice is to do my job in accordance with the laws of the land no matter whose horse is gored.”
Prominent among those who graced the occasion were Oba Abdul-Fatai Aromire Oyegbemi 11(Oba Ojora of Ijora Kingdom), Dr. Ayo Ogunsan of LSSTF, Hon. Elijah Adele, Chairman, Apapa LGA, other chairmen of the community, Mr. Francis Bartholomew (Legit), Alhaji Musliu Ayinde Akinsanya (MC Oluomo) state chairman MURTW and several others.
*Cross section of dignitaries at the occasion…
Copyright CrimeWorld: All rights reserved. It is an offense to either broadcast, reproduce, rewrite, publish and redistribute this material partly or wholly without the express permission from Frontpage CrimeWorld Publishers Nigeria Limited, Publishers of CrimeWorld Magazines and weekly newspapers.