*CP Alabi with the leader of Lagos Neighbourhood watch…
By Prince Albert UBA
FROM the eras of enigmatic and humane Mike Mbama Okiro, Emmanuel Adebayo to the pragmatic MD Abubakar and then, Umaru Manko as Commissioners of Police, Lagos State Police Command, the state adjudged center of excellence which doubles as the nucleus of commerce in Nigeria had yet to know the type of policing model that is currently evolving in Commissioner of Police CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi.
Appointed as the 37th CP on January 21, 2022 to occupy the fluffy but tasking sofa of the Lagos State Command, the magic wand of the Ekiti born officer that has become visible to discerning minds in less than 45 days in office has not only proven that he is not new to the turf and colour of crimes and criminality in the state, he has also shown that Lagosians were to experience new leadership style akin to the aforementioned enviable characters.
Hitting the ground running as one who had held strategic positions and commanded the arduous Police Mobile Force- MOPOL22; all in the state, the tall and fair complexioned CP Alabi wasted no time in rolling out his policing template in tandem with the Inspector-General of Police IGP Alkali Usman Baba’s policy thrust.
Shortly after his maiden briefing with his officers and men on the need to evolve a people-oriented policing with special emphasis on respect for the rule of law, a purposeful Sylvester Alabi addressed the media where he reiterated that the Command under his watch would strive to rewrite the narrative of the security architecture of the state. 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.”
He added, “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.”
True to this, encomiums are already pouring in torrents from Nigerians and foreigners alike resident in the state on police visibility and promptness in responding to distress calls.
Recently, a veteran journalist with one of the critical media was being confronted by some bloodthirsty and hungry hoodlums at the Otto-wharf area along the Oshodi-Apapa expressway at some minutes past 8.00pm and a distress was sent to the CP who was at the time in the office, he quickly went on air and before long, the entire area was cordoned off by armed Police detectives and the situation was saved. Similarly, a filicidal attempt somewhere in Lekki, a sprawling area in the state by a father who perhaps, had gone bananas and held his family hostage was botched by the prompt arrival of men of the Command and the hapless children and wife were liberated.
Just two days ago, a popular hotelier whose hotel was invaded by armed hoodlums, robbing unsuspecting lodgers somewhere in Ogba, a suburb in the sate who spoke on condition of anonymity could not hold his appreciation for the quick response of the men of the Rapid Response Squad RRS who did not only storm the area battle ready but had the unwanted guests rounded up. Instances of similar feat abound.
*Total obeisance to traditional institution…
It is on record that notorious black spots and criminal hideouts in the state had been raided with several arrests made and sophisticated arms and ammunition recovered. The usual bravado with which traffic robbers unleash terror on hapless commuters along the ‘Mile 2 bridge, Second Rainbow bus stop along the Lagos-Badagry expressway, Akpongbo, Oshodi head bridge, Pen Cinema axis in Agege and of course, Liverpool in Apapa had taken a permanent flight. This lay credence to the fact that all the Unit Heads, Divisional Police Officers DPOs and Area Commanders had been given a matching order to ensure that not a single unsavory report was received from their respective areas of operations.
Speaking to CrimeWorld magazine online Publisher/Editor-in-chief at chancing meeting weekend, CP Alabi who assured that he would not betray the confidence reposed on him by the Inspector-General of Police who posted him to man the Lagos State Command for him said, “I have resolved not to take for granted the confidence reposed on me by my IG who in his wisdom deemed it fit to post me to Lagos State Command.
“ If you check, I had served in various capacities in Lagos State before being deployed outside the state. Prior to coming here as CP, I was CP Bauchi State Command and then posted to the Force Headquarters. So if the IG sees in me what I do not even know about my capability by posting me to man Lagos State Command for him, I see no reason why I should not perform.”
Continuing, a visibly battle ready Alabi added, I do not believe in building a wall against my officers and men; governance is a continuum. You’re here today somebody else will be there tomorrow. Sometimes, vital information are gotten from those you feel are not so important; especially, the rank and file. That is why I operate an open door policy. Now, let me shock you: recently, a Police Sergeant came to me to say sir; I can see that you’re a nice man with listening ears and one who carries everybody along; I want to advice that you have a meeting with the leadership of the State’s neighbourhood watch because they are the ones that are close to the grassroots.
“I immediately wrote a letter to the agency requesting a visit and I can tell you that the interaction was worth the while. What if I had neglected him as a Sergeant? This is why I treat every of my Police officer equally because we are all doing the policing job together. I do not believe in taking all the glory; no individual is a reservoir of knowledge. The glory of the success of the Command under my watch will go to all members of the Command irrespective of ranks. I am only being privileged to be the leader and God willing, we shall not fail the people.”
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