Imo CP: Exhibiting excellent, purposeful driven ideas to achieve desired result 

 By Collins Osuji 

In the last couple of years, Imo State has been bedeviled by spate of insecurity. On record, over 200 lives have been lost and properties running into billions of naria destroyed during this period.


The ugly situation lingered to a point where it seems as if it has overwhelmed both the government and the security agencies in the state.


Hence, the capacity of the state actors, particularly the police to tame the activities of the notorious non-state actors, otherwise christened, “unknown gunmen”, was brought to serious questioning.


Critical stakeholders within the state and across the South East region including the South East Governors’ Forum also at some point waded in with opinions, suggestions and support aimed at ending the menace.


On the other hand, the security agencies equally came out with profound operational strategies, in a bid to combat the challenge but the effort completely seems not to have yielded the desired result.


And for being the agency charged with internal security, or empowered by the constitution to enforce law and order in the country, the Imo State Police Command was in the forefront of the battle.


And the command in its determination to discharge its constitutional responsibility, lost several officers and men, who paid the supreme price, while many others suffered various degrees of physical, emotional and or psychological damage.


Though, not deterred by the losses suffered, previous commissioners of police in the state within the period, particularly, CP Ahmed Muhammed Barde, fought assiduously, even head on, to rid the state of the violent crimes, especially, the gunmen.


The result was visible in the drastic reduction of cases of killings, abductions, kidnappings, attacks cum destructions of individual and public facilities or properties in the state.


And before Barde’s redeployment to Force Headquarters, Abuja, though peace and stability was gradually returning to the state,  there was still issues of confidence between the police and members of the public.


Remarkably, that was after some sections of the public had built ill impression about the police operations in the state. They believed that the police were rather against them instead of being genuinely committed to protecting their lives and properties in the face of the security dilemma that challenged the enclave at the time.


The lack of confidence issue was greatly caused by some reported cases of unprofessional conducts of some wayward operatives in the command. The ill conducts included extortion, brutalization and dehumanization as well as unlawful detention of innocent citizens.


No doubt, the scenario affected the image and relationship of the police with other stakeholders in the state, including the common citizens. Hence, to say that the public had lost confidence in police, was as good as stating the obvious truth.


However, since the arrival of CP Aboki Danjuma in the state in about a month ago, he has exhibited indices of an excellent cop who is determined to get things right and to achieve the desired results.


He has so far taken several steps in the right direction aimed at, among other things, restoring confidence of the people on the police and their operations in the state.


It is imperative to state here, perhaps, for the record, that immediately he assumed office, he embarked on what is termed “Show of Force Exercise” and confidence-building tour across the length and breadth of the state, including the security feared areas, like Njaba, Oru East and West, Orlu, Orsu, Okigwe among others.


He has consciously met with critical stakeholders of the state, including traders, journalists, traditional and religious leaders, civil society organisations, politicians and students’ leaders, assuring them of effective policing, while also soliciting their support and cooperation to the command.


He visited and interacted with traders at Alaba International Market, Owerri, Ama Awusa Market, Owerri, World Bank Road Market, Owerri, Orlu International Market, Orlu, Amaraku Market, in Isiala Mbano LGA, Okigwe Modern Market, Okigwe among others.


He equally visited monarchs at their palaces, council chairmen at their respective LGA headquarters wherein he assured them and their people of adequate police presence and commitment to effectively deliver to expectations.


For instance, during his visit to Alaba International Market, Owerri, CP Danjuma told traders there, thus;  “Today, I want to assure you that you can always count on us, (the police) for the safety of your lives and properties. Believe me, we will never fail you by the special grace of God.”


“As for my officers and men, I have also charged them on effective service delivery. I have warned them against indulging in any form of corruption and other unlawful practices, as anyone caught on that will be severely dealt with. That I can assure you.”


“I will give you my phone numbers so that you can call me directly if you see any of my men not doing the right thing. You can also call to give us information that will help us serve you better in the state.


“I believe that together, we will succeed in riding Imo of all forms of crime and criminalities. Together we can achieve Imo State of our collective dream”  new Imo police boss added.


CP Danjuma did not stop his visits and interactions with only key public and political stakeholders, he also visited several divisions and area commands and charged his men there on effective policing.


He also assured them of his commitment to ensure that their welfare are adequately taken care of, while also providing for them, with the help of the Inspector-General of Police and the state governor, logistics to aid their operational delivery.


He equally summoned a strategic meeting with top police chiefs of the command and gave them a blueprint of his administration aimed at achieving excellent policing in state.


While addressing them, he said, “I am profoundly grateful to the Almighty God for giving me this ample opportunity to serve as the Commissioner of Police in the Eastern Heartland. It’s a challenging task that I am willing to embrace with utmost diligence and unwavering dedication.


“On my arrival at the command, I was briefed on the multi-faceted security challenges bedeviling the state. These challenges require the unwavering dedication of the entire officers and men of the command as well as the active support and cooperation of Ndi Imo to face it head on.


“Let me state it categorically clear that my administration will work in robust synergy with other sister security agencies, the stakeholders, and local vigilantes in ensuring the maximum safety and security of all and sundry in the state.


“The command under my watch shall embrace an intelligence-based, people-friendly, problem-solving, and proactive community-oriented policing that is rule of law compliant and zero-tolerance to corruption.”


He continued, “It is pertinent to state that we are in an era when the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) is battling with trust deficit. Therefore, as strategic police managers of this command, we must take the bull by the horn, aligning with the vision and mission of the IGP to improve the quality of police service delivery and strengthen police- citizen relationships in the state.


“I urge you all to be the vanguard of justice and beacon of hope by ensuring that officers and men under your supervision uphold the highest standards of professionalism, respect the fundamental human rights of citizens, and shun every form of corrupt practice while discharging their lawful duties.


“Let us work together and courageously stamp out violent crimes and criminally minded elements in the State, most especially the local terrorist group masquerading as the Proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate Eastern Security Network (ESN).”


“My administration will work tirelessly to put an end to the unlawful sit-at-home order that is crippling the socio-economic activities of the State. We shall re-ignite back public confidence in going about their lawful business without fear of being attacked by dominating the entire security space of the State, our presence must be well felt by the populace, we cannot afford to be reactive in our policing approach.


“Finally, I thank the good people of Imo State for their peaceful disposition and wish to appeal to them for their continuous support and cooperation with the Police and other sister security agencies in the State most especially in the area of actionable intelligence and promptly reporting any suspicious person or clandestine activities observe in their vicinity.


“And to the press, I say a very big thank you and urge you to continue to cooperate with the Command by reporting credible news to the public. Together, we shall make Imo a safe place for socio-economic activities to thrive.” he added.


From the above speeches, one can have better understanding of the intentions and commitment of CP Danjuma to policing Imo and restoring public confidence.


It is also worthy to mention that in his wisdom and sensitivity to public outcry, he immediately ordered the suspension of the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Orji who was accused of aiding the escape of a notorious rapist from his custody.


That single action went far to show him as a man who is thoroughly disciplined, unbiased and committed to professionalism. It also proved the fact that he is one police chief who listens and would not compromise on justice and human rights protection.


Also, few weeks ago when the men of the underworld raised their ugly heads, killing some innocent people including the DPO in charge of Ahiazu Mbaise Council and the traditional ruler of Amumara Community in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA, the CP publicly wept.


Shortly after the unfortunate incident, he led the team of top security chiefs in the State to visit the scene at Ahiara junction and conveyed his sincere condolences to the families of the deceased victims.


While condemning the atrocious act, the CP vowed to apprehend the culprits and ensure that they face the consequences of their actions. And true to his words, few days later, the command arrested and paraded over 25 crime suspects including those allegedly involved in the recent killings.


Also, through the confessional statements provided by one of the suspects, the operatives of the command invaded some criminal camps both in Mbaise and Ngor Okpala axis and recorded further breakthroughs. The achievements from security ingenuity were well reported in the media for all see.


Equally, there is a strong feeling and impression from every police man in the state now that the new Imo police boss do not only mean business but knows how best to achieve good results, attract corporation, sustain quality relationships and gain massive admiration from all the ranks and files in the command.


This is evident in the way and manner he has handled many issues with utmost diligence and unwavering dedication as well as related with all and sundry irrespective of class or status within and outside the command.


To this end, there is high tendency that CP Aboki Danjuma would succeed if given the necessary support and cooperation by his men, the state government, force management and the entire members of the public.


Collins Osuji is a public affairs analyst, media practitioner and consultant based in Owerri, Imo State


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