- By Augustine Ehikioya
To keep criminals away from Delta State, especially in this Ember months, the State’s Commissioner of Police (CP), Ari Muhammed Ali said the DPOs and other Police officials cannot afford to go to sleep.
Everything, he said, is being done to maintain the peace in the State and leave no room for criminals to operate.
He spoke in an exclusive interview with Security Watch Africa (SWA).
The CP said “So, we are not sleeping. Everybody is working. We are also not unaware of the fact that this is Ember month and the marching order has since been given to them. So, nobody can go home and sleep within this period. And that is why things are working despite all the challenges.”
On his strategy of show of force in the State, he said “Of course, show of force is not a thing that we do every day, otherwise, the beauty and the glamour of it will no longer be there.
“So once in a while, we embark on show of force, at least to showcase what we have in terms of manpower, readiness to fight and combat crimes at any given time, at least to showcase what the Command has to members of the public and most importantly to deter the criminals and, of course, the would-be suspects, who are nursing crime in their minds.
“When they see all these things, they know that the Command is capable, willing and able to move out at any time. And that is enough warning signal to suspects or would-be criminals.”
The CP also took time to reel out the statistical achievements of the Command to-date from April this year when the IGP assumed office.
He said “Yes, statistically, it is good that when you are working, you should have statistics of whatever you are doing. We call it crime mapping. When you map out your State, vis-a-vis, crime and where a particular crime is more prevalent, then that crime can be better tackled because you already have the statistical returns at the end of every month telling you if the graph is going up, you know there is problem, some thing is happening there.
“When there is downward movement of the graph also, you also know that this crime is reducing. That one is going on. Why is that one like that? I’m going to give you a small statistics of what the Command has been doing from the inception of this current IGP’s administration dated back to April this year to date.
“On a general note, total number of incidences, major incidences reported, we have 424 major cases. Suspects arrested in all these cases, we have 893. Kidnapped victims rescued, we have 73. Arms recovered in totality of all, from April to date, we have 227 pieces of arms that have been recovered so far.
“Then ammunition, various calibres of ammunition / cartridges recovered, either for pump action gun or double or single barrel gun, we have a total of 10,151 so far that have been recovered. Then, in terms of vehicles that are associated, one way or the other with all these crimes and criminality, so far, we have a total number of 155 vehicles.
“Then IED recovered, we recovered 14 of them at various points. So, statistically, this is what this Command has achieved from the time our current IGP came on board as the Inspector General of Police of this country to-date. This is what we have been able to achieve,” he said.
He commended the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, for the security achievements that have been recorded in the State.
He said “Let me first and foremost commend my IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, for the good leadership he has set on ground for all of us. You know, when your leader is leading you aright, you have no reason to deviate anywhere.
“IGP is somebody who is very passionate about what all of us are doing, particularly in this Command. Maybe because he was here as the Commissioner of Police, not just as Commissioner of Police, he was also at the Zone as the AIG.
“So, this Command means so much to his heart. And constantly, he’s question is one: what is going on in your State? Hope there is no problem. But beyond that is the fact that I am the teacher that is on ground here, and since I am not relenting in my efforts of supervision and of course ensuring that things work out well.
“It is the reason why every other person has to fall in place and key in to the agenda of the IGP. I quite agree with you when you say so much has been achieved this year in terms of recovery of arms and ammunition and what have you.
“In Delta here, of course, just like any other geographical zone or State within the country, we ought to have our own fair share of problem. And majorly, things that are bothering us here is nothing more than kidnapping and cultism, these are the major two issues that top the list.
“And I want to say, to God be the Glory, if you go out there to interview people regarding kidnapping here, they will tell you, to a large extend, kidnapping has now become a thing of the past. Not just a thing of the past, it is because everyday is like a harvest of arrest.
The CP also disclosed that his office has been getting great cooperation from other sister agencies in the State in the fight against crime.
He said “For me and other agencies in the State, I want to say the inter-agency cooperation is working wonderfully well. That cooperation is always there in terms of anything that has to do with crime and criminality that we set out to go.
“Unless I do not inform them. But once I call on them, they are always here. We go on raid together. As I speak to you, our men are there with the men of the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Civl Defence, Road safety and all, especially during this Ember months period.
“We are all collaborating together. But like you know, security is all about collaboration, cooperation and support. No one does it alone. So for us here, the inter-agency collaboration is working perfectly well for us,” he said.
To ensure there is no laxity in the fight against crime in Delta State, he said he warned DPOs and other officials from collecting illegal money from the public.
He said “There is a mandate I gave out to everybody. The mandate is one, go out there, if you are DPO, ensure your area is crime-free and criminals must not have a leeway. Your Division must not be used as a safe haven for criminals to operate and go scott free.
“Secondly, I also warned them as a DPO if you allow armed robbery to take place or any form of crime, be it kidnapping or whatever, to take place in your Division three times, you are no longer going to be the DPO of that Division. And those things are working for me.
“Most importantly is also the fact that they are not under pressure to bring anything to me at the end of the month or end of this or end of that, no. I warned them, mine is go there and do the work and don’t go and pressurize your men to say they must give you returns or they must brings you this money or that money.
“And when that is not there, it is enough enabling environment for DPOs to go and work, believing that the CP is not calling anybody to say come oh, it’s month end oh or it’s weekend oh. I don’t have business with them when it comes to that.
“All of them are on the field, when you go there, interview them, they will tell you. So, they have no reason not to perform wherever they are,” he said.
The CP went on “If you don’t perform, the consequences is very simple, either you are prepared to stay there and continue as a DPO or you are ready to come to me here and we work together at the Command.
“So, tell me why they won’t be outside there performing effectively and that is why the Command is winning.”
On whether he pays surprise visits to the DPOs, he said “Of course, even if I was just passing, because of the passion and commitment I have for the job, I don’t need to tell a DPO I’m coming to visit him.
“My business with him is let him do his work for which he was posted there to do. So, I visit them at random and at will,” he stated.