EXCLUSIVE: Trad. Ruler Says Police Boss’ Strategies Made Imo Most Peaceful Eastern State

EXCLUSIVE: Trad. Ruler Says Police Boss’ Strategies Made Imo Most Peaceful Eastern State

By Augustine Ehikioya


The Eze Udo of Obibi Uratta in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, Prof. Amobi Mike Uwaleke (PhD), has praised the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba and the Commissioner of Police for the peaceful atmosphere in the State.

The IGP had reinvigorated the Police Force in the area under ‘Operation Restore Peace’ to tackle security challenges in the South Eastern zone.

The traditional ruler, who is the Obilobi of Uratta Ancient Clan, said that the strategies adopted by the IGP and the Commissioner have made the State the most peaceful Eastern state.

He spoke in an exclusive interview with Security Watch Africa (SWA) in his palace.

He said “IGP Alkali surprised me when he was appointed the IGP during the heat of this problem in the South East. To my greatest surprise, his strategy and plan worked. He was able to nib the problem in the bud before it gets out of hand.

“Before he became the IGP, the whole South East was a no-go area. But look at the position now. The position is returning to normal gradually and one of his most interesting policy is that, I have been following him, he is a true Nigerian, he does not discriminate.

“I have gone through the list of Commissioners he appointed, you will see so many Igbo people there, you will see Yorubas, you will see Hausas, even one of my junior brother is made Commissioner of Police of Plateau State by this IGP.

“So, he is a great man in the Force who knows his onions and has been able to bring peace. Peace is returning, business is returning, people have already began to have confidence in the Nigeria Police Force,” he said.

According to him, the IGP’s action also trickled down to the Imo State Command when he appointed the present Commissioner of Police.

“I know that he made the right choice. And when I was speaking to the Commissioner of Police when he came to pay me courtesy call, I told him to look at IGP’s policy and the way he is moving, I think you will also adopt the IGP’s system to be able to give us what we want.

“In most cases, I always tell them that you don’t use fire to quench fire. Sometimes, you use moral suasion, you use diplomacy. When diplomacy fails, moral suasion fails, then you can use fire. And that was adopted and Imo State is calm now more than most of the South East States because of the present Commissioner of Police and the present IGP.

“So, I’m so delighted that IGP Alkali is a man of the moment, because he can now allow us to sleep and sleep well. I think if he continues like this, Nigerians will live to appreciate his good work,” he added.

To keep peace in the zone, he advised elders to watch their utterances and not make inflammatory remarks that could negatively influenced the youth in the zone.

The elders, he said, should rather support government agencies in order to maintain peace in the zone.

“In a situation like this, every leader worth his salt should support the government in trying to keep peace. Keeping peace is not a business of one person, neither is it only the business of the Commissioner of Police, the IGP or others. Everybody must put his or their hands together to make sure we support the government of the day, to make sure we support the law enforcement agencies, so that our self, our children, and the unborn children can enjoy the dividends of democracy.

“Most of the leaders’ utterances flare up this type of problems and the moment you see them talking or trying to engineer people to react, the society cannot benefit from it, never.

“So the best thing a leader will do is to make sure you support the government agencies,” he stated.

He also opined that any Nigerian is free to live and even become a leader in any community in Nigeria.

“Let the leaders emulate how to bring people together, no matter where you are from. If a person can move to America and become the President of America, why can’t a person move to your community and become a leader in your community? So, that is exactly my message for the elders.

“They should mind what they say, because what they are saying now can have a far-reaching effect on their children or other persons. It is important that before you talk, you think. You must always allow your heart to govern your head.

“You don’t just come and make inflammatory statement so that people can start fighting in a community, where they have lived peacefully, transact business peacefully.

“So, as far as I’m concerned, in this community, I don’t know who is Hausa, who is from Plateau. There was a time around 2 a.m., the local vigilante rounded up a group of Hausa people with motor cycles, numbering about 50 and they brought them to the palace here.

“So I woke up in the morning and came down. I looked at them and asked if any of them can speak English, one of them raised up his hand. I asked where they came from, he said they were coming from Nasarawa. I asked what did they come to do. He said they have come to ride Okada business, and that the business is good here than in their place.

“I then asked the vigilante if they searched them and found anything incriminating. They searched them and по ammunition on them, nothing except these small, small charms they put on their waists, whether it works or not, nobody has proved it.”

He went on “I released them and asked them to go. Since then, they have been behaving well. Occasionally, they come here, like when I’m eating new yam. All of them came and participated.

“So this is a quality of a leader, this is a quality of an Eze. An Eze is Eze for everybody. So that is my advice to the leaders,” he said.

The traditional ruler also disclosed that the vigilante group in his area has been declared as the best organized in the State.

“The Commissioner of Police for Imo State declared my Vigilante as the best organized vigilante in the State. We are always at hand to support the Police. They provide local information, they provide local enforcement because they are the people that know the crowd.

“I appointed a retired Police Officer, DPO, to head them so that he can tame them when they want to go astray, etc. They are always at hand to do joint patrol with the Police because, as a matter of fact, the Police does not have manpower. I pity the DPOs and the command.

“The CP has been trying. The little he has done, I support the DPO with
the local vigilante. And that is how we have been keeping peace. If you check, this community is the most peaceful autonomous Community in Imo State.The Governor is so much impressed about the activities of this community.”

To also keep crime away from his area, he said that he banned use of hard drugs in the area.

He said “I banned the use of hard drugs, you would have seen it in the papers because it is hard drugs that lead these young boys into crimes.

“We told them that we will hand them over to law enforcement agents if caught with hard drugs. The drugs have made many young boys to go mad. So as a traditional ruler, I cannot stomach such thing in this autonomous community,” he said.

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