By Frank Oshanugor
Officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force have been enjoined to always apply public relations in their relationship with members of the public so as to attract assistance when in need.
Speaking at the commissioning of a newly constructed multi-million naira office block at the Area ‘B’ Command Headquarters in Apapa, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone Two, Lagos, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, gave the advice both to Area ‘B’ police personnel and other serving officers and men of the Force across the country.
The AIG prior to the official commissioning of the fully furnished office block, pointed out that the Area Commander, Akinbayo Olasoji; a recently promoted Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) over the years, had been able to harness his public relations potentials, hence he was able to attract multi-million naira support for the construction of the office block.
In the AIG’s words, “as a police man if you do not mortgage your public relations, people will always be of assistance. However, in doing so, one must not compromise professionalism.”
The new building has provision for the Area Commander’s office, Conference/Meeting Room, Area Commander’s Secretary Office, Visitor’s Waiting Room and ten other offices for senior police officers.
Over the years, Olasoji has used his good relationship with people in the community where he served to attract their participation in helping the police either by way of upgrading their ageing facilities or building new ones. He did it while serving as Area Commander at Mushin Lagos and replicated same at Area ‘F’ Command Ikeja Lagos even he was upbeat in his primary responsibility of crime fighting.
Speaking in the same vein, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu commended DCP Olasoji for being able to attract such multi-million assistance not for his personal gains but for the entire Police Force at a time the economy was literally harsh to the average person. He encouraged him to continue on the same path of maximising his good public relations “which is in line with community policing policy of the Force.”
Earlier in his welcome speech, Olasoji had taken time to appreciate God “for giving us the zeal to make our modest contributions to the upliftment of the Nigeria Police Force Area ‘B’ Command, Apapa Lagos in line with the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba’s vision of policing with human face.”
He pointed out that “when we arrived here a year and two months ago, those who were here 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 the Inspector General of Police shall be honoring those who contributed in one way or another to the success of this project. This is community policing in action.”
He went further to say “permit me 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. The fact remains that wherever I am posted to, I ensure that the environment is habitable and conducive to operate in. As we all know that, cleanliness is next to godliness.”
Some personalities from the civil populace who graced the occasion also spoke about Olasoji in glowing terms and encouraged him to remain committed in uplifting the image of the Nigeria Police Force using his public relations approach.
Among them were representative of the Lagos State Government Dr. Ayo Ogunsan, Ojora of Apapa represented by Hakeem Ojora, Chairperson of Apapa Local Government Area Hon. Idowu Senbanjo and many others.
On behalf of the Inspector General of Police, awards were subsequently presented to those who contributed handsomely towards building the multi-million office block.