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CP Sylvester Alabi: An Example of A Police Officer Worth Emulating

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CP Sylvester Alabi: An Example of A Police Officer Worth Emulating
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CP Sylvester Alabi: An Example of A Police Officer Worth Emulating

By Haruna Mohammed Salisu

Many, who know me, knew I hate writing what could be referred to as “PR Articles” pampering public officeholders. It’s worse if it involves security agents, especially armed security personnel such as the Police and the army—in fact, I have never written one.

But I have written countless articles lampooning the police—mostly because their conduct, especially when it comes to relating with civilians isn’t always palatable.

For example, in my previous write-up about the Bauchi State Police, I have made reference to a December 12, 2019, report where a police officer in Ningi local government area reportedly shot one Sabo Idris who was said to be on his way to mining field at Burra district.

Mr Philip Maku was the Bauchi State Police Commissioner at the time. I remember my toxic encounter with him at a press conference where a heated debate ensued when I was pressing hard on accountability.

I have equally interjected in a widely publicized editorial written for WkkiTimes where a popular police officer, SP Baba Yola “consistently keep torturing and extorting citizens” where it was argued that he was enforcing the ban on Okada and covid-19 protocols. The article immediately spiked an urgent intervention from the Bauchi State governor Bala Mohammed, who called Baba Yola to order.

I can also recall making a reference on how an “angry mob attacked and sent packing, the Dambam Divisional Police officers for allegedly ‘robbing commuters.’”
Also, a report on how a township Divisional Police Officer allegedly tortured to death two people for “stealing chickens” is still fresh in our minds.

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CP Sylvester Alabi: An Example of A Police Officer Worth Emulating

My major argument most of the time is that the Police aren’t always accountable. They maim and deny. They torture and deny. They extort and deny. They rob and deny. They kill and deny. That remains their modus-operandi in many cases and at all times. They are right in all they do and never shall anyone dare try to hold them to account.

But the case is absolutely different with CP Abiodun S. Alabi fdc, psc, mnim, the current number one Police Officer in Bauchi State. I strongly believe CP Alabi’s stride in Bauchi State has to be documented, at least for posterity—since most of the time our system doesn’t reward its best.

In a recent toxic encounter between the police and my good friend, Damina Yusuf (aka Nagari), who was seriously brutalized by some notorious officers while doing his legitimate job, CP Alabi demonstrated uncommon leadership and maturity. He did not only summoned the notorious police officers but had also ensured that they pay the price of their actions.

Many may recall that immediately after Nagari was beaten and got seriously injured by the police, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bauchi State Council pulled out its guns and started spatting a plume of fire—first by issuing a statement condemning the police, staging a boycott and planning what would have been a catastrophic protest and a vote of no confidence on the police in Bauchi.

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The CP would have denied that his men were involved. He would have insisted that the police committed no wrong on that day. He would have denied everything and refuse to take blame or responsibility no matter the cost. He would have acted the same way others like him have done in the past—protect his men no matter how culpable they may be; guess what? Nothing would have happened I think.

But CP Alabi, the skilful police officer de-escalated the raging fire and the angry pen-pushers who were ready to ‘trigger-happy’ their pens in sustaining a bad PR for the police. He knew well that the pen is mightier than the sword. Being an honest and learned police officer, he took responsibility for what happened, apologised on behalf of the command, and ensured that the culprits faced the music accordingly—to serve as deterrence to others.

Not to hail and commend this honest and bold decision by CP Alabi is the greatest disservice one can do to one’s pen, because as the saying goes; “reason begets honesty, and honesty if given its head, begets confidence.”

Learning to take responsibility is a leadership gift God bestows on few leaders—and no doubt CP Alabi is one. He has healed the wounds by that singular action he took, and tactically de-escalated an enduring rift between the police and the Bauchi NUJ.

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As one nose-dive deeply into his strategy of fighting crime and criminality in Bauchi State, CP Alabi has actively deployed a community engagement strategy more than any Police Commissioner in recent memory. He’s constantly in touch with local communities, especially ones that are seen as flashpoints or hideouts for criminals.

We have seen instances where the CP intensified synergy with traditional rulers which resulted in the arrest of more criminals suspected to have committed various crimes. The recent influx of people from neighbouring Yobe State where remnants of Boko Haram still remain has seen n adoption of a community engagement strategy from the CP—this has contributed to des-escalating tension in those communities as I found out.

I don’t know how many years left in his police career, but what is certain is that the number one Police Officer in Bauchi has a lot to teach the law-enforcement agency—from being smart to taking responsibility and making amends where necessary and community engagement that is tag as one of the best strategies to fight crimes.

While we pray and hope for the best for CP Alabi, I think the police authorities should deliberately deploy some mechanisms to reward its best brains and punish bad elements in the system. This will embolden honest and open minds such as CP Alabi to want to do better.

Haruna is Head of Investigations, WikkiTimes and writes from Bauchi.

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See A Private Wedding That Called Everyone’s Attention

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See A Private Wedding That Called Everyone’s Attention
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See A Private Wedding That Called Everyone’s Attention

A lady caused a stir on social media after she shared photos from her private wedding.
From the photos she shared, it appears the only people present at the wedding were the bride, her husband, and the officiating Minister.

The said bride posted the photos and wrote;

”My perfect little private wedding”
See A Private Wedding That Called Everyone’s Attention

See A Private Wedding That Called Everyone’s Attention

See A Private Wedding That Called Everyone’s Attention

See A Private Wedding That Called Everyone’s Attention

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We Re Fortified, We Can Destroy Bandits – Female hunter, NHC tell Govt

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Bullets can’t penetrate us, allow us to fight bandits – Female hunter, NHC tell govt
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We Re Fortified, We Can Destroy Bandits – Female hunter, NHC tell Govt

Katsina State Chapter of the Nigeria Hunters Council, NHC, has volunteered to assist the State Government in winning the war against banditry in the State.

Hajiya Ummah Dauda, the Assistant Commandant General (ACG), made the pledge on Thursday, when she led other members of the association on a courtesy call to the office of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa.

While unveiling their mission to the office of the SSG, ACG Ummah revealed that they are members of the group of warriors who hunt and know the forest and they are ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause.

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“As hunters, we know the forest very well and the truth is we are in a better position to help the government in fighting bandits. Besides, our members are well fortified and bullets cannot penetrate us. We are trained warriors, and fighters.

“That is why we are appealing to the government to carry us along in their bid to tame the menace of banditry experienced in the state

“Our work force in each local government areas are more than a hundred. In some LGAs, we have over one hundred hunters and all of them are warriors.

We Re Fortified, We Can Destroy Bandits – Female hunter, NHC tell Govt

“Some of our members here single-handedly arrested bandits in the past and handed them to security operatives.

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“Sir, with the kind permission of the state government, we are ready to hit the forest and fish out these bandits even right now,” ACG Ummah declared.

However, she used the opportunity to call on the state government to avail them an office space among other needs to make their work effective.

In his remarks, the Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa thanked ACG Ummah and her team for volunteering to help the government in the fight against the menace of bandits in the state, noting that security is everybody’s business in the state and that the government is ready to cooperate with all genuine intending persons or group in crippling the menace of bandits in the State.

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Mustapha also added that the government would explore the possibility of getting them involved in the ongoing onslaught against hoodlums in the state.

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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police

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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police
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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police

By Haruna Mohammed Salisu

Security is everybody’s business. It’s your business and it’s my business. It’s Wakili’s business and Ngozi is not left out. It’s Alabi’s business just as it should be Bala’s business. It concerns all of us. We are all in it together. When Bauchi is insecure, Alabi will lose sleep just as Bala’s eyes will not get some catnapping too.

When Bala spent N50 to erect road to Haruna’s village; Bala should remember to reserve N10 to guard the road against retrogressive forces threatening Wakili’ quest to ply the road. When Bauchi is insecure, the infrastructural facilities built by Bala will not benefit Ngozi and Wakili is also left out too.

Self and collective security should be everyone’s priority. An insecure society is on its way to self-extinct. It should worry all of us, and all of us must complement the effort of security agencies to fish out criminal elements in our society. We should defy the blame game. We must take responsibility and act in our individual and collective ways. Evading responsibilities and pushing blame will never help us. If Haruna has mustered the courage to remind Bala Mohammed of the need to do the needful via his pen, Bala Mohammed should not characterize the write-up as “mischievous”, he should listen and complement Alabi’s effort by doing more for Alabi’s boys to secure us.

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This is because Alabi’s boys are making a lot of sacrifices for us to sleep. They are awake throughout the night even when mosquitoes are on the rampage. They are outside under the rains just as they remain outside under the sizzling sun. The windy weather and breezy cold did not spare Alabi’s boys either. Their cars are in tatters; sometimes they lack the most basic equipment to function properly. Their allowance is nothing to go by when one recognizes the rising inflation and cost of food. They deep hands in their pockets to buy expensive food to feed.

Like any other person, the police are human beings who have families to cater for. They have children to feed. They have old ones at home that depend on them for survival. They have wives, children, parents and other relatives to feed, educate and shelter. They equally have their natural constituency to serve—which is to secure all of us. Leaving them under terrible working conditions is the greatest pretence and dis-service we can do to ourselves as a people. They cannot police us when the conditions within which they operate is not healthy.

Look, I’m very conscious of the fact that it’s not within Bala’s purview to address all these problems I have mentioned. I know it’s a national pandemic that must be addressed. I equally know that Gov Bala has done well for the police by giving a substantial number of vehicles to the force.

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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police

To be fair to Bala Mohammed, he has done so much—at least in comparison to others. We still bear the brunt of the wasted four years. But Bala Mohammed must remember that his investment in the areas of infrastructural development could only make meaning under a peaceful atmosphere. Unfortunately, the relative peace being enjoyed in Bauchi State for years is being threatened by forces of doom who continue to antagonize meaningful progress.

These forces of doom need to be confronted by superior fire-power under a strong and motivated police force—and the only way to do that is to invest in security just like the state continue to invest in infrastructure. It’s significantly clear that under our federal system as it stands now, the police is controlled and funded by the central government. But states most, in their own interest, compliments the efforts of the central government by supporting security agencies, particularly the police with not just vehicles and other working tools, but with stipends to motivate them.

Of recent, I had interacted with many police officers in the state, and from the conversations, I had with some of them, the terrible working conditions that is visible by any interested spectator is quite worrisome. It is a natural de-motivating factor for many of them. We cannot continue to pretend that our police are equipped to arrest the evolving security challenges we continue to face as a people.

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The Katsina and Zamfara-like atmosphere is highly likely in Bauchi if the right thing is not done to avert the disaster. In my humble opinion, one of the ways to do that is to motivate the Police—with a monthly stipend since it is public knowledge that their salaries and allowances are nothing to ride home about.

Bauchi for example can borrow Lagos’ model by establishing Trust Funds where workers’ salaries can be deducted in mean percentages like the BASOVCA Model. The state can also bring its wealthy individuals and big business owners including Tech Companies and Banks to contribute to its Trust Funds.

These kinds of initiatives will contribute in no small measure not just to secure Bauchi State, but also to restore investors’ confidence who might be willing to put in their money on many investment opportunities that abound in the state. A stitch in time saves nine, they say!
Haruna writes from Bauchi. He can be reached via 08063180608

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