Our vision is to expand Police Marine Command, says new AIG
Newly appointed Assistant Inspector General of Police AIG in charge of Marine Command of the Nigeria Police, Alikali Baba Usman has said that the vision and mission of the management is to expand the Marine Command of the force.
The new AIG, who made the pledge during a familiarisation tour of the Western Command of the Ports Authority Police, said it has become necessary for the leadership of the force to further develop and enhance the marine section of the Police in line with the vision of the government in diversifying the economy.
Under the new vision, according to him, the leadership of the force will adequately equip the Marine Command through the provision of patrol platforms and necessary kits for officers and men of the command to be able to properly patrol the nation’s maritime space.
He disclosed that the Police leadership is envisaging the enlargement of the marine command to be headed by a full fledged commissioner who will drive the vision of expanding command from its current position.
He said: “There may be a time we will not be having on Commissioner of Police for Lagos State but we will rather have a Commissioner for Marine Police Lagos and another Commissioner of Police Lagos Island”.
“The idea is to decentralise the force for effective operation, especially in the marine environment. This will also mean that there will be more dispositions and more people will be promoted, especially those who have been on one rank for so many years. It will also bring about a more effective policing of the nation’s waterways to enhance safety and thus promote business and water transportation”
He however urged officers and men of the force, who are close to the politicians by virtue of being orderlies, especially members of the National Assembly to help in sending the message across so that they will enact the required legislations that would promote and new vision and mission of the force.
He also enjoined them to shun crime and all forms of corruption, which he warned are the easiest and quickest ways of one being humiliated out of the force, adding that it might not be rosy at all times.
He cited the case of a serving Assistant Commissioner of Police some years ago, who was tied to the stake among armed robbers and shot to death, which he argued was a major dent on the image of the Police Force.
“The Police do not have the monopoly of providing security in Nigeria, there are other agencies and so there is competition. So as officers and men of the force, we must be above board always in our conduct and relationship with the members of the public. We must be civil in dealing with them”, the AIG said emphatically.
AIG Usman, who joined the force in 1988 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP, said he had been able to get to his current position by the grace of God and therefore enjoined others in lower ranks to emulate those that have risen to the top positions through diligence and effectiveness on their beats.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police in charge of the Port Authority Western Command, CP Celestine Okoye, who gave a history of the command, said it was created in 1982 under a commissioner but was disbanded in 1986 to pave way for the creation of divisions but was later resuscitated in 1989.
He also disclosed that following his appointment, the Port Authority Police Western Command headquarters, which used to be at the Marina headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority was moved to Apapa Quays for effective supervision of officers and men and prompt response to stakeholders’ complaints.
CP Okoye listed some of the challenges faced by the command to include lack of adequate manpower, inadequate patrol vehicles, lack of patrol/gun boats for the marine personnel to provide security on the waterways and lack of accommodation as well as operational kits such as rain cape, boots and torch lights, among several others.