By Tunde Opeseitan
The redeployment of Olatunji Disu, Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command, came to me as a rude shock. A rude shock because I have closely followed his activities as Commander of the RRS since he was first appointed to lead the security outfit on June 13, 2015 during the tenure of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, and they have been nothing but exceptional policing with human face.
His redeployment, coming on the heels of the aftermath of Endsars Protests, left me pondering on the rationale behind such move at this critical point in time in our trajectory as a state and country, especially when juxtaposed with how Disu reformed, rebranded and repositioned RRS as the model security outfit not only in Nigeria but across Africa.
Disu’s first stint at the RRS came to an end on April 10, 2019 after he was elevated to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police from Assistant Commissioner of Police. He was reappointed a day after on April 11, 2019 to continue his amazingly brilliant job.
Before coming on board in RRS, Disu had previously served as the Aide-De-Camp to the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is now the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC). Afterwards, Disu was redeployed to the Ogun State Police Command to serve as the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ago-Iwoye, where he performed excellently well in areas of fighting all sorts of criminal activities, including cultism.
He subsequently led the Nigeria Police contingent on African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS)to quell the crisis in the war-torn Darfur in 2005, where he equally discharged his duties with commendable passion and professionalism that brought honour and glory to Nigeria.
The feats in Darfur earned Disu instant recognition and he was named the Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ondo State Police Command, and later Officer-in-Charge of the SARS in Oyo and Rivers States Police Headquarters, respectively.
Next, Disu was elevated to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Rivers State Police Command, a position he held until he was transferred to Lagos to serve as RRS Commander.
RRS is a special security outfit founded and funded by the Lagos State Government and it was created to serve as the metropolitan police to maintain law and order within the metropolis, as well as the nooks and crannies of the state.
Soon after settling in as RRS Commander, Disu brought his professionalism to bear on the modus operandi of the formation, starting with rebranding of RRS in which the officers were now known as #TheGoodGuys. Calling the RRS officers the good guys was a mindset strategy to re-orientate them and make them come to terms with the fact that they occupy sensitive public position, and that they have to behave responsibly and strictly adhere to the basic tenets of policing which is protection of lives and property.
Disu’s model of policing is predicated on the principle of ‘Policing by Consent’ with emphasis on 4Es of Engaging, Educating, Explaining and Enforcing the law. Essentially, the principle is about engaging the people, educating the people, explaining to the people, and then enforcing the law to maintain law and order. This concept of policing is what is practiced in advanced countries, and it is a concept that helps to endear the police to the people.
Recognizing the importance of changing the mindset of the officers about what an ideal policing should be, Disu led a pragmatic and revolutionary movement that brought about the training of officers of the RRS on Emotional Intelligence, Anger Control and Management and De-escalation of crisis.
Considering the fact that RRS officers are usually the first responders during emergencies, the officers were equally trained on First Aid and CPR, and so during emergencies, RRS officers would administer First aid treatment and stop victims from bleeding, which usually greatly help to save lives.
The officers get rewarded for every good work and good deeds, and by so doing, others are spurred to also put in their best, thereby setting up the officers for healthy competition for good works. In rewarding the officers, Disu put in place a system where they get both monetary rewards and certificates.
For instance, during the Covid-19 lockdown, RRS officers took a woman in labour from house in Ikoyi to the hospital after her husband was seen on the road in the wee hours of the morning in distress and desperately looking for help. Upon enquiry, the man impatiently blurted out that his wife was in labour and that he had been looking for vehicle to no avail. The officers swiftly got the man into their patrol vehicle, drove to his residence and subsequently took the woman in question to a hospital in Obalende where she eventually delivered a baby girl. The affected officers were handsomely rewarded by Disu.
Another unique initiative is that Disu would always talk to the officers every morning before they are set for the business of the day. At such meetings, the task for the day is clearly spelt out, while their dressings and outlook are properly checked before they are deployed for the day’s job.
This is why it is difficult to see RRS officers misbehaving on the road, and on rare occasions where members of the public have had to lodge complaints about activities of RRS officers, such complaints are taken seriously with affected officers appropriately sanctioned where and when necessary to send clear message that such acts are not condoned. The sanctions are also communicated to the complainants.
A tech-savvy and brilliant officer, Disu also makes good use of technology to enhance the security architecture of Lagos, as well as social media through which members of the public are regularly updated on activities of RRS. The RRS also gets feedback from both traditional and new media platforms.
In terms of the real police operational work, RRS under Disu operated what is called ‘Hot spot Policing’ through which the patrol vehicles of RRS are placed at strategic locations considered to be black spot, so that the area will cease to be a dangerous area and by the time the area is no longer a black spot, the police will move to other areas considered to be dangerous, not forgetting to check on the previous black spots once in a while. This is why at times, people will see increased presence of RRS patrol vehicles in a particular area, and afterwards, they move to other areas.
In terms of welfare, Disu is known to be a humanist to the core who does not joke with the welfare of RRS officers, and even people around him, including journalists. He created a Welfare Team that regularly visits RRS officers who are injured or ill either in the line of duty or through any other means.
During such visits, aside the fact that RRS bears the cost of treatment, tokens are also presented to such officers from the Commander, while they are assured of the outfit’s love for them. By that, the affected officer feels loved and earnestly look forward to return to work.
Disu also operated an open-door-policy in which any officer can walk up to his office and discourse any issue with him. Through that, he gets firsthand information and do the needful where and when necessary. Members of the public also have unhindered access to Disu and can freely approach him without let or hindrance.
On the job, he is such a prolific officer with hands-on approach to policing, and he personally leads most of the operations of the outfit. Call him anytime, he will respond and act appropriately. He is a brilliant, dutiful and dogged police operational officer.
Every Monday morning throughout Disu’s tenure as RRS Commander, officers and members of the Secretariat community where the headquarters of RRS is located are treated to a light breakfast of tea, biscuit and bread. It has become a regular thing through which officers and civil servants line up to take their breakfast courtesy of the Commander.
Another unique programme introduced by Disu is what is called “RRS Courtesy Vehicle.” This particular vehicle moves around areas where the presence of RRS is considered not to be too felt, and so people will just wake up to see RRS men in their community. The officers will meet with important people including the monarchs, community leaders and even petty traders to extend the greetings of Commander, and find out what the RRS can do to intervene in any security issue they might be having.
Besides, one of the legacies of Disu in RRS is the provision of fuel to help motorists who run out of fuel on the road. The idea is that in every RRS patrol vehicle, some litres of fuel are reserved in the event that there is a vehicle that runs out of fuel on the road. The motorist is then given a few litres to get home or to the nearest gas station to top-up. In the event that the vehicle that breaks down on the road needs the intervention of a mechanic, the RRS officers assist such motorists to call mechanic or any other assistance as may be required, without requesting and collecting a dime.
For Disu, doing so is also another way of assisting the police by freeing up the road and avoiding encumbrances that may bring about another threat to safety of lives and property, especially traffic robbers who would like to take advantage of traffic build-up to carry out their nefarious activities.
During the Endsars protests, RRS Ambulance was released for the treatment of injured protesters and those who needed one form of medical attention or the other. Disu’s ideology is that the people come first and part of the benefits is that the people now see RRS as their police. RRS under Disu was seen as the people’s police.
As we speak, people now freely give information to the RRS, having the confidence that they will not be hounded and that their identities would not only be protected but that the information will be swiftly acted on.
Still on Endsars protests, RRS under Disu came out as the perfect example of compassionate, professional and effective tactical police formation that SARS should have emulated. According to keen watchers and security analysts, the protests would have never been had SARS operated like Disu’s RRS across the country. When RRS officers were attacked during the protests, the youths came out to apologize to RRS.
Disu cracked and led many successful operations. For instance, many did not know that it was Disu that did the major work in the celebrated operation that led to the arrest of Evans, the billionaire kidnapper at his Magodo residence in Lagos.
Another major case that proved Disu to be a super cop and a brilliant officer was when a major iphone store was burgled in South Africa. Days later, intelligence report indicated that the iphones had been moved to Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos. Disu was contacted to handle the sensitive investigation, and he swiftly swung into action. The iphones were recovered in a major operation and handed over to the owners to the incredulity of South African authorities.
When an attempt was recently made to blackmail popular musician, Queen Salawa Abeni with her nude pictures, the mastermind in the case was picked up by RRS Decoy Team days later. I can go on with plethora of cases brilliantly handled by RRS under Disu. Several civil unrest and communal clashes were also quelled by RRS during the period under review.
As a result of Disu’s exploits, Lagos State in 2016 was named the best security and most safety conscious state in Africa by the Security Watch Africa (SWA). At the end of the awards ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa, RRS emerged as the best anti-crime police squad in West Africa, while Disu was named as the most outstanding police operational officer in West Africa.
With RRS and other previous postings, Disu has no doubt left an indelible imprint in the sands of time and I can only wish him sound health, wisdom and understanding, and above all, more years of meritorious service to humanity. I know his redeployment to the Operations Department of Force Headquarters, Abuja will usher in bigger, better and brighter responsibilities.
Opeseitan is a Lagos-based Journalist.
SUMAS’ host communities Applaud Governor Ugwuanyi
…Say generations will remember him for the medical university
Indigenes of the four communities in #Enugu State that make up Igbo-Eno where the newly established State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS) is sited, namely Orba, Imilike, Ovoko and Iheaka, on Tuesday, showered encomiums on #Governor Ifeanyi #Ugwuanyi for his sterling vision in siting the medical university on their land, describing the governor as a great achiever.
The people expressed gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for bringing socio-economic development to the communities through the establishment of the SUMAS, Igbo-Eno, disclosing that they are happy and fulfilled that they donated their land for the massive project.
The SUMAS’ host communities made the commendation when representatives of their indigenes jointly paid a thank you visit to the governor at the Government House, Enugu.
Led by the traditional rulers of the four communities of Igbo-Eno, namely HRH Igwe Melitus Agbo, HRH Igwe Dr. Emmanuel Ukwueze, HRH Igwe Greg Ugwu and HRH Igwe S.J.C Onah, the Presidents General of the town unions, representatives of the land owners and stakeholders of the communities, including the Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, Enugu, Prof. Malachy Okwueze, and Chairmen of Udenu and Igbo-Eze South local government areas, Hon. Solomon Onah and Hon. Vitus Okechi respectively, the people said that they are highly delighted that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration utilised the land they donated for the medical university effectively and timeously in spite of the state’s lean resources and the nation’s economic challenges.
They added that Gov. Ugwuanyi through the establishment of the SUMAS, has not only brought massive development to the host communities but has also built human beings who will benefit from employment opportunities and flourishing business activities within and outside the school environment.
The host communities stated that Gov. Ugwuanyi has written his name in gold through the establishment of the medical university and will be remembered from generation to generation for the legacy which is second to the one bequeathed to the people of Nsukka zone and beyond by the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who attracted the famous University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) to the area.
They, therefore, assured Gov. Ugwuanyi of their maximum support and votes to represent Enugu North Senatorial District in the National Assembly in 2023 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressing confidence that the governor will do more for the district and the state in the Senate.
Speaking, the traditional ruler of Ulunya Ovoko Autonomous Community, HRH Igwe Dr. Emmanuel Ukwueze, told Gov. Ugwuanyi that “the people of Igbo-Eno, Nsukka zone and Enugu State will continue to remember you even when our zone will produce another governor, for building schools, young persons and us the elders and Igwes.”
Igwe Ukwueze, who listed the inherent benefits of the medical university to the host communities, prayed God to continue to bless and uplift the governor to greater heights, saying: “Anytime we come across the site (SUMAS), we will always remember that the project was built by Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. God will always remember your good works and bless you.”
Speaking on behalf of the land owners, Ichie Matthew Agbo applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the landmark project, stating that the medical university is a dream come true.
He pointed out that “we, the land owners of Igbo-Eno never knew that a day will come when a school and a hospital of this kind will be built on our land”, adding: “Your Excellency, the people of Nsukka zone and Igbo-Eno, in generations to come, will never forget this because nothing develops a community like school and hospital. We are grateful, we can’t thank you enough.”
Revealing that some of the community leaders earlier resisted the donation of land for the establishment of the medical university and hospital, the President General (PG) of Imilike Enu Town Union, Sir Patrick Ozioko, said that “we refused and wanted to fight it not knowing that it was a good thing that was coming our way.”
According to him, “Now, there is nobody from Igbo-Eno who will go there (site) without saying thank God and asking for His blessing on you (Ugwuanyi).
“Anybody from Igbo-Eno now knows that your name will never die in our zone. For the Senate position we are talking about, you are already there. We are all going to vote for you.”
Other prominent indigenes of Igbo-Eno who spoke at the event, namely the Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, Enugu, Prof. Okwueze; the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune; Special Adviser to the Governor/Focal Person, World Bank, Uche Nnadi; Chairman, Igbo-Eze South LGA, Hon. Vitus Okechi; State Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Innocent Ezeoha; PDP Zonal Secretary, South East Zone, Chief James Ugwu; former Chairman, Udenu LGA, Hon. Frank Ugwu; and the Permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Hon. Charles Mbah, all expressed profound gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for the establishment of the SUMAS in Igbo-Eno and the massive development projects at the site, as well as his visionary leadership and other legacy projects across the state, reassuring the governor of the unalloyed solidarity and support of the people of the host communities and beyond to represent Enugu North Senatorial District in the National Assembly come 2023.
Ten Things Peter Mbah Told Enugu Business Community during Town Hall Meeting
By Dan Nwomeh
We all agree that Enugu urgently needs the exponential growth of her GDP, influx of private investments, enabling the ease of doing business and job creation which will simultaneously address crime and insecurity.
We’d rather trust a proven entrepreneurial genius and business innovator than career politicians who have spent all their lives moving from one government office to another and demanding for bribes from investors.
Even candidates that have never ran small shop now claim they will attract investments and create jobs. Are they magicians?
On Tuesday November 1, 2022, Dr Peter Mbah met with Enugu Business Community at their Town Hall. Here are ten things the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate told the business community:
1. Things must be done radically differently. I understand that the private sector drives the economy. As a businessman and investor who understands the value and dividends that accrue from operating in a conducive business environment, I addressed members of Enugu Chamber of Commerce as my family.
2. My administration is desirous of growing #EnuguState economy in a proportion that will shock bookmakers and economic pundits. From the current $4.4B GDP, we shall skyrocket it to $30B and at the same time, achieve a 0% rate in our poverty headcount index.
3. We will create a synergy between govt and private sector. To achieve exponential growth, our focus in the commerce and industry sector is to de-risk investment flow. We will upscale the Ease of Doing Business, making #EnuguState the top state for business, tourism and living.
4. Technology is a tool which bears bundles of possibilities. We shall employ technology in our growth plan. Civil and public servants shall be trained and retrained to become attuned to technology.
5. In order to make the judiciary open to individual business persons and investors, we will create special courts such as Commercial Court, Family Court, Real Estate Court and others.
6. This will cut delays on the issues of enforcement of contracts in the private sector. We will establish a Citizen Charter that will help the citizens track my administration’s performance periodically to ensure more effective service delivery.
7. We will build Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in the 3 Senatorial Zones to ensure our agriculture is tech-driven and we have enough processed agro products for export. Aside this, we want to achieve total food security for #NdiEnugu and become food basket of the nation.
8. I reminded #NdiEnugu that our mineral resources will no longer be left dormant. We shall explore oil and gas deposits and other solid minerals. We shall engage investors of OPL 914, 905 and 907 to begin oil production. Within one year in office, I will make Enugu an oil producer.
9. I remain strong on my decision to fix the water problem in Enugu from the midstream to the downstream. We will collaborate with experts to tackle once and for all the water issues in our state
10. I also believe that Government is a continuum. I will complete the International Conference Centre, and there shall be no abandoned project under my administration.
A Mistake in 2023 Will Ruin Any Hope Left of Nigeria as a Nation
Article by Hashim Suleiman
At 39 years of age, I have been privileged to have obtained 16 years working experience non-stop and these years are spread around all the geopolitical zones of the country and those who know me know I’m open minded enough to mingle deep into people I come across with a view of integrating and enriching my life living strategies and skills.
This makes me loaded enough to understand the demography of Nigeria as well as a fair understanding of the likely outcomes of events related to national development. In these years, I equally made mistakes owing to certain misconceptions and the outcomes of it have added to my experiences.
The key tool to ensure such development of a country in a democracy is politics and the understanding and/or lack of it determines the stability that would create a room to develop or not. However, the participation in politics has over the years been tainted by economic insecurities and greed to the point where people appear to have not learnt any mistakes regarding the choices they’ve made but I also understand that the opinion of the majority of voters are decided by the elites who control them by way of economy, belief and tribe and the question will now be whether these elites have seen the writing on the wall regarding the likely outcomes of 2023 or not?
The key among the problems of the nation at this period is disunity but those who are comfortable in their corners are blinded to see any problems with this and we should remind them.
The insecurities happening all over the country are a result of decayed morals and disunity and nothing more. When so much hatred has been disseminated into people to the extent that it has become a habit, what do you expect the offspring of such individuals to be, also full of hate and such hate has led to mutual suspicion over the time and finally to killings and unrest.
No part of the country is isolated from this problem and has the potential of graduating from inter communal to inter country if not managed well because at the moment, no one is talking about it except some of the candidates and it resonates with me.
Some people mistake infrastructural development as the real development but it is too much love for luxury and enjoyment that makes them see it like that. A country like Gambia does not have as much infrastructure as Nigeria but the Europeans consider it as their best destination for vacation as against Lagos or Calabar that have the same beaches but lack security, sanity and serenity.
So they get enough FOREX to carry out their economic activities while we’re here and break off it. This should amplify the need for peace and unity.
We are now faced with elections around the corner and the arguments appear as some have forgotten or don’t know about these very serious issues and are about making same mistakes, now let me break down what a mistake would do to eroding any hope left of a country called Nigeria, I would have added United country but the reality is Nigeria is not United as this moment, the cracks and red flags are too glaring for anyone to see.
Anyone who votes you based on some creed or personal expectations will naturally develop a sense of entitlement and once such expectation do not start to come in the first three months of administration, agitations start and ego will not let the president who was insincere enough to use divisions to win to agree to correct those perceived injustices and trouble starts, this is in addition to the so many that are currently on the ground and then your guess about the state of the nation will be as good as mine- CHAOS.
Therefore, more than ever before, Nigeria only needs competence, experience and a nationalist who genuinely believes in the oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria and such person who comes with this has to also come with clean hands from day one and not any form of skewed tendencies and whether the voters understand this or not remains to be seeing in the coming days but the word of caution must be sounded!!!
May God bless our dear and beloved country Nigeria, some of us have a passion for her wellbeing!!
Hashim Suleiman writes from Abuja. He can be reached via [email protected]
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