Visible Policing Strategies in Imo State

By Nathan Uzorma

AN ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, declared that: ‘there is nothing permanent except change.’ Thus, all things are in a state of flux, and nothing is permanent except change. Every facet of human life and endeavour faces the constant prospect of changes, which poses wild-range of societal challenges, including crime and insecurity.

This universal state of flux makes certain claims on orthodoxy questionable and affirms the assertion that no condition is permanent, not even the state of insecurity that makes citizens unhappy. Such is the state of security and crime control in Imo State since 2012, and most especially, in the present CP Ezike-led Imo Command. Mr. Chris Okey Ezike seems to have some magical wands for policing and crime control.

Perhaps, he alone best knows the applied strategies for policing that have led to not only abetting crimes, but also to pilot a minimal crime rate in the Imo community. The Imo Police Command today enjoys boisterous leadership in crime fighting and policing. Often, the CP himself is dressed and ready for field investigations and onslaughts. Oh, how I detest praise-singing particularly to a man that has not reached his peak in his career.

Police men However, I must appreciate my fellow human whether or not he has attained the zenith of his career but has distinguished himself in the office he occupies. It is such that attracts my praise. To have shown the difference in the office one occupies, he must have worked very hard in line with the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s assertion that: “The man who will not work until it hurts shall not occupy any public office.”

Shakespeare subscribes to the above allusion when he says: “To attain excellence may mean your working yourself to the bone. Be not afraid, work does not kill. Laziness and idleness do.” This is the very position of Mr. Ezike, the present commissioner of police in Imo State. He has indeed strategically distinguished himself in fighting crime and criminality in Imo State.

As a matter of fact, he is a good example of what a real policeman should be. An interesting character! This self-exemplary leadership encourages detectives and crime fighters in the Command as it boosts their morale, as well as plays deterrence role in crime management; since criminals receive the news that the CP himself is personally present and on the move against them.

Criminals hardly have even the briefest time to crime-hatch, and officers in the Command always poised to oust criminals in the state. No wonder William Shakespeare (Hamlet) said that ‘brevity is the soul of wit and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes.’ Imolites of all categories today are amazed at the  intelligent management in the present Imo Command.

There is no gainsaying that classified intelligence- gathering under the present police leadership is very astonishing, such that information gathering by specifically covert means, especially for crime and evidential analyses  have not failed to yield the desired results. Thus, Imolites can now sleep with both two eyes closed, and  slumber deeply in the comfort of their homes.

I was embarrassed to overhear friendly social analysts and discussants on the present crime-state in Imo, at a function recently, recalling that the manner intelligence products are managed today in the state reveals stable harmonious collaboration between crime analysts in the Command and its intelligence officers.

And certainly, this classic approach has greatly assisted the Imo Command’s operational management in selecting targets to get rid-of criminals in the state, as well as in guiding investigations for criminal reports and incidents; in addition to shaping and maintaining proper operational supervisions on field officers.

Perhaps, these intelligence officers collect, analyse and interpret  real criminal tips, and smartly represent them with recommendations about required decisions or options for action. This  no doubt has impacted significantly in developing the Command’s intelligence governance system.

Evidently, these positive outcomes of intelligence governance in the Imo Command, would have also failed as with previous Commissioners of Police in the State, but for intelligence gathering network which CP Ezike instituted and maintained with community leaders. This too is legacy maintenance and faith-keeping. Mr. Ezike is the  fourth Commissioner of Police in the state in the  past  20 years.

Previous Commissioners are: CP (now AIG) Katsina, CP (now AIG) Taiwo, and CP (now AIG) Abdullaziz Alli. Mr. Ezike’s priority in community policing promotes serious partnership between Imolites and the police in the state. As he emphasisies and states in most workshops and stakeholders’ meetings, both the police and the Imo community must jointly work to identify modern crime trends in the state and strive to stamp  them out, thus, improving the wellbeing and security of lives and property in the state.

The Imo CP insists that crime management and control in the Nigerian society is too cumbersome to be entrusted in one agency alone, notwithstanding how ready it might be. This therefore calls for inter-agency collaboration in tackling crime in the state. The most satisfying aspect of all these is the overwhelming police visibility in every nook and cranny  of the state, especially hot spots and pressure points. Perhaps, this ominous police visibility is due to unparalleled new deployments of additional police officers in the state.

These feats notwithstanding, it behoves to ask here, if it is possible to stamp out crime in Imo State and Nigeria in general, given the gross menace of unemployment ravaging the youth in Imo State and in the entire country? To give bite to the effort of the CP, it is necessary to deal with the unemployment situation in the state.

And the first place to start is for the state government to create mass employment and creation of entrepreneurial opportunities for self-employment and empowerment. With the largest number of idle youths in the state gainfully employed, and the tempo of security remaining stable, Imo will be the safest corner of the country where foreign and local investors would come and invest, and this will enhance rapid socio-economic developments of the state and Nigeria. Kudos to CP Ezike’s sterling  efforts  in crime  fighting. (Vanguard)


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